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The Vauxhall engine is perhaps the most popular alternative to the A series engine. There are many Vauxhall engines that will fit with the right modifications including a 2,000cc 16v fuel-injected version from the Astra GTE!

Power - The Vauxhall engine certainly offers huge power increases over the A series and significantly more (potentially) than the VTEC due to the increased capacity.

Cost - The Vauxhall engines are generally cheap and readily available as the donor vehicles are so common. Parts are also cheap and available from motor factors.

Reliability - The Vauxhall engines are generally reliable and appear to be a popular engine for tuning and implanting in other cars. 

Weight Distribution - The Vauxhall engine has a cast iron block and ally head so the overall weight is significantly greater than the Honda VTEC. Due to this increased weight, and the position it has to take in the Mini engine bay, the handling of the Mini may be affected. The gearbox is quite wide and it seems that the engine has to be placed to the driver's side of the car.

Experience - The Vauxhall conversion has been in favour for a number of years now and the companies developing the kits have had a great deal of experience. I imagine many problems will have been ironed out by now and any remaining will be trivial. There are many happy users of these conversions (I even have testimonials on the AMT page) and they are used successfully in all areas of competition including stage rallying and hill-climbing.

The following companies supply parts and kits for Vauxhall 16v conversions:

Allspeed Engineering