Ogle At This Mid-Engined, Hayabusa-Powered Austin Mini Race Car
Thank god for crazy people and project cars.
The expert finders of drag cars with LS swaps and four-figure horsepower counts at 1320video have gone and found something truly unique in their latest video - an Austin Mini that had been converted from a classic subcompact into a fully caged race car. Even from outside the vehicle, one can tell that nothing went untouched on this Mini, from the lime green paint and carbon fiber fender flares to the perspex windows and side-mounted air intakes for the relocated Suzuki engine from a first-gen Hayabusa superbike.
That engine has a 1,299cc displacement, revs to 11,000, and produces at least 151 horsepower, depending on the source of your numbers. The engine in this car, however, produces 240 horsepower. While that may not sound like much, especially to regular 1320video viewers, we have learned that power to weight ratio is everything, and weight is not something this Mini is burdened by, as it comes in at a half ton.
To put that into perspective, this gives the car a power to weight rating of approximately 480 horsepower per ton, just 43 behind that of the Bugatti Veyron. When you consider how much less drivetrain inertia this car has, they may be on par in practical conditions from a roll.
Further modifications include a gas tank relocation to the front, where the engine once sat, and a hood with a tremendous vent to create a negative pressure zone aft of the radiator and aid in cooling.
This guy isn't the first to consider throwing an engine in the back of a hatchback, though. Roadkill documented the existence of two V6 swapped, mid-engined Geo Metros that race in the 24 Hours of Lemons, one of which uses a Ford Duratec engine, and the other, the Yamaha V6 from a Taurus SHO. There's also the 500 horsepower, mid-engined Honda Civic.
In case aftermarket modifications are less your thing, mid-engined hatchbacks have been produced by Renault, but in small numbers. They made the 5 Turbo back in the 1980s, and last decade, produced the Clio V6 in small numbers. The former is rarer than UFO sightings, and the latter isn't old enough to import into the U.S. yet. Unless you feel like wrenching on a project of your own like the ones we've described above, you'll have to wait another decade to get your hands on a low-key mid-engined sports car.