Porsche To MINI: Thanks But No Thanks

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

It appears that MINI’s challenge to Porsche won’t play out at the racetrack. The following letter [via MotorAuthority] is Porsche USA’s Detlev Von Platen’s response to MINI’s Jim McDowell.

Dear Jim,

Imagine our surprise to discover our former employee, now the head of Mini, has challenged us to a head-to-head race. As you surely know, Porsche has a long history of racing success, with more than 28,000 wins over the last 60 years. In our early days, we pitted ourselves against the giants, so we’ve been in your shoes.

But as you also know, Porsche doesn’t race for fame, stunts or publicity. We race to challenge ourselves; we race to push sports car technology; we race to translate every win on the track to our cars on the road. If you need a reminder of our intent, please take a look at this short video: http://tinyurl.com/37xdjqx

While your challenge seems like a fun and lighthearted campaign, we’ll stick to racing the way we have over the decades. We welcome you at Sebring, Le Mans, Daytona or any other sanctioned race where there is more at stake than T-shirts and valet parking spaces. We also invite you to any of the thousands of tracks around the world where Porsche owners compete each weekend.

Good luck with your race at Road Atlanta on June 21; we hope you enjoy the day.


Detlev Von Platen
President and CEO, Porsche Cars North America

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Tony Tony on Jun 10, 2010

    As an owner of a 996 Carrera that I track I couldn't agree more with cretinx. I have yet to be passed by a mini, although I have been passed by a few Miata's!!!

  • Jaje Jaje on Jun 11, 2010

    Is it true that the race Mini wanted to do against Porsche was simply an autox with cones in the parking lot at Road America (and not actually race on the track - where it would get its ass kicked).

  • Kenwood Kenwood on Jun 11, 2010

    This was a trap. The race wasn't going to take place on the actual road course, but rather some Mini-designed autocross. It's like those comical comparisons in minivan ads or Ford Fiesta ads. "The new Megabox XXLS comfortably seats a team of 9 headed for soccer practice. How many people can you fit in your 911, or rather, how many 911s do you need to haul 9 soccer players and their gear?" Ha-ha. Miatas can whup Corvettes under some conditions and I imagine that given the right course, a Mini could beat a 911. The Ford spot compared the turning radius of a Lamborghini to the Fiesta, yeah, it's true and it's cute, but if Ford publicly threw down down a gauntlet at Lambo, do you really think Lambo would show up and say, "It's ON!" The "race" was probably engineered to exploit whatever advantages the Mini has over a 911 so that Mini owners could have a chuckle at Porsche's expense. Even if Porsche would win, it'd be viewed as a gorilla beating up a Chihuahua. Porsche did the right thing and handled it pretty well.

  • Morea Morea on Jun 11, 2010

    This weekend is the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In the GT2 catagory there will be six Porsche 911 GT3 RSRs and two BMW M3 GT2s. (BMW of course owns MINI.) May the best marque win on a level playing field! There will also be two Chevrolet Corvette C6 ZR1s and five Ferrari F430 GTs, as well as a Jaguar, an Aston Martin, and a Spyker. A veritable sport car racing ethusiast's paradise!

    • Morea Morea on Jun 13, 2010

      So now we have our answer. At the 2010 24hrs of LeMans the GT2 finishers were 1 Porsche, 2 Ferrari, 3 Porsche, 4 Ferrari, 5 Porsche, 6 BMW, 7 Porsche, 8 Porsche, 9 Spyker. (Neither Corvette finished, neither did the Jag nor the Aston Martin.)