My Mini’s first dyno experience

My friend, Davrice of DRTuning, invited me to tag along with him to the dyno because we were curious about how much power my car was actually making. Little did I know that my mini’s first dyno experience was going to be a flop!

My car, Austin, is a red 2019 Mini JCW 3-door. On paper, this tiny 2930lb machine carries a 228hp turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine and builds 320nm of torque.

Davrice is big on tuning cars and had about four other cars to dyno on the same day so I thought it would be an interesting experience. There was a BMW 535i, a VW GTI 2.0L, two Suzuki Swift Sports and my Austin.

VW GTI dyno

The GTI was first up. They turned off the traction control and put the car in sport mode. He did two awesome pulls. His dyno results were on point; 217hp and 318lb-ft

BMW 535i dyno

The BMW was up next and it was more or less the same preparation as the GTI. They turned off the traction control and put it in sport mode and he also got two great pulls. His dyno results were also pretty impressive; 225hp and 324lb-ft  

Mini JCW dyno: Austin for the flop

My mini's first dyno experience

Now Austin was up. Strapped down and looking fine on the dyno. They calibrated the car on the dyno at 3000RPM, then it was time to floor it and Austin got fussy fast. First, the sensors started going haywire; brake system error, flat tyre monitor failure, drive-train error, open bonnet error, traction control turned off, error, error, error. We thought this was normal since the car has a bunch of sensors and was strapped down with only the front wheels spinning.

Then it happened. The gears started to go haywire too. Although the car was in manual sport mode, the transmission started to auto-shift, jumping up and down through the gears, losing power through every shift. You can clearly hear the power loss in the video!! I was not amused.

Nobody could pinpoint what the heck was happening. Apparently this was the first mini at the dyno. Rory took a go at it – I’m sure they thought I wasn’t doing it right but Austin wasn’t having it.

I almost concluded that maybe my car didn’t like the dyno but that was crap as other minis were happily running on dynos in youtube videos. So off I went to my next best friend GOOGLE (PINTEREST is no 1), to figure out how to dyno Austin since it obviously wasn’t as straightforward as the others.

I will live to dyno another day

I found the plug. DYNO MODE. Well DUH!! BMW had to go and make it complicated for Mini. Most of the mini dyno vids didn’t show how to put it in dyno mode except one. Thanks Adam.

So my mini’s first dyno experience was a total flop, but we don’t take L’s so we will be visiting the dyno again to get that chart.

I will update you on how I activated dyno mode on the mini (frikkin complicated process) and keep you posted on my next dyno visit. Will do a separate post on the swift sport and their mods (good peoples).

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Until next time. Happy revving!!


  1. Austin will redeem himself on the next dyno visit, Red King should make a feature also.

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