Were the MINI Cooper S vs. Ford Fiesta ST drag race results on Top Gear accurate? Of course they were: it’s a real race, it happened in reality, it’s on video. They were also a foregone conclusion because of one key oversight. Had they used the MINI Cooper 3 door instead of the 5 door model – like they did for the Ford – the fight would have been a fairer comparison.
Three-Door vs. Five-Door?!?
On paper, you can already tell who’s going to win. The MINI Cooper S 5 door model accelerates from 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds. The Ford Fiesta ST accelerates in 6.7 seconds. It has slightly more horsepower (although translating into less torque) and it weighs just a touch less.
This is because the Ford Fiesta ST that was raced is a three-door. The MINI Cooper that it squared off against was a five-door. There’s a version of the Fiesta that’s a 5 door model – why not use that? Or use the MINI Cooper 3 door.
Viewers Deserve More
Truth be told, either of the 3 door models is going to perform better than the 5 door ones. Perhaps it was an oversight by the Top Gear crew to run unlike cars against each other. Perhaps those were just the cars they could get hold of that day. It’s certainly understandable, but it leaves open the question which car would really win in an even drag race of like models.
A few reviewers have found the MINI Cooper 3 door has the same acceleration as the Ford Fiesta ST, so not only would that race be fairer, it would also be more exciting. The viewers deserve at least that much. A 3-door beating a 5-door in like models isn’t really a mindblowing occurrence. It doesn’t show anything, and the whole point of a comparison like that is to show some kind of real result.
What Would a Rematch Look Like?
The two 3-door models should see their day at the dragstrip. The 3-door MINI Cooper S outperforms the 5 door model. Given how close MINI’s 5 door already was to Ford’s 3 door, you’ve got to think MINI Cooper S 3 door could bring some serious game to that match-up. Hopefully we get to see it one day.