Can we actually trust the performance figures given by the manufacturer? Many brands use the same engine in a variety of cars but with different power outputs. Not only is this cheaper, but it’s much more efficient to alter the power of an engine, rather than make a whole new one for a specific car. MINI and BMW owners have asked this question with the battle-proven B48 engine.
THE POWERHOUSE – BMW B48 ENGINE
The B48 is a turbocharged in-line four cylinder petrol engine that’s used in numerous vehicles across the BMW and MINI range. This popular power-train starts at around 180 hp and increases up to 306 horsepower (as found in the BMW M135i, the X2 M35i, MINI John Cooper Works Countryman and the John Cooper Works Clubman).
With such a varied scope of power outputs, we’re bound to see some slightly under/overpowered cars in this range. To find out, I took my very own completely stock F56 MINI Cooper S 3-door hatchback to AMD Tuning to make use of their rolling road.
MINI state the Cooper S engine line produces 192 horsepower and 280Nm of torque, however, over the last few years many owners of the Cooper S (and other B48-engined cars) have claimed that they’ve felt their car is producing something different to what the manufacturer states.
The rolling road consisted of three test runs and analysed a variety of statistics, ratios and temperatures, but let’s be honest, I was only interested in seeing what power the MINI was really making.
I had an inkling that my car was producing a tad more power than it should be. As a motoring journalist, I’ve driven quite a few hot-hatchbacks and I didn’t for once feel that the MINI was under-powered (compared to rivals with 200+ hp). So the results were surprising, yet sort of expected.
As you can see, the Cooper S produced 206.6 hp and close to 296Nm of torque – almost 15 horses and 16 torques over what the manufacturer told me when I put the deposit down. The three tests were fairly consistent and the car was running on cheaper Ron 95 unleaded petrol, had it been filled with a supreme unleaded, the results might have been close to 210 horsepower and 300Nm of torque.
So there you have it, your car could be making more (or less) power than what you expect.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS
A massive thanks to AMD Tuning for use of their rolling road, a laminated results sheet and an AMD car sticker: