Throughout its life span the Celica has been powered by various four-cylinder engines. The most significant change occurred in August 1985, when the car's drive layout was changed from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive. During the first three generations, American market Celicas were powered by various versions of Toyota's R series engines. The four-wheel driveturbocharged model called GT-Four worldwide (All-Trac Turbo in the US) was produced from 1986 to 1999. Variable valve timing came in certain Japanese models starting from December 1997 and became standard in all models from the 2000 model year. Through seven generations, the model has gone through many revisions. It has also spawned design forks that were spun off to become separate models, including the Toyota Celica Supra (later Toyota Supra). The Celica was available as notchback and liftback coupes, as well as a convertible.
Displayed at the October 1970 Tokyo Motor Show and marketed from December of the same year, the Celica was a two-door hardtop coupe that emphasized styling and driving enjoyment based on a platform shared with the Toyota Carinasedan which is one size above the Toyota Corolla. This car was aimed at the North American market and was Toyota's response to the 1964 Ford Mustang (Pony car) which also was a standard sedan (Ford Falcon) with stylized 2+2 bodywork.
Over the generations the Celica evolved into a "sports car".
In Japan where different dealer chains handle different models the Celica was exclusive to Toyota Store Japanese dealerships. The Celica filled a market position previously held by the 1965–1969 Toyota Sports 800, when Toyota Corolla Store locations were previously known as Toyota Public Store then renamed in 1966 as Toyota Corolla Store.
The initial trim levels offered were ET (1.4L 4 speed), LT, ST (1.6L 5 speed) and GT (1.6L 5 speed) with GTV added in 1972. For export markets the Celica was available in three different levels of trim; LT, ST, GT.
The liftback was then exported to many Asian countries & Europe in RHD form as the RA28 / TA28 with either a 18R 2.0 litre or 1.6 litre 2T-B engine. After the October 1975 facelift it was available in both RHD and LHD forms in other markets. The RV-1 "concept" wagon was also shown at the 1971 Tokyo Motor Show but it did not reach production.
Toyota Celica coupe 1600 GT (TA22, Japan)
The Japanese GT models had various differences from the ET, LT and ST including the hood flutes, power windows, air conditioning and specific GT trim but shared a few things with the ST – A full length center console and oil pressure/ammeter gauges while the LT had warning lights for these functions. With the exception of the American market, the GT had a 1600 cc 2T-G twincam engine or a 2000 cc 18R-G, not available on the ET, LT or ST and always had 5-speed manual gearboxes. Typically for the Japanese market GTs had 18R-G motors that were mated to a Porsche designed closer ratio P51 5 speed gearbox whereas export models had the W-50. For the American market only the GT had only a single cam engine (2000 cc 18R or 2200 cc 20R) with a choice of automatic or 4 speed manual gearboxes on early models then upgrading to the W-50 5 speed in 1974–1977.
There was also the GTV version (2T-G), which introduced in 1972 with slightly less luxurious interior than the GT to reduce weight. The GTV came with the same motor but with a thicker front sway bar & firmer suspension for better handling. Later in 1973 Japanese GTVs had a roof console "OK" monitor with a map light and a basic computer which detected blown brake bulbs, brake fluid level, main fuse & a floor console engine oil temperature gauge.
The first-generation Celicas can be further broken down into two distinctive models. The first of these was the original with slant nose (trapezoid-like shape front corner light). This is for coupe model only, TA22, RA20, RA21 & RA22. These models were produced from 1970 to 1975 and came equipped with the 2T, 2T-G 1.6 litre, or 18R 2.0 litre motor. They had a 95 inches (2,400 mm) wheelbase.
The second series had a flat nose (square front corner light) and slightly longer wheelbase (98 in or 2,500 mm wheelbase). This facelift model appeared in Japan in 1974 but for export was the 1975 model year being TA23, RA23, RA24, RA25, RA28, TA28 & RA29. The Japanese version had engines under 2.0 litres so as to conform to Japanese regulations concerning engine displacement size, thereby allowing buyers to avoid an additional tax for a larger engine. Japanese buyers did pay a higher annual road tax for engines over 1.5 litres while staying under the 2.0 litre threshold.
