• Jul 19th 2011 at 11:06AM
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Few tuning houses are as quintessentially Italian as Romeo Ferraris. Just say the name out loud and you'll want a glass of Chianti to go with your Risotto. Most of the garage's products have been Italian – Fiat 500s mostly – but there have been a few foreigners in the mix as well, including the Chevrolet Corvette, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG and Land Rover Defender. And this is their latest.

Created, somewhat ironically, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Italian confederation, Romeo Ferraris started out with the Mini Countryman Cooper S and tricked it out from there. The 1.6-liter turbo four was chipped and fitted with new breathing apparati and intercooler to bring output up from 184 horsepower to a more prodigious 227 ponies and 242 lb-ft.

To go with the power upgrade, RF has fitted an adjustable suspension, Brembo brakes and 19-inch two-tone multi-spoked alloys with low-profile Yokohama rubber. The trick matte blue paint contrasts nicely with the chrome stripes and the brushed-finish brightware and blacked-out grille, while the interior has been decked out in white leather with blue piping and Italian flag stripes.

A little over the top, maybe – particularly with all the sponsor logos – but to quote our old friend Rick James, "It's a celebration... enjoy yourselves!"

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