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This Fancy Mid-Engined Mini Packs 230 HP Thanks to a Honda K-Series

Just wait 'til you see the inside.

Forget the open-top Aston Martin hypercars, the dolled-up Flying Spur Bentleys, and the shameless ’80s and ’90s Millennial nostalgia bait. The best thing out of this year’s Monterey Car Week might just be this relatively humble classic Mini with a Honda heart. 

Created by Spectre Vehicle Design located in North Vancouver, British Columbia, this is the Spectre Type 10, and its recipe is fairly simple. It’s got a 230-wheel-horsepower Honda K20 mounted behind the seats, rear-wheel drive, a limited-slip differential and a six-speed manual gearbox. Weighing just 1,700 pounds with fluids (the current Miata weighs more than 2,300 pounds), the Type 10 is, believe it or not, Spectre’s very first car. 

Spectre Vehicle Design

That’s surprising given the level of visible craftsmanship on display here, particularly in the interior. The chrome, the dials, the wooden surfboard-shaped dash, the gorgeous “type ten” badge on the leather-wrapped cage—it’s all marvelously well-done and shows good automotive taste. According to creative director Marco Lii, the look of the wasabi-colored carbon fiber bucket seats was inspired by an image of Monica Bellucci in a black one-piece bathing suit complete with a belly button cutout. 

Bespoke, three-piece, directional 10-inch wheels were specifically designed to extract hot air from the four-piston monoblock disk brakes and look like a sharper version of the OG Mini’s iconic stock rims.

Of course, the cost of all of this is quite high (it usually is). With the first batch of Type 10s limited to just 10 cars, each will cost $180,000 or about what you’d pay for that new Acura NSX Type S with the Lightweight Package. If I were in the market for a $180,000, “lightweight,” Honda-powered, mid-engined weekend car, that NSX would be mighty tempting but the Type 10 may just cinch it on the back of its truly off-the-charts coolness.

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