In some markets, the lower-end LT was equipped with the single carbureted four-cylinder 2T engine displacing 1600 cc, while the ST came with a twin Solex downdraft carburetor 2T-B engine. The 2T-G that powered the high-end GT / GTV model was a DOHC 1600 cc engine equipped with twin Mikuni-Solex Carburetors.
The first Celica for North America, 1971 ST was powered by 1.9 litre 8R engine. The 1972–1974 models have 2.0 litre 18R-C engines. For 1975–77, the engine for the North American Celica is the 2.2 litre 20R. The Celica GT and LT models were introduced in the US for the 1974 model year. The top-line GT included a 5-speed W-50 manual transmission, rocker panel GT stripes and styled steel wheels with chrome trim rings. The LT was marketed as an economy model. 1974 saw minor changes in the Celica's trim and badges and slightly different wheel arches, the earlier 71-73 arches commonly referred to as thin lipped & the later 74-77 as flat lipped.
The A40 automatic transmission became an option on North American ST and LT models starting in the 1973 model year. For 1975 the 1974 body was used and sturdier chrome and black rubber bumper bars with horizontally mounted shock absorber mounts (Volvo style) replaced the chrome bumpers used in the earlier cars (in accordance with US Federal bumper laws) allowing for unrestrained occupant impacts 5 mph (8.0 km/h). Unfortunately the early 8R and 18R series engines proved to be less than durable, with early failures common. The 1974 18R-C engine's durability was improved somewhat, but the 20R introduced for 1975 proved to be a better engine in most respects.
In August 1972 the tail lights were updated from 1 piece tail light (affectionately called 1-tail or flat lights) to tail lights with distinctive raised brake & turn signal "bubble" lenses. The rear center panel was also redesigned as the fuel tank was moved from the trunk bottom to behind the rear seats & the fuel filler was moved from a concealed location between the tail lights to the left "C" pillar.
In 1974, for the 1975 model year, the North American spec Celica retained the earlier body but received federally mandated 5 mph bumpers front and rear. Body-color urethane panels filled in the spaces previously occupied by the smaller chrome bumpers. This style of bumpers were used in North America until the end of this generation in 1977. Japan also used these bumpers for the liftback GT, but not lesser grades or the coupe, from 1976 to 1977.
1973 Toyota Celica liftback 2000 GT (RA25, Japan)
1973 Toyota Celica liftback 2000 GT (RA25, Japan)
The liftback was introduced for the Japanese market in April 1973 but not until July 1974 for export models. Models for the Japanese market liftback were the 1600 ST, 1600 GT (TA27), 2000 ST, and 2000 GT (RA25 and RA28). The American liftback was only offered as GT (RA29) with a 2.2-liter 20R engine for the 1976 and 1977 model year. All the liftback models have flat noses.
Although there is no "B" pillar in the liftback, the rear 1/4 windows are fixed in place & do not roll down (as they do in the hardtop coupe).
The liftback was often called the "Japanese Mustang" or the "Mustang Celica" because of the styling similarities to the Ford Mustangpony car, including C-pillar louvers and the vertical bar tail lights that are a signature Mustang styling cue and pay overall homages to the muscle-car era.
