One of the MINI’s biggest challenges is the heat produced by the Eaton M45 supercharger. This is a relatively inefficient supercharger design, that has the double whammy of both heating up air as a natural byproduct of compressing it, and creating additional heat of friction by literally beating the air as it spins.
It’s the job of the intercooler to remove as much of this heat as possible before the air enters the intake manifold, is mixed with fuel, and enters the engine. Unfortunately, space and engineering limitations resulted in a fairly small intercooler perched right on top of the supercharger and intake manifold… where it’s subjected to radiant heat every time the car stops moving and air stops flowing in through the grille and hood scoop. This results in “heat soak” - where the intercooler is effectively saturated with heat and unable to cool the supercharged air flowing through it. Much testing of top-mount MINI intercoolers has been done by others and, while aftermarket ICs are available, the stock IC is a pretty good compromise of cooling efficiency and rapid recovery from heat soak once you start moving again.