Hello, Yellow, Happy Birthday: BMW Faint Praises Porsche

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
hello yellow happy birthday bmw faint praises porsche

Usually, automakers never mention the competition, especially when you are BMW and the competition is Porsche. Soon, the Porsche 911, according to BMW “the flag-bearer of the German sports car fraternity,” will celebrate its 50th birthday, and BMW has a special birthday greeting.

In an elaborate press drop, it compares the 911 not with equally sporty BMWs, but with the MINI. For that, a yellow Ur-MINI (historically correct in RHD version) and an equally yellow 2.4 L 911 Targa were put side-by-side, for a photo-shoot more elaborate than for many new car catalogs. Today, masses of pictures were sent out, along with a press release that waxes long and poetic of how similar the Mini and the 911 are, both on the road and on the track.

The press release, in the for BMW typical War&Peace-worthy length, can be found here. (BMW definitely does not seem to be worried about TL;NR).

This subliminal message (the MINI equals the mighty 911) is a gigantic put-down, dressed into polite praise. It’s a lost art, and I am glad BMW masters it.

Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,

And without sneering, teach the rest to sneer;

Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,

Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.

Alexander Pope (1688–1744)

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2 of 43 comments
  • Flybrian Flybrian on Jun 06, 2013

    *Insert photo of 5er GT here*

  • Mpresley Mpresley on Jun 07, 2013

    Harley Davidson motorcycles have more in common with Bowling Alleys than BMW to the original Mini. I remember riding in a Mini once, around 1974, going up a dirt road to a place in the Black Forest to drink. Sure... everyone would have preferred a Porsche, but how the hell are you going to fit four people in a 911? Hard enough in an original Mini.

  • Arthur Dailey So how much more unreliable is a 50 year old Italian made vehicle in comparison to a 5 year old Italian made vehicle? After 50 years wouldn't most of the parts and areas most prone to failure have been fixed, replaced and/or addressed?Asking for a friend? ;-)
  • Pig_Iron This is happy news for everyone in the industry. 🙂
  • Dukeisduke Globally-speaking, in August, BYD was the fourth best-selling brand name. They pushed Ford (which had been fourth) to sixth, behind Hyundai.
  • 2ACL Some of the reported issues sound expensive for all but the most committed wrenchers. Scant documentation on some of the previous work is also a minus. I wouldn't mind something like this, but whereas the seller is trying to make room, I don't have any for something this intensive.
  • Merc190 Any Alfa has a unique character built in, so there's that, once you get it running properly, until it doesn't...