I'm not sure what you mean... blocks don't generally have HP ratings. Do you mean the HP of the stock engine or the (hopped-up) HP where things start to go south? If you mean the latter, I don't think anyone can accurately say what it is - any engine can be pushed beyond it's limits, but it can also be held together with more mods - forged aluminum rods, better pistons, billet crank, oil system, etc. It all depends on how far (as in $$$ and time) you are willing to go to keep things together.
It's an unoffical way some people refer to how strong a block is. For instance, the old Mustang 5.0 blocks tend to split in half around the 500hp mark. Some crack with much less, some let go at higher hp numbers. Some aftermarket block manufactures make claims on how much hp their blocks can take as well, but it's usually just for reference and is dependant on how well the rest of it is put together.
Generally speaking, nobody on the street uses aluminum connecting rods or billet cranks - I'm not sure if anyone even makes a billet crank (I've never heard of one). Forged steel con rods and either a nodular or forged steel crank is standard fare. Aluminum connecting rods have a very limited life cycle - they're strictly a race piece in big $$$ engines and get replaced on a very regular basis.
I don't think anyone really knows what the limit is on the block of a MINI yet. I think there will be more people pushing the limits after their warranties run out and affordable programming software becomes available to the general public. FWIW, the S has forged pistons, connecting rods and crank (along with piston coolers).
I believe if you re-read my post, I never said anything about street vs. racing. I simply said that any motor can be pushed harder with the appropriate mods. For just about every problem encountered in hopping up an engine, there is a solution - your job is to figure out what the appropriate solution is and how much $ and/or time you want to spend.
You haven't been doing the hot-rod thing very long, have you? Billet cranks are easy to have made, as well as aluminum rods - I've done both for a one-off motor that didn't have any aftermarket stuff available. The crank and rods weren't all that expensive either - a grand for the crank and $500 for a set of rods. You just have to know where to go...
BTW, since this "block rating" is unofficial, who determines it? If it's the aftermarket manufacturers, then it's just advertising B.S. and totally useless. If it's based on someone elses experience, I wouldn't trust it very far either - how do you know how well they built the motor(s)?
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