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Discussion Starter #1
Before I get flamed......heh. A friend of mine who's an engineer and I had a long discussion about this earlier tonight. He's not very familiar with tuning but is a big car enthusiast.

We were discussing the pros and cons of buying a street car such as the MKII MR2 and heavily modifying it, or just putting down a lot of money for a vehicle that was born and bred to race in the first place. He maintains that a car such as a ferrari (not super car like an Enzo, but "entry" level to "mid" level ferrari), through generations and generations of refining is pretty much an ultimate driving machine. While the MR2 quite obviously can be modified to get the same amount of power, and acceleration in a straight line, it was his opinion that the over all package that the ferrari represents (performance wise) is all but unatainable.

I, on the other hand, argue that its just a matter of "how much money", and a car with the base platform and set up such as the MR2 can be modified to take it down for a much lesser price tag over all (compared to the ferrari price).

Once again, the discussion was over track racing, a slalom, not just straight line, and putting aside the obvious pluses in styling and name appeal of the ferrari. Anyway, I wanted to get the opinions of you guys. Input?
 

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-I'm sure you could build yourself a car that performs just as well as a ferrari with a lower price. When you uy a ferrari, you're not just buying the car; but the name and the "status" that comes with it as well. What do you think is easier to pick up girls with, a ferrari or a fully race built mr2? ;)

(so I guess in a sense there are some things you just can't "build" that you get from an exotic)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
right. Obviously the intangibles of the ferrari whoop the crap out of the MR2, thats why I was careful to explain our discussiong was purely slalom/auto x/road track racing, nothing more, just pure all around road performance.

So basically, could a car such as the MR2 obtain this level of performance with heavy modification, and if so, would the price difference be substantial in your opinions.

:)

Once again, it was my opinion that it is easily obtainable, the question is simply for how much. I just wanted to see what the opinions of more seasoned MR2 owners would be
 

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to what degree do you classify "heavy" modification? tube frame? totally redesigned suspension? you can make almost any car out perform a ferrari, it just depends on how far you want to take it.
 

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Of course its attainable, but there are also some layout flaws which would make it harder. Things like the MR2 is too rear weight biased (the engine looks as if its right on top of the axles, where as a Ferrari 355/360/430 has the engine in front of the rear axles). If you want a more similiar powerband, I would drop a pretty well built supercharged V6 for good measure. You can have a 400 HP 3S-GTE, but I suppose the power wouldn't be as smooth as silk as a natually aspirated 400 HP Italian V8.

The harder part is getting the suspension to corner just as well as the Ferrari while maintaining good road manners which is pretty tough to do given the MR2's geometry and suspension travel. Anyways, Brad Bedell's USCC winning car is exactly what I had in mind for Ferrari-like performance. With none of the show car crap you see nowadays.
 

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Take a look a Brad Bedell's SCC winning car with the supercharged V6. Accelerates faster than a 360 Modena, brakes better, don't know about handling.
 

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It also really depends on which Ferrari. I had occasion to autocross a 308. I didn't like it and my Spyder easily put up better times. I'm pretty sure that I could have autocrossed a GEN II NA faster too.
 

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Spyder, when I last raced with your group at Nazareth there was a red 308 there and I destroyed it. Of all the racing I do, I would say I am weakest (or at least inconsistent) with autocrossing. I vaguely recall taking him by several seconds though :) (nice guy though!).
 

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Yep that was him. He let me take the car out to see what it could do - as you said he's a very nice guy. It is obviously not a low speed/slalom car.

I would say that with some relatively minor changes that a GEN II Turbo could keep up with and/or surpass that car on the track. I'm talking about a MBC, good springs and shocks, and a set of great tires. Call it $3000 total.

You are paying a priemum for the Ferrari name and craftsmanship. So if you were to ask me which car would still be around and be in better condition in another 10 years - I'd say the Ferrari.
 

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Going back to the beginning of this thread, I would say that an entry-to-mid level Ferrari would be the wrong car to pick. Sexy and fun, but not really fast and hell to get parts for.

What about something like a turbo Porshe? A Boxter probably probably isn't setting your sights high enough, but compared to a stock MR-2 it has more power, a lot more rubber, and less rear weight bias. Then, there are its big brothers . . .
 

