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The MINI Cooper Promini Intake

**** (out of 5)

After installing a Remus exhaust on my Cooper I was sure that I had come to the end of my performance modifications trying to gain horsepower. I figured I long ago decided that wasn’t overly important when I decided on a March build Cooper after several back to back MC/MCS test drives. Sure I still planned to add a rear sway bar and other little things here and there but I thought what was the point of trying to get 125HP out of my car when for an extra $3000 I could have 163HP. Then I was introduced to cold air induction and a new middle ground of performance between the MC and the MCS as well.

After doing some research and checking out every intake on the market for the Cooper I decided that I’d go for the Promini intake that came out in August of 2003. Some of things I liked about the intake is that it’s made exceptionally well and uses quality materials that, to some degree, other intakes seem to lack. It’s also made by one of the most trusted names in BMW and now MINI aftermarket products. With that decided I fired up the Powerbook, ordered one at Outmotoring.com and within two days I was staring an a pretty impressive looking piece.

Installation was fairly simple and can be done by someone with little mechanical know-how. The only issue I ran into was the final fitting of the new intake once everything had been connected. There is a metal mounting point that attaches to one of the mounting points of the transmission. Due to this piece being bent at an awkward angle the polished aluminum intake cover rubs the inside of the hood slightly. I’ve spoken with someone at BMP about the issue and was given some simple instructions on how to mount the intakes slightly lower to eliminate the rub. I’m pretty confident that with a little adjustment the issue should be solved.

Once installed you can’t immediately hear any difference at idle without the hood open. In fact it isn’t until you get on the throttle a bit that the intake makes itself known. Of course once you here it, it’s unmistakable. The sound while accelerating is fantastic. Where my Remus exhaust adds a lower, deep refined throaty sound, the intakes contributes an aggressive rumble that really is addicting. While it has a very noticeable rumble to it during hard acceleration and with the windows down with the windows up even during hardest acceleration it’s very muted and not at all obnoxious. During typical low to mid level rpm driving it’s hardly noticeable and on the highway it’s totally transparent.

Promini doesn’t as of yet make any specific claims about the Cooper version of their intakes in terms of horsepower gains but they do claim that their MCS intake delivers almost 13HP. With the way that the Cooper instake is situated in the engine bay that kind of power would be hard to come by however. I’d say from my seat of the pants testing that it’s probably putting out 5-6 more HP than I had before. Now of course add that to the 4-5 more HP I was getting with my exhaust and I’ve now reached the theoretical 125HP mark. To make things even more interesting according to my onboard computer I’m averaging about 1mpg more on my daily commute after the intake install. Not bad for $199 and 30 minutes of work.

So if you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive way to add some great sound a seat of the pants difference to your Cooper’s acceleration I’d highly recommend checking out the Promini intake. Some quick notes on the video. It was shot with both windows down and the sunroof open. It was also done driving down a road with a large concrete wall to the right. I did this purposely to allow more sound info the cabin. Typically the intake is not this loud.
Also for a reference to see exactly what an intake adds to the sound of a MINI that already has a Remus exhaust take a look at this video.

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MINI Model Cheat Sheet

1st Gen MINI
R50: One & MC Hatch
R52: All 1st Gen MINI Convt.
R53: MCS Hatch
2nd Gen MINI
R55: Clubman
R56: Hatch
R57: Convertible
R58: Coupe
R59: Roadster
R60: MINI Crossover
R61: MINI Crossover Coupe
3rd Gen MINI
F54: Clubman
F55: Five Door Hatch
F56: Hatch
F57: Convertible
F60: MINI Crossover
F58: Traveller

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