• A Mini with a Hayabusa Engine Gives Nightmares To A Ford Mustang

A Hayabusa-swapped classic Mini proves that lightness and high revs can match the raw power of a big V-8...sort of

Drag racing two very different vehicles usually result in a thrilling outcome. CarWow’s latest drag battle features an almost stock, Ford Mustang GT, and a classic Mini Cooper that has been heavily modified. At first glance, it hardly sounds like a fair race, but the Mini has dropped the standard blender in favor of a Hayabusa motorcycle engine. It seems like a classic race between horsepower and lightweight, in which the Mustang has a lot more engine displacement and horsepower while the Mini relies on lightness and high revs.

A Mini with a Hayabusa Engine Gives Nightmares To A Ford Mustang
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The Ford Mustang is a 2022 model, which means that the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 packs 450 horsepower (331 kilowatts) and 390 pound-feet (529 Nm). Sadly, this is a downgrade from the 2021 model year, which packed 460 horsepower (338.3 kilowatts) and 420 pound-feet (569 Nm), due to stricter emissions regulations. Regardless, this particular Mustang GT packs a 10-speed automatic.

More importantly, it has been tuned by Clive Sutton so it now packs 490 horsepower (360.4 kilowatts). Peak torque remains the same as stock. As equipped, the American pony car tips the scales at 3,814 pounds (1,730 kg). The new power output should allow the American pony car to sprint from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in around 3.8 seconds.

A Mini with a Hayabusa Engine Gives Nightmares To A Ford Mustang
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Meanwhile, the classic Mini is anything but stock. From the factory, these came up with a variety of small inline-four units, ranging from 0.85 to 1.3 liters of displacement. The most powerful among them – the Mini S had a 1.3-liter engine with 76 horsepower (57 kilowatts) and 80 pound-feet (108 Nm), which allowed for a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 9.8 seconds.

By pure coincidence, the new engine, which comes from a Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle, is also a 1.3-liter. However, it has a redline of 10,000 to 11,500 RPM, depending on the generation. In this case, the motorcycle unit develops 180 horsepower (132.4 kilowatts) and 110.6 pound-feet (150 Nm). The new powertrain is also mounted in the middle, behind the driver, instead of at the front. The transmission is a six-speed sequential.

A Mini with a Hayabusa Engine Gives Nightmares To A Ford Mustang
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The classic Mini was never a heavy car, but this one takes things further through the use of lightweight materials, including new body panels, lightweight windows, and a stripped interior. The resulting figure is 1,102 pounds (500 kg), which is over 250 pounds (113 kg) lighter than a stock, Mini S. How this translates on the dragstrip, you can see in the video below. As a small spoiler, we will say that the battle was much closer than we had anticipated, and in most cases, the winner did not win by a huge margin.


Dim Angelov
Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read full bio
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