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twoina2 said:
What about something like a turbo Porshe? A Boxter probably probably isn't setting your sights high enough, but compared to a stock MR-2 it has more power, a lot more rubber, and less rear weight bias. Then, there are its big brothers . . .

As stated by other porsches have MORE rear weight bias!

A boxster-s has only 50 more hp than a stock turbo mr2 and is about the
same curb weight at 2855. A MBC would take care of the horsepower
deficit, it's not a very torquey engine in the boxster with 225 @ 4500 rpm.
Boxster is 47%-53% weight distro. A ct20b or gen III should make quick qork of a boxster, the ct26 being trickier with it boost holding difficulies in the upper rpms.

The carrera has a 36%-64% weight distribution!

Where did you get the idea that weight distribution with a rear bias is a negative handling aspect? Look at road racing champions!
 

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some others:

Spider 360 : 42/58
Gallardo: 42/58
Acura NSX: 40/60

FD RX7: 50/50
MKIV Supra: 68/32
EVO VIII: 60/40
STI: 58/42
 

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twoina2 said:
What about something like a turbo Porshe? A Boxter probably probably isn't setting your sights high enough, but compared to a stock MR-2 it has more power, a lot more rubber, and less rear weight bias. Then, there are its big brothers . . .
Funny you should mention that, I had this in my post above but edited it out because I thought it was self-grandizing.

My friend has a 996 twin turbo that I have set my sights on to beat at an autocross and on the track. So far I am in excess of $10k invested and don't believe that I can keep up with that car on anything but in the corners/infields/autocross. Once we hit a straight, he would leave me in the dust. There just isn't enough engine to do it no matter how much boost you run. But now you are getting into "non-streetable" territory which anything is possible. So given the price of a 996TT, $100k - could you make an MR2 out accelerate and out corner it - Yes, of course. But when you look at other intangables like resale, reliability, and maintenence - the Porsche will beat you every time.
 

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Ferraris in the 80's to early 90's are NOT known to be all that reliable either...this might not be so bad for auto-x but for say lapping events covering distances, reliability on-track could be an issue in the MR2's favour. The big appeal to me with Ferraris is the "soul" of the car.
 

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SpyderVenom said:
My friend has a 996 twin turbo that I have set my sights on to beat at an autocross and on the track. So far I am in excess of $10k invested and don't believe that I can keep up with that car on anything but in the corners/infields/autocross. .
A stock 996, what mods do you have?
 

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twoina2 said:
Going back to the beginning of this thread, I would say that an entry-to-mid level Ferrari would be the wrong car to pick. Sexy and fun, but not really fast and hell to get parts for.
First USCC, a basically stock 360 Modena absolutely smoked everything else, some very highly tuned cars, around the road course. If I remember right the margin was around 3 seconds. Never underestimate even the "entry-level" Ferraris :)
 

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I plan on building my car to perform pretty close to a Ferrari. But it won't be much fun on long drives on the street.

Also let's use the Ferrari 360 Modena as the example car since it is the late-model "entry" level Ferrari and it will outperform the higher end ones (GT cars) except for the Enzo. The new F430 Modena is too new to compare.

Your average Ferrari owner is very unlikely to push the car to it's limits, even if said driver had the ability. So out on a race course, you will probably turn faster times than a Ferrari just because the Ferrari owner isn't pushing the car nearly as hard as you are. A dent to his hood would cost more than you totalling your car.

-Scott
 

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mr2bats said:
A stock 996, what mods do you have?
Yes. All required mods to run my engine at 20psi and get around 325hp. I also have the Tein HT "Gymkahna" suspension.

I could get a larger turbo and make 400+hp but then the power becomes unmanageable at the track. Imagine coming out of a corner on the gas when the boost hits and the car wants to swap ends. I went with a smaller turbo that spools quick to get the power between turns in an infield or autocross course. It's a compromise. But at the track is where the 996 shines because you CAN put your foot to the floor early in the turn and have the car pull you through and onto the longer straights.

I know that the EVO vs Lambo was posted - but watch the Carrera video too to see what I'm talking about. Too much power that comes on abruptly will cause a car to spin and they mention that a lot when they compare that car to the Mercedes McLauren.
 
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