In the year 2000 Rover and BMW worked together on the "new" MINI but that corporation was short. BMW wanted to build a small but sporty car, where Rover wanted to build the "new classic". So BMW went along and came out with the first “new” MINI.
In 2001 the mini R50 Cooper and the R50 One were introduced to the public and it became one of the most successful hatchbacks in that time. Later that year the R53 cooper S was introduced and people started straight away racing it. This had still everything to do with the Rover MINI's racing heritage.
The R50, R53 and the R53 were picked up all around the world to start racing them. They were like go karts. In 2006 MINI introduced a complete new arsenal of new models, convertibles, station, hatchbacks, coupe’s, SUV’s and roadsters. They were called the R55, R56, R57, R58 and the R59, R60 and R61.
Here at AST we stayed away from the SUV’s but we focused on the hatches that people were racing. We started Racing back in 2002 with the MINI’s and it started off in the UK. MINI challenge in the UK grew out to be one of the most successful spec racing series in the UK where AST suspension supplied the 5100 as the specs damper for that championship. As a result of success, we continued supplying race teams and amateur racers with suspension kits for their newer MINI R56, R55 and other models.
When the latest model, F56 mini came out, we jumped onto that platform and developed one of the first coilover kits for that car. We have been in MINI racing for over 18 years and we know what to do with hot hatches like the F56 and the F56 JCW. The F56 kit we have developed can be ordered as a true coilover rear system (spring over damper) or as a non coilover rear system (Spring in OE position). All our kits, 5100, 5200 and 5300, are made to order and therefor custom made! We valve them custom for the customer together with the correct spring rates.