Recycled Hawtness: Yamaha's R1 Sexes Up a Vintage Mini

Yamaha’s R1 is a the company’s flagship sport-bike, carrying the brand’s colors in World SuperBike competition and winning several races and championships since the bike’s introduction in 1998. The original Austin Mini, after a vigorous massage at the hands of John Cooper, was a world-beater in its own right, winning the 1964 Monte Carlo rally against bigger, better-funded teams that could hardly match the brilliance of Issigonis’ innovative suspension and the Cooper’s outstanding power-to-weight ratio.

Old Made New Made Green Again

What might happen, then, when of the original (actually mini) Minis meets a Yamaha R1 in a dimly lit bar after a night of drinking, dancing, and flirty talk of a “re-use, re-new, re-cycle” nature?

This would happen: a screaming Yamaha R1 engine under the hood of one of history’s best handling small cars.

With about 300% more power than the original Mini was packing from the Austin factory, this re-purposed R1-engined beastie is sure to excite, and (making use, as it does, of pre-existing hardware) it’s less energy-intensive to reproduce than, say, a new Fiat 500 Abarth. Remember, that’s while very likely matching the Fiat’s MPG figures … and, even if it doesn’t, the combination of Yamaha’s best engine and England’s finest FWD chassis is sure to deliver more SMILES per gallon than the slower, heavier Fiat!

The car is a one-off, and its owner is currently offering it on eBay for a not-totally-unreasonable $33K. You can check it out on eBay, or just read the words of the car’s owner, below:

The car is the fastest FWD car I’ve ever been in. The butt pucker factor is HIGH once you get above 7000 rpms and it will stretch its legs all the way to 12,500rpm.

Sounds like a good time to me! How about you guys? Let us know what you think of this pint-sized pit-fighter in the comments, below.

Source: eBay, via Jalopnik.

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.