As long as there have been used cars, there has been this question: are you better off buying a new vehicle, or picking up a used offering and making a few aftermarket modifications? While the answer is far from clear, Auto Express has put together a video that will attempt to well and truly put the argument to bed... or at least add fuel to the fire.

Using a 16-year-old, second-generation Mazda MX-5, the AE team has set itself a modification and improvement budget of 5,000 pounds (about $8,200 at today's rates). Without crossing that threshold, the MX-5 will need to be upgraded to the point that it will be able to turn a quicker lap time than a brand-new Porsche Boxster (which is not a Boxster S).

Now, this is only the first part of a series, and covers the upgrades to the old NB. AE will be delivering a dedicated track battle video between the MX-5 and the Porsche soon. You can bet we're eagerly awaiting the arrival of that one.