BMW (in the guise of the original Mini) have issued a press release congratulating Porsche on the 50th birthday of the 911, whilst reminding us that the Mini will be 54 on 26 August this year.

They draw parallels with the two cars by reminding us of the controversies both have faced. This line is quite pertinent: "Not that every modification enjoyed universal praise – take the switch from air cooling to water cooling at Porsche or the extra focus on comfort and luxury of the first MINI built by BMW"

Also: "The two companies (BMW and Porsche) have also demonstrated an open mind to adding new models to their ranges – and a successful approach to executing those plans. In many respects, the Panamera and Cayenne broke through similarly symbolic boundaries as the Countryman and Paceman."

BMW also makes a rather convoluted royal connection by pointing out that the Queen was chauffeured around the grounds of Windsor Castle by Alex Issigonis himself in a Mini in 1960, whilst Steve McQueen drove a 911 in the film Le Mans. McQueen - geddit?

More pics here