What was as soon as a family-friendly property has been changed into a hardcore efficiency construct with angle to spare; this modified Mini Clubman R55 Laurel Sport Version is a significantly particular machine.
Characteristic from Efficiency Mini journal. Photographs: @prickly.media
Each Mini has a job to play, every one has a goal and every one has its personal military of devoted followers. Take the Mini Clubman, for instance, and the quirky R55 specifically. Longer, with extra rear legroom, an even bigger boot and that funky rear passenger door, it was a contemporary tackle the basic Mini property (as soon as known as the Traveller, or funnily sufficient, the Countryman), one which provided better practicality for many who didn’t wish to ditch Mini however wanted just a little extra room.
It was this added family-friendly attraction that drew William Tisnes to his relatively particular modified Mini Clubman R55 for precisely these causes. It’s honest to say that his R55 is relatively much less pleasant and relatively extra ferocious as of late, although, but it surely hasn’t misplaced any of its added practicality within the means of being reworked right into a full-on efficiency construct.
Residing within the USA, William’s listing of earlier automobiles features a choice of precisely the kind of automobiles you’d assume an American automobile man would personal. Beginning along with his first automobile, a 1983 Chevy Monte Carlo, there was additionally a 1993 Mustang 5.0 drag/road automobile, and a 1995 Ford Ranger Splash pickup truck present construct. To this point, so yeeha, however Minis, have been on his radar for a while now.
“I’ve been eager about Minis since 1996 when my former boss went to the UK for a trip and introduced again a Mini journal which I nonetheless need to at the present time. Again then, solely the Austin Minis have been obtainable and to get one imported into the States was very troublesome. Quick ahead to 2015, and my neighbour, who had beforehand owned a modified R53, reignited my curiosity to start my seek for an R physique,” he explains.
So the search was on, and it led William to this Mini R55 Clubman Cooper S Laurel Sport Version by way of a Tampa, Florida used automobile dealership. “I used to be searching for a Mini the entire household might slot in. I had no clue what I had simply purchased and what I had in my hand till I did some analysis and realised how particular it was. The automobile appeared good, and I knew I might make it nicer,” he grins.
At this level, we have to clarify simply what makes this explicit Clubman so particular. Launched in 2010, the limited-edition Laurel Sport fashions have been unique to the US market and so they actually have been unique.
Every supplier acquired one every of the three obtainable physique kinds (R55, R56 and R57) and simply 100 automobiles per mannequin have been produced in whole. All Laurel Sports activities have been completed in Pepper white with distinctive stripes and featured black 17s, the JCW Aero Equipment, and black particulars. With simply 100 R55s produced, the possibilities of discovering a used Laurel Sport Clubman have been very slim, so William undoubtedly bought fortunate along with his buy.
However the story most undoubtedly doesn’t finish there as a result of, as William himself has already mentioned and as you may plainly see, this Clubman R55 is now much more particular than when it first emerged from the Mini dealership some 12 years in the past. Household-friendly and sensible it could be, and that will have been the draw, however with a historical past of modifying, this Clubman was not going to be staying inventory for very lengthy in any respect whereas underneath William’s possession.
Issues started with some aesthetic enhancement – the R55 appears good in Laurel Sport trim however not fairly ok if you happen to’re eager on modified automobiles, and there’s all the time room for enchancment. For William that started with just a little little bit of reducing, which is taken care of by a set of Eibach springs and which will get this Clubman sitting completely and delete all of that nasty inventory arch hole.
Along with his purpose being to get the automobile arrange for the observe, along with that, he has added a set of uprated Eibach anti-roll bars entrance and rear to dial out undesirable physique roll, whereas an AEM strut tower brace helps to maintain issues good and stiff, and all which means this Clubman extraordinarily succesful relating to having enjoyable on observe.
In case you decrease your automobile then you must be sure you’ve bought the fitting wheels to go along with that drop, and the inventory 17s that the Laurel Sport got here with simply weren’t going to chop it for William. “I thought of BBS LMs at first, however after seeing the Avid1 AV6s on one other Mini, I believed they appeared nice and have been light-weight too, so I went for them,” he smiles, and so they have been an impressed alternative.
Wanting just like the legendary Volk TE37s, the bronze Avid 17s, wrapped in super-sticky and track-friendly Federal 595 RS-R rubber, are good on the Pepper white Clubman. The aggressive fitment sees them poking only a contact previous the arches for a stocky aggressive stance, whereas the crimson spoke particulars tie in completely with the crimson Laurel Version components within the stripes and aspect repeater trims.
