How many times have you watched a movie remake or a reboot? Chances are, you would have at least once. Just for a memory jolt, “The Dark Knight” was released in 2008, following a very familiar storyline from “Batman” in 1989. The two movies are a lot more similar than you might realize – but you probably won’t realize it, because it is a reboot of the entire Batman franchise without calling it a remake.
Jokes aside, when the Mini was rebooted as the Mini Hatch by BMW, it became much more powerful, bigger and up-market, but it retains the classic transverse four-banger, front-wheel-drive configuration and, in this version, the screaming supercharger.
It’s a little hard to believe that the rebooted Mini has been around for nearly 20 years, with the original launched in the year 2000. This fine example hails from the second generation – but there is no mistaking that the design screams of retro cues from the original Mini. It is extremely fun to drive too, chuckable in the city yet planted enough to conquer larger circuits. Not many hatchbacks we have ever driven comes close to the handling of the Mini.
Notably, BMW went serious with the second generation Mini by the amount of derivatives offered throughout the product life. Along with the convertible (R57) option, they made it in a longer 3-door hatch (R55), 2-seater coupe (R58), then a convertible 2-seater roadster (R59), followed by the giant, albeit un-related, Mini Countryman (R60), and then removed two rear doors to create the oddity called the Paceman (R61).
Of course, who couldn’t resist giving this pocket rocket a little boost? Enter Liberty Walk, known for their work on supercars. You may also know Liberty Walk under the names LB Performance and LB Works. LB Performance makes aftermarket ground effect kits as well as exhaust and air suspension upgrades. LB Works is a deluxe brand within the LB Performance body kit line- focusing on premium brand automobiles such as this, the Mini.
Here, the Liberty Walk kit is styled to give the R56 the ultimate aggressive look – despite the cutest face that BMW gave it. Fitted with Liberty Walk’s trademark overfenders and aero kit, this is also the first time we’ve come close to “Bosozoku” style.
Boso-what? Bosozoku, loosely translated to “violent speed tribe”, is commonly used to describe a particular Japanese car culture which focuses on extreme car styling modification. This formed a mix-and-match style brings Japanese styling cues to an otherwise purposeful looking German image.
Punctuating the clean roofline is a wing from Duell AG, another Japanese company focused on functional racing style kits for the Mini. Last but not least – everything has to come together to form a seamless sharp-looking package. Put together in Spray Paint Shop, the store had the job of applying the specially made glitter paint, and the purple/green gradient paint scheme.
It’s not just an all-show car. To fit the custom diffuser, the exhaust had to be customized to exit properly and not melt the bodywork. The little supercharger is aided by a new high-flow downpipe which frees up the restriction from the exhaust outlet – more air, more power, it’s that simple.
Finally, the wheels had to fit just right. Going straight for a custom wheel build, RRT (Road Race Track) provided this Mini beast with very unique 17-inch wheels: 8.75-inch wide wheels with an offset of 30 in the front, and 9.75-inch wide wheels with offset 25 for the rear. To get the wheels flushed, custom spacers were added to fill the arches to the brim. Now that is fitment perfection!
Finally, all that power and handling prowess would had been gone to waste if not for the Bridgestone RE71R tyres all round. There you have it, a respectably quick retro styled German hot hatch, Japanese styling and a whole lot of flair added into the mix. It looks mad. It goes like stink. After all, it is a car that screams “Let’s puts a smile on that face…”
Mini Cooper S R56
Custom Exhaust Piping
RRT (Road Race Track) Custom Rims 17x 8.75 offset 30 17 x 9.75 offset 25
RRT Custom Spacer
Custom Wheel Cap
Bridgestone RE71R tyres 225/45/17, 255/40/17
Liberty Walk Body Kit
Duell AG spoiler
Custom Spray Works
Custom Bonnet Vents
Custom Fender Vent
Custom Side Skirts