Motorcycle engines in tiny cars, it's something we’ve seen and talked about on multiple occasions. And while the Suzuki Hayabusa’s legendary 1,300cc four-banger is, and always will be, the most popular choice for moto-to-auto engine swaps, there are quite a few others that will leave you scratching your head with your jaw on the floor.

A good example of this comes to us from France and takes the form of an Austin Mini. But not just any Mini. This one’s got a frickin’ BMW R 18 engine inside of it. And so it’s fitting that it’s been given the name “Mini R18.”

Did Someone Just Stuff A BMW R 18 Engine Into An Austin Mini?

Even more interestingly, this project wasn’t made by some genius mad scientist in an obscure shed, but rather, by a legit BMW dealership by the name of BMW BymyCAR Motoroad from Île-de-France.

Judging from the images alone, it’s clear to see that hundreds if not thousands of hours went into this project. The R 18 engine looks absolutely crazy sitting at the front of the diminutive hatchback. Suffice it to say that the fabrication work that went into this thing is pure genius.

There’s an extremely detailed account of the entire build progress of this machine in BMW-Motoroad’s vlog, so if you have some free time, be sure to check it out.

Did Someone Just Stuff A BMW R 18 Engine Into An Austin Mini?
Did Someone Just Stuff A BMW R 18 Engine Into An Austin Mini?

But to cut a super long story short, a rear axle from a BMW 3 Series had to be grafted into the car’s rear section to accommodate a drive shaft. A whole ton of hardware also had to be custom-made for the thing to get running. So yes, this is a 1,802cc, boxer engine-powered, rear-wheel-drive Austin Mini. How crazy is that?

Now, perhaps some of you are thinking that a BMW R 18 engine swap isn’t all that great in terms of performance. And to a certain extent, you’d be right. Despite its gargantuan proportions, it only dishes out 91 horsepower. It does, however, make up for it with 116 pound-feet of torque. Nevertheless, this crazy Mini R18 build isn’t all about performance. If it were, then the ever-popular Hayabusa engine swap would’ve been more logical, and not to mention, way easier.


What the Mini R18 is, is an exercise in human creativity and ingenuity. A showcase of just how crazy the intersection between the car and motorcycle worlds can be. It goes without saying that a car like this will deliver a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

Would you take this wild Mini R18 for a spin? I know I would without even thinking twice.

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