Additionally they match the crimson towing strap that William has added to the entrance bumper, and the styling is additional enhanced by the addition of a number of components that William has chosen, impressed by the Mini Problem automobiles. These embrace a customized carbon entrance splitter that endows this Mini with an additional serving to of aggression, and that’s additional aided by the Mk3 Ford Focus bonnet vents which have been added.
At this stage, William had put collectively a really smart-looking Mini, and it was completely one he could possibly be happy with, however the floor of this construct had solely simply been scratched, and now issues have been about to get severe. “What was going to be a easy ported and polished head and upgraded turbo turned out to be a full engine rebuild,” he explains.
“After getting again the top from the machine store, I started to place the motor collectively, however, when torquing down the top, the worst doable factor occurred,” William grimaces. “The top bolt snapped 2” beneath the block peak. I needed to take away the entire engine and take it to the machine store to get the bolt eliminated. Nonetheless, the machine store couldn’t take away the top bolt from the block, in order that led me to purchase a rebuilt brief block overbored by .50. The motor was fitted with an all-new timing chain and ARP head studs for energy,” he says.
That was definitely a nightmare state of affairs that nobody would ever wish to discover themselves in, however as properly know, if one thing breaks, that simply provides us an excuse to enhance issues whereas we’re fixing them. The N14 underneath the bonnet of this Clubman now boasts a customized 51mm K04 turbo from Turbo Lab of America together with a Turbosmart blow-off valve and a customized Ok&N air consumption. There’s additionally a customized exhaust with fats, flame-burnt ideas, a Helix uprated intercooler, twin catch cans and a Manic Stage 3 tune by Lou at Prototype-R.
The results of all these upgrades is a hefty 298hp together with 334lb ft of torque, which make this into one speedy modified Mini Clubman R55. To assist put all that energy to the tarmac, William has fitted a JCW LSD transmission, together with a Spec Stage 3 six-puck clutch, and it’s his favorite modification on the entire automobile. “It fully modified the best way the automobile drives,” he enthuses, and, as they are saying, energy is nothing with out management.
Lastly, we come to the inside, and with William’s enthusiasm for observe days having already steered sure areas of the construct, it’s no shock to study what course he’s taken the cabin in. “I’ve all the time appreciated the R56 JCW GP inside with race-inspired components,” he says, and so his R55 undoubtedly has the air of a road-going racer about it.
Taking delight of place are the Bride racing buckets, and you then’ve bought the customized suede headlining and suede sprint, which mix to provide this inside that racing really feel. There’s a significantly horny suede-rimmed steering wheel with crimson stitching and a crimson centre stripe, and that is complemented by the customized black leather-based sprint and door panel coverings which are completed with crimson stitching. The ending touches are the customized triple A-pillar gauge pod and the JCW speedo and rev counter overlays in kph.
William has constructed himself an extremely spectacular and complete Mini, and his Clubman actually is a drive to be reckoned with.
That is such an entire construct. It actually delivers by way of energy, type, and driving pleasure, whereas nonetheless remaining a sensible prospect for these days when William desires to convey the household alongside for the experience. And whereas some house owners would wish to preserve a limited-edition Mini inventory, we like the truth that, for William, it was all the time about making it the very best automobile it could possibly be. The Clubman won’t be for everybody, however this modified Mini Clubman R55 is so good it’s sufficient to make you need youngsters simply so you could have an excuse to purchase one.
Tech Spec: Modified Mini Clubman R55
1.6-litre turbocharged N14, block overbored by .05, customized 51mm K04 turbo from Turbo Lab of America, Turbosmart dual-port BOV, customized Ok&N air consumption from DOS Design, Forge intercooler hoses, Helix intercooler, twin catch cans, NGK spark plugs, full customized exhaust with flame-burnt ideas from CM Efficiency Exhaust, Manic Stage 3 tune by Lou at Prototype-R
Energy & Torque:
298hp and 334lb ft
Six-speed guide JCW LSD gearbox, Spec Stage 3 six-puck clutch
Eibach springs, 26mm (entrance) and 20mm (rear) Eibach anti-roll bars, AEM strut brace
Wilwood six-piston huge brake equipment (entrance), slotted discs all-around, EBC race pads, HEL chrome steel brake strains
Wheels & Tyres:
8×17” ET35 Avid1 AV6 bronze wheels with 235/40 Federal 595
Customized black suede headlining and black suede sprint, customized three-pod A-pillar trim, Bride Zieg Lowmax racing bucket seats, JCW speedo and tach overlays in kph, customized black leather-based sprint and door panel coverings with crimson stitching, suede-wrapped steering wheel
Pepper white, Laurel Sport Version stripes, customized carbon entrance splitter by @carbonfiber_fabrication, Mk3 Ford Focus bonnet vents