When the MK I MINI Cooper was released in 2001, it was an instant hit among enthusiasts and inspired an entire tuning industry. The first generation Coopers utilized a supercharged four-cylinder engine from which tuners could easily extract power, and many offered consumers a plethora of aftermarket goodies. When the Mk II Cooper S was released, MINI abandoned the supercharged motor in favor of a turbocharged one. But with the increase in factory horsepower there seemed to be a decline in the general availability of aftermarket parts. The new ECU encryption and software limitations had become a formidable barrier, limiting the number of advanced upgrades available for the new-gen Cooper...until now. With the release of NM Engineering's ECU flash for the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, the door has been opened to fully unleash this engine's full potential.

Vehicle Data

Engine: 1.6-liter I4, turbocharged
Transmission: Six-speed manual
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
Mileage: 10,917

Dyno Data

Dyno Type: Clayton Mustang dynamometer with Virtual Test Track Software
Transmission test gear: Third
Dyno set weight: 2,800 lb
Fuel grade: 91 octane

Performance

Temperature: 80° F
Humidity: 24%
Peak power: 161 hp @ 5776 rpm
Peak torque: 174 lb-ft @ 2557 rpm

Test Notes

All horsepower and torque numbers are quoted at the wheels. It is also important to keep in mind that the Mustang dyno, when properly calibrated, produces more accurate horsepower and torque numbers. At first look, these numbers might seem low when compared to a Dynojet (roughly about 10 percent or more), but it is the differences between the runs that help prove or disprove the validity of the manufacturer's horsepower and torque claims.

NM Engineering

ECU Flash


Test 1

Performance

Peak power: 185 hp @ 5962 rpm
Peak torque: 209 lb-ft @ 2828 rpm
Max power gain: 23 hp @ 6300 rpm
Max torque gain: 13 lb-ft @ 4910 rpm

Parts: OBD Port Flash
MSRP: $500
Installation time: 45 minutes

Pros

• Completely reversible, zero physical modifications
• Retains all of the factory safety protocols
• Free lifetime upgrades and free re-flash back to stock programming
• 100 percent compatible with all diagnostic software
• Fuel, timing, and electronic throttle settings have been optimized to take full advantage of the increase in boost pressure
• Sport Button retains all of the factory functionality

Cons

• None

Test Notes

The boost graph (below) represents the difference in boost levels between the factory and NM software. Boost and rpm data used in the graph was extracted from the ECU utilizing Bavarian Technic USB OBD-II cable and software. Boost data was converted from kPa to psi using the standard conversion rate.

NM Engineering

High-flow carbon-fiber induction kit/60MM cat-back exhaust


Test 2

Performance

Peak power: 188 hp @ 5929 rpm
Peak torque: 205 lb-ft @ 2743 rpm
Max power gain: 9 hp @ 5501 rpm
Max torque gain: 12 lb-ft @ 3569 rpm

Intake:
Parts: Stainless steel intake pipe bracket, stainless steel fresh air hose bracket, silicone hose, silicon coupling carbon fiber intake pipe, air filter, clamps, nuts and bolts
Tools: 7mm nut driver, 10/13mm socket or wrench, 4mm hex wrench, needle nose pliers, screwdriver, ratchet
MSRP: $469.95
Installation time: 30 minutes

Pros

• Carbon fiber composite helps reduce the effect of radiant heat on the intake
• Serviceable air filter
• Replaces entire intake system
• Stainless steel intake bracket provides a solid mounting system for the MAF and air filter
• Stainless steel fresh air hose bracket ensures no hoses are left bouncing around waiting to break
•Smog-legal in all 50 states
• Quick and easy install makes swapping the intake out before trips to dealer effortless

Cons

• Even with the intake's street legal status, trips to the dealership could generate unwanted questions

Exhaust:
Parts: Front section w/resonator, rear muffler section with muffler and dual 3.5-inch tips, exhaust coupling, gasket, nuts, bolts and washers
Tools: Reciprocating saw or pipe cutter, spray lubricant, long flat screwdriver or pry bar, 13/16mm socket, 3/8 extension and ratchet
MSRP: $ 799.95
Installation Time: 30-45 minutes

Pros

• Full T304 stainless steel construction
• CNC mandrel-bent piping
• Compliant with all state and local laws
• Flange design ensure precise fit and seal
• Attaches to the factory down pipe with OE sleeve-style dual clamp, ensuring a precise seal

Cons

• Stock exhaust system needs to be cut

Test Notes

We were unable to perform all the dyno work on the same day. The NM intake and exhaust test was performed the following day utilizing the same tank of 91 octane fuel.

Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!