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Table of Contents

  1. What is a Hybrid Mini ... ?
  2. Why bother ... ?
  3. What engines can I fit in a Mini ... ?
  4. Which is better, Honda or Vauxhall ... ?
  5. What about other engines ... ?
  6. What body modifications do I need to make ... ?
  7. Can I fit a hybrid engine in a round front ... ?
  8. What is a flip-front and how do I fit one ... ?
  9. There's not much info on this FAQ  - what gives ... ?


What is a Hybrid Mini ... ?

A hybrid Mini is any Mini with any engine other than the standard A series engine. This may include A series engines from other cars such as the MG Metro and MG Metro Turbo.

Typical examples of Hybrid Minis are ones with VTEC (for example, from a Honda CRX) engines.

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Why bother ... ?

The A series is a great engine. It's reliable, cheap, easy to maintain and tune.

Unfortunately, it leaks oil and it's very old and under-powered when compared with modern engines. Tuning the A series engine can be very rewarding if you're sensible and don't expect too much. Anything around 90 BHP and under if done correctly, will give you a pretty quick car that can still be reliable. Anything above and then reliability starts becoming a real problem. Drive-ability also starts to suffer and the expense can be prohibitive. 

If you want high power output with reliability and not too much expense a modern engine may be the answer. A typical Honda 1600cc VTEC will give an easy 160 BHP in standard form and give you such advantages as the VTEC system. They can last 150,000 miles before any serious overhaul is needed and parts availability is excellent. Tuning is also easy with many modern engines requiring just an engine management modification such as a new chip.

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What engines can I fit in a Mini ... ?

Any. The real question should be how easy is it to fit a non-standard engine into a Mini. It all depends on the engine you want to fit, how good you are mechanically, your ingenuity etc. Some engines are much easier than others as there are kits available.

The most common alternative engine is a Vauxhall typically from an Astra or Belmont. 

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Which is better, Honda or Vauxhall ... ?

Depends on your needs and budget. Check out the comparisons page on the Hybrid Mini website. Click here.

Basically, the Honda offers the advantage of the VTEC system which allows you to drive the car as a normal saloon car and as a near-race car when you need to. This may make the VTEC-powered Mini a bit more drivable day-to-day with better fuel economy. 

The Vauxhall offers more potential power and is definitely the cheaper option. Parts availability and cost are probably better than the Honda. 

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What about other engines ... ?

Other engines to investigate are listed on the Hybrid Mini website. Click here

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What body modifications do I need to make ... ?

Depends on the engine and the type of Mini. The typical Honda and Vauxhall engines can be fitted into a Clubman Mini with few modifications. 

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Can I fit a hybrid engine in a round front ... ?

This is perhaps the most-asked question. It's certainly possible but so far, no-one's managed it without lengthening the front end. 

That's not to say it can't be done, and at the current time of writing, AMT's frame is reportedly able to fit a Honda 1600cc VTEC engine in a standard round front.

If you insist on using a round front, you will probably have to fit a flip-front (glass fibre, carbon fibre or even metal). Check elsewhere on this FAQ for information about flip-fronts.

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What is a flip-front and how do I fit one ... ?

A flip-front is a replacement for a Mini's front end. It usually replaces the front wings, front panel and bonnet/hood. It may also replace the A panels depending on the type.

Flip fronts are available in metal, glass fibre and carbon fibre. They may be lengthened and be one-piece or two-piece (separate bonnet/hood). For a comparison of the different types and how to fit a flip-front, go to the Bodywork section on the Hybrid Mini web site. 

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There's not much info in this FAQ, what gives ... ?

The FAQ is a new feature and as such is only as good as the current info I have. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please email me at

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Darrin Addams.
Copyright 2001  [Phykell Design]. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 04, 2001 .