In a side-by-side comparison, the Monster Mini garnered far more looks than our pale yellow stocker-no big surprise there. The MM treatment looks factory-correct and respects the car's lines while giving it a singular appearance. The MM car looks mean and has a rippin' sound to boot-the intake and exhaust mods do a good job of uncorking the little engine. The Monster Mini gains sufficient torque to pull away from a stock vehicle, even with those heavy, heavy wheels. Still, with barely 100 hp on tap and some 2,700 lb to lug around, the Monster Mini feels like it's towing something. And that's a shame, because MM did a great job with the base material. The interior is gorgeous, the suspension rock solid. Gimme the same deal but with a set of 15-in. ultra-light running gear and some proper tires-those FZ4s are great in the rain and snow but lack dry grip.

The H&R suspension is great, the perfect blend of firmness without being harsh. Moreover, the MM was not so low as to cause worry to the aerodynamic pieces. There's nothing quite as bad as a good-looking car with scuffed "underwear" or bent wheels.

There's a sensation of connectedness behind the steering wheel, a real sporty feel that will no doubt send Mini owners into thralls of ecstasy.

Monster Mini is currently working on a Copper S, the model it wanted in the first place. "I think the S will truly rock," said Reich.

Stay tuned for Monster Mini's take on the more powerful sibling.

Monster Mini
2900 Adams St., Ste. B-27
CA  92504
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