1989 MINI ERA
26,000 miles from new, original panel, low ownership, concourse condition.
The E.R.A. Mini Turbo was conceived as a 1980s replacement for the Mini Cooper S by installing a Metro turbo engine into a modified Mini City bodyshell. The first cars were made in 1989.
E.R.A set out to engineer a car to the highest standards but using as many tried and tested Austin Rover components as possible so it should be easily and readily serviced by any Austin Rover dealer. The car was styled so as to be instantly recognisable as a Mini, and yet to be distinctive. It was to be the fastest ever production Mini, but avoided using an intractable high revving competition engine keeping excellent torque and mid range performance to cope with modern traffic conditions.
The body modifications and spoilers were styled by Dennis Adams, the designer of the Marcos sports cars and the Probe concept car. The body kit is properly tooled to provide a good fit on the Mini shell and be of considerable strength. The interior is almost totally changed. Specially retrimmed MG metro front seats have been installed, giving excellent support and comfort.
The car has a full range of VDO traditional dial instrumentation on an entirely new instrument panel. A sunroof lightens the interior and the car is trimmed in a careful combination of Connolly hide, cloth, ambla and deep sound deadening carpet.
The power for the E.R.A Mini comes from the well tried Austin Rover A-Series 1300 Metro turbo engine which gives 94 bhp (70 kW) at 6200 rpm. Installation of the Metro turbo unit in a Mini involved modification of the body shell and the water and oil cooling systems ensure that the power unit and transmission remain adequately cool even in high ambient temperatures.
Suspension modification was planned using computer simulation and then tried out in practice at racing speeds on high speed test tracks and at Castle Combe race track. Specially made lower front suspension arms provide 1.5 degrees of negative camber which, combined with increased front wheel toe-out, minimises torque steer; a common problem with powerful front wheel drive cars. New adjustable damper units and bump stops are fitted all round and the car is lowered.
The car is fitted with Metro ventilated front discs and four pot callipers along with modified drum rear brakes. A servo system ensures acceptably light pedal pressures.
All alloy, one piece, 6” x 13” wheels are used all round with either Goodyear or Dunlop 165:13:60 section, low profile tyres HR rated. The wheels have been fully impact and fatigue tested and each wheel is fitted with a disc type knave plate and tamper proof lock.