Don’t let the slightly confusing marketing message trouble you; just enjoy these beautiful images of two absolute motoring icons side by side – the Porsche 911 and the classic Mini.
We all know that it’s 50 years of the Porsche 911 this year, with the original car first launched in 1963. They had to change the name-number back then as Peugeot already had dips on the 901 moniker that Porsche first wanted for their curvy new couple. But, still, it’s done okay with its 911 badge on the back of several reincarnations, over 50 years, of that now iconic, slippery shape. And BMW – that now owns the Mini (and MINI) brand – is celebrating with their compatriot in these here pics of two similarly-hued, 1960s sweethearts.
Which is your motoring icon of choice from the two in front of you? Both have won the hearts of many – although the Mini is far more for-the-masses than the 911 ever was, and is – and both look great in their more racy editions, especially the Mini in its off-road rallying guise, and the 911 in a hunkered-down circuit set-up. At nearly 6-and-a-half-feet tall, I’d be pretty small-car-crunched in either of these little classics – were people really that small back then? – but I reckon I’d get a bit more wriggle room in the 911, and it’s surely faster than the Mini in standard trim. So I’ll take the 911 home with me, thank you. The 911 has gone on to sell over 800,000 units since; the Mini and MINI simply millions. So, which is better? There’s only one way to find out. Race!
In 2010, the two icons went head-to-head when Jim McDowell, then MINI’s top man in the USA, challenged Porsche to a race at the Road Atlanta circuit. The somewhat unfair-sounding match up would pit a 184bhp MINI Cooper S against a 345bhp Porsche 911 Carrera, but to make things a little fairer, they would race on the tighter infield track which should favour the lighter and more nimble MINI.
But, the dream of the cute MINI underdog beating the big, mean Porker wasn’t to come true, with the 911 taking the top honours by some two seconds. So, the bigger, more powerful and much more expensive car won. Isn’t that just like life!
By Dan Anslow