Originally our red turbo’d MINI Cooper S was purchased as a potential donor for a race car build. She'd led a hard life of almost 100,000 motorway miles and had been driven hard along the way. The engine was tired, suspension in need of attention, bodywork fairly average and just generally requiring some tender loving care. In the end, another donor was chosen for the race car build so we took her under our wing and set about making Chilli a demonstrator MINI we could be proud of.
Lohen always aims to create MINIs to inspire, to create a focus for modification and something for MINI owners to be wowed by; Chilli is no exception. The range of performance parts chosen for this R56 MINI reflects Lohen’s desire to show you can install a range of top-quality aftermarket tuning upgrades without sacrificing any of your MINI’s refinement.
In this car, we wanted to create a MINI that was visually superb so installed a brand new John Cooper Works body kit to improve the silhouette. We attended to any bodywork misdemeanours as well as colour-coding to mirror our other stunning demo cars and lavished attention on the fixtures and fittings with a range of John Cooper Works carbon fibre accessories both outside and in.
As the car slowly evolved we paid special attention to the MINI performance and tuning market, selecting a range of hardware parts to complement a recent Manic Motorsport Remap and helping to create a Gen 2 MINI most customers would aspire to. The car is driven hard on a day-to-day basis and performs beautifully. It’s the perfect way to showcase superb MINI performance combined with all the creature comforts the refined MINI driver is used to.
In 2017 Chilli had reached over 110,000 miles on the standard engine and due to the new crate engine configurations Lohen had put together we decided to completely overhaul this N14 engine with a forged config 6 package. This meant Lohen completely stripped the engine apart and replaced the internals with upgraded Supertech components, refreshed gaskets and seals, springing a new lease of life into the MINI R56 Cooper S.
After Chilli's engine overhaul, Lohen decided it should look as good as it drives, so with the help of Safety Devices, Cobra and Vibe, 2018 brought about the transformation of Chilli's interior for a fashionable track-spec look, ready for the MINI In The Park (MITP) show in August. To help kick-start the build, early in 2018, Lohen gave Safety Devices a donor MINI R56 shell to speed up their development of the R56 roll cage so by August 2018 we had the first Safety Devices roll cage in the UK ready to fit for our next show MITP. If you want to read more about the development of our R56 cage click here.
Alongside fitting the Safety Devices Roll Cage Lohen spent a full week removing the interior so Chilli could be fitted with soundproofing and sound deadening material, locations included the roof lining and doors. This would help enhance the sound of the Vibe Audio kit once installed and limit vibrations and road noise in the cabin. Once the speakers, amp and subwoofers were fitted it was treated to a custom tune by Vibe to set up a perfect soundstage that will be suitable for all MINI R56 installs Lohen do in the future.
Finally, to finish off the interior build, we fitted a pair of Cobra Nogaro seats that featured a bespoke Lohen logo in the centre seat rest and red piping to match the colour of our demo car that I'm sure you'll agree from the pictures, help our MINI R56 stand out from the crowd. Lohen can supply any colour and material combination for all Cobra Seat styles if you are interested in having something similar in your MINI. On top of this, we added a CAE short shifter and Lohen button mount for good measure to help transform the driving experience of our MINI R56 Cooper S.
During 2019 and 2020, Chilli has undergone drastic modifications in the engine bay compartment to push what’s possible on the N14 engine. The goal of this development was to offer a true stage 3 upgrade for both Cooper S and JCW models.
Our Chilli N14 engine has been upgraded with a Lohen 400 big turbo kit that is has achieved 390 bhp with performance Schrick Camshafts. This kit includes a custom Turbo Technics turbo, Lohen braided oil feed pipe, bespoke Lohen turbo to intercooler pipe and Lohen spec mechanical Turbosmart BOV which is different to the valve supplied in our 330 turbo kit.
These upgrades are not enough on their own, Lohen soon realised the stock fuel pump could not provide enough fuel to hit the high power figures we wanted. To combat this, Lohen has installed a larger fuel pump system. This required months of development, testing different fuel pumps and adapter pipes that not only successfully fit the N14 engine but also provided the extra fuel we required. The next hurdle was then controlling this fuel pump, which was not possible on the stock ECU. To combat this and give us full control of our new fuel pump system we worked with LINK to produce a custom Lohen engine wiring loom and in-house Lohen remap on their LINK G4+ Force GDI ECU. After hundreds of hours of testing, we have created a reliable map that manages the bespoke parts of the engine efficiently whilst also hitting the 400+ bhp figures we were aiming for. This system allowed us to reach 390 bhp on our demo car Chilli using a Turbo Technics turbo, whilst on our race car Jaws using an even larger Garret GT28 turbo achieved over 430 bhp.
The LINK N14 CAN network configurations are exclusive to Lohen so if you would like to know more about this bespoke work or use this LINK ECU on your MINI N14 engine, please give us a call on 01785 859999.