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We could have put the MR2 Spyder up against the Mazda Miata, since the two sports cars cost about the same. But we really wanted a challenge. So we tested the MR2 Spyder against a 2000 Porsche Boxster equipped with a 6-Cylinder,2.7-liter, DOHC engine and a 5-speed manual transmission. Like the Spyder, the Boxster is a mid-engine sports car, albeit one that costs nearly twice as much.

An independent third-party organization, AMCI(Automotive Marketing Consultants Inc.), was chosen to test the 2000 MR2 Spyder against the 2000 Porsche Boxster. Since 1981, the company has been instrumental in the development of comparative automotive product claims and test procedures required by the Federal Trade Commission.

AMCI certified results for both vehicles in three tests: highway passing, braking and evasive action.
40 - 70 mph (highway passing): This test is a simulation of a highway passing situation, and illustrates the torque of each vehicle. The vehicles were stabilized at a speed of 40 mph in third gear, then accelerated at full throttle to 70 mph.

70 - 0 mph braking (dry pavement): Each vehicle was stabilized at 70 mph, then the brakes were applied in a manner to extract the shortest braking distance possible (best effort technique).

Evasive action - emergency lane change (dry pavement): Cone-delineated entry and exit gates were arranged in a straight line, with a fixed obstacle in between. The vehicle was driven through both gates and around the obstacle as quickly as possible without disturbing any cones or contacting the obstacle.

The 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder outperforms the 2000 Porsche Boxster in 40 - 70 mph third-gear acceleration. Feet Seconds
2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder 488.0 6.03
2000 Porsche Boxster (16" wheels, m/t) 507.8 6.32
The 2000 Porsche Boxster brakes only a tenth of a second quicker from 70 - 0 mph than the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder. Feet Seconds
2000 Porsche Boxster 161.9 3.16
2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder 166.7 3.26
The 2000 Porsche Boxster negotiates an emergency lane change maneuver on dry pavement less than a tenth of a second faster than the 2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder. MPH Seconds
2000 Porsche Boxster 51.46 3.127
2000 Toyota MR2 Spyder 49.94 3.222

CONCLUSIONS: A challenge is what we wanted, and it's what we got. Out of three certified tests, the MR2 Spyder virtually matched or beat the Porsche Boxster, all for about $20,000 less than what the Boxster costs.



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