While the stock brakes on our long term MINI Cooper S were more than adequate for daily driving, we felt we could use a little extra stopping power for the canyon driving and occasional track use the car sees. We didn't want to go all the way with a big brake kit, as we wanted to stay with 17-inch wheels. We also wanted to see what we could do at minimal cost and effort.

After talking to the experts at Stoptech Brakes, we determined that their stage 2 would be exactly what we were looking for. The kit consists of Stoptech cross-drilled rotors, Hawk street pads, stainless steel brake lines and Motul RBF600 fluid. Since the car is used mostly for street driving we weren't as concerned with the cross drilled rotors as we would have been if it were a dedicated track car. For the same reason, we also chose the Hawk street performance pad. We wanted a pad that would respond well when cold, be low dust and had fittings for the factory brake wear sensors. The only downside to the Hawk pads is noise. The stock pad has an anti-vibration shim riveted to the backing plate that the Hawks lack. The extra vibration results in squeal, which is slight, but still very much present. We are looking at various solutions including backing plates to solve the problem.

We took the MINI to the guys at Evosport in Huntington Beach California to have the new brake kit installed. Evosport has been building racecars and high performance street cars since 1999 and while this job may seem a little mundane, it was finished with the same level of excellence they apply to everything they do. This can easily be done by your average weekend mechanic in a driveway with basic hand tools, but if you don't feel comfortable take it to a pro, these are your brakes after all.

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