2014 Mini Countryman 1.6-Liter Turbo

Dissatisfied with the amount of info Mini Cooper displays stock, Tim Hellman wanted more. “They don’t really have a lot of information displayed for the driver,” says Tim with dismay. “I mean, there’s no oil pressure, coolant temperature… you basically get speed, RPM, outside air temperature, and a light that comes on if it overheats. No warnings and nothing else. I tried finding mechanical gauges for what I wanted, but the pod setup I have is too shallow and they just wouldn’t fit.”

After looking through the electronic offerings in the marketplace and not being happy with the displays or what data they displayed, he caught sight of the Banks iDash 1.8. Tim was sold on the new gauge but was unsure if it worked on the small-displacement gasoline engine that powers the Mini. “I knew Banks as being ‘diesel, diesel, diesel,’ so I was surprised when I called in to ask about it if it was compatible with the car and got the response that it did!” Tim was even more surprised at what the iDash could display.

Tim’s Mini currently has minor bolt-ons upgrades: intake and exhaust, a performance intercooler and a tune. Future aspiration would be an available kit that would put the car in at the 400 hp level, but the price for that kit runs close to 10K, so he says until he wins the lottery, he’s setting his sights on an upgraded turbo and coilovers with other suspension mods. “The car already handles like a go-kart, but it’s going to be awesome with the new suspension.” When it’s all done and dialed in Tim wants to take his Mini-Monster out to the “Dragon’s Tail” in North Carolina. For those not in the know, it’s an 11-mile stretch of US129 and consists of 318 turns, making this stretch of road one of the most exciting drives in America.

Be sure to send pics, Tim!