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 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.