Specter Vehicle Design introduces a radical restomod conversion of the classic Mini. The Canadians not only replace the engine, they also move it.
Specter? James Bond connoisseurs have everything in their heads, just not a Restomod conversion of the classic Mini. However, a company based in the Canadian metropolis of Vancouver has given itself exactly this name and is now, after two years of development, presenting its new project as part of the Monterey Car Week: A British classic car in small car format that has been optimized in every respect and which, thanks to the engine swap, has become a real " Pocket Rocket" should mutate.
In contrast to other mini-based restomod projects , Specter Vehicle Design does not bother with the complex tuning of the original engine. Or give the British kid an electric drive . No, the donor heart comes from Japan and is called Honda K20. In the noughties, the naturally aspirated engine was used in almost all of the manufacturer’s Type R and Type S models with particularly high-revving specifications.
Mid-engine and rear-wheel drive
The two-liter, four-cylinder takes the Mini to new levels of performance. The production car could only dream of 233 hp. Because the power would probably overwhelm the front wheels, Specter came up with a completely new drive layout: The engine moves between the passengers and the rear axle and, as a classic mid-engine, transmits its power to the rear wheels. It's a pity that the Canadians haven't mentioned any performance so far. In view of the curb weight of a good 770 kilograms and the associated power-to-weight ratio of 3.3 kilograms per hp, a lot should be possible in this regard.
Of course, the rest of the technology is adapted to the new strength. Although Specter has not yet gone into detail, it does tell us that the appropriate engine management system comes from Haltech and that the engine is housed in a reinforced subframe. A manual six-speed gearbox and a locking differential are responsible for the power transmission. The brake system works all around with discs and four-piston monoblock calipers. The Canadians tailor the three-piece ten-inch rims for their Restomod Mini; they wear 165/70 R10 Yokohama Advan tires.
Consistently puristic inside and out
Specter doesn't change the basic mini aesthetics of the Type 10. The most striking change is the air inlets in the rear side panels, which fan the much-needed fresh air for the mid-engine. Inside, the Restomod-Mini presents, among other things, a dashboard made entirely of wood, in which the instruments are positioned in the middle, and a roll bar. The Canadians' attention to detail is reflected in the particularly slim design of the carbon bucket seats, the lovingly designed engine cover and the precisely integrated panorama glass roof.It goes without saying that the internal and external appearance of the Type 10 can be extensively customized.
To prevent possible problems with the approval of the Type 10, Specter Vehicle Design initiates an unusual production and purchasing process. The donor vehicle is obtained in the country in which the customer would like to use it in the future. The Type 10 thus adopts both the chassis number and the registration of the base car. However, the team from Vancouver eliminated the mini-emblems and lettering.
This is not just for trademark reasons, but also for prestige reasons: Anyone who spends at least 180,000 US dollars (currently around 153,500 euros) on their car probably does not want to drive a Mini with the wrong engine, but a real Spectre. After all, it is limited to a maximum of ten copies and as such a rarity it is definitely a status symbol. And with it something that the original from 1959 never wanted to be.