MINI threw down a challenge to Porsche to race at the Atlanta Track. Porsche declined. MINI milked it. And then blew it.
So MINI threw down a challenge to Porsche. “Come Race us” they said. “No thanks”, said Porsche. Cue lots of ribbing by MINI’s US boss Jim McDowell - a former Porsche employee, no less – who didn’t back down when the Stuttgart boys declined to play. He milked it for all it was worth – all over FaceSpace like a big kid. But big publicity for free, no question.
Then Hyundai stepped up and said “We’re up for it”. But MINI ignored them. Instead they went off and decided that they’d stage the MINI vs Porsche race anyway. At the Road Atlanta Track, no less – a proper, grown-up place to play with cars.
And then MINI revealed the plan. Instead of going head to head with the Porsche and inevitably losing, taking it on the chin and saying “Look how close we came. For $75k less.”, they screwed the challenge completely. Instead of racing the track they put together what looks like a rally cross event in a car park (picture above).
The hope was obviously that the MINI is nimbler; lighter; fleeter of foot in an enclosed space. A stacked deck. And then they really blew it. They lost. The Porsche won.
And all that great PR MINI has done lately is forgotten. And although MINI will try to spin this as a great stunt, it’s not. It’s a PR mess.
MINI vs Porsche Road Atlanta Video