Facelift export models
1976 Toyota Celica coupe 2200 GT (RA24, US). Note enlarged bumpers, required by US federal law.
1976–1977 Toyota Celica Hardtop coupe 2000 LT (RA23, Australia)
1976 Toyota Celica liftback 2000 ST (RA28, UK)
For the 1975 model year, U.S. spec Celicas retained the 1974 body but received federally mandated 5-mph bumpers front and rear. Body-color urethane panels filled in the spaces previously occupied by the smaller chrome bumpers. In October 1975, the entire Celica lineup was given a facelift with a revised front bumper and grille. The new model codes for facelift hardtop coupe were RA23 for the general worldwide market with an 18R engine or RA24 for America with a 20R engine. The liftbacks were coded RA28 and TA28 (global markets) or RA29 for the US. Also available was the TA23, which was similar to the RA23 but with the 2T engine and the TA28 offered with the 2T-B. The Celica RA23, TA23, RA28, and TA28 had a more distinctive bulged hood which was lacking in the TA22 or RA20/21 coupé and in the TA27 and RA25 liftback but was factory in 1975 on the North American RA22 Celica to accommodate the larger 20R motor. The TA22 Celica also had removable vents mounted in the hood which the RA23 and RA28 lacked, while the TA27 and RA25 models had three raised fluted vents inset into the bonnet. The RA series also had an elongated nose to accommodate the larger engine. The bonnet/hood vents, fuel filler cap and interior options were also different between the TA and RA series across the model range.
For 1976–1977, the non-US GT liftback was also available with the 18R-G twincam engine with a Yamaha head and running gear. This engine produced significantly more power than the single-cam 18R. Peak power was about 100 kW (134 hp) at 6000 rpm.
In Australia, the 1971 TA22 Celica was first released with the 1.6-liter 2T motor, as well as the TA23 in the mid-1975 and the RA23 in 1976 with only 2000 1977 RA28's being imported, all with the 2.0-liter 18R-C motor.
The only two GTs ever imported by the AMI (Australian Motor Industries) which later became Toyota, were a 1971 TA22 GT and a 1973 RA25 GT. These vehicles were a special import by Ken Hougham the Managing Director of AMI for evaluation. Just like the TA22 GT, the RA25 GT model was never imported due to the power to weight ratio & higher insurance for the twin-cam motor all of which quickly halted any notion of the GTs becoming a staple in the Celica family in Australia. Anecdotally it is reported that a GT was imported for the Japanese Ambassador in 1972. Unlike the two AMI GTs, very little is known about this car.
The second-generation Celica was released for the 1978 model year (production began in late 1977) and was again available in both coupé and liftback forms. It was designed in the United States by Toyota's Calty Research Design studio in California. The coupe was no longer a true hardtop; both coupé and liftback had frameless door glass but featured a thick "B" pillar. David Stollery was responsible for its design.
From 1979 to 1981 the Griffith company in the US offered a Targa-style convertible conversion to the coupé. They were called the SunChaser and had a removable Targa top and a folding rear roof, much like the '67 Porsche 911 soft-window Targa. These were Toyota approved and sold through Toyota dealers. Over 2000 were produced. In Germany, the same SunChaser version but also a full convertible and a traditional targa with a fixed rear window (called the TX22) were offered. Conversions were Toyota-approved and carried out from mid-1980 by a company called Tropic.
The second-generation Celica can also be broken down into two series of release (known as Series A and Series B). These two Celicas were only distinguishable by appearance – both having the same engine capacity. The original Series A Celica (1978–1979) was released with round headlights and chrome bumpers for lower grades. The higher grades such as GT and all US models have black rubber bumpers. The facelift model Series B Celica (1979–1981) was released with square headlights, revised tail lights. They came with chrome bumpers with rubber protectors on each corners, or for certain models with all polyurethane black bumpers such on the GT and all US spec cars.
Power for North American models was provided by a 2.2 L 20R engine for both ST and GT models. Japan and other markets had 1.6-, 1.8-, and 2.0-liter power plants. This new generation offered more safety, power and fuel economy than previous models and was awarded Motor Trend's "Import Car of the Year" for 1978. Japanese models were ET, LT, ST, SE, XT, GT, and GTV. The GT and GTV have an 18R-G twincam engine. In August 1978, the GTV was replaced by the GT-Rally, a limited edition model that had a 1.6-liter 2T-GEU or 2.0-liter 18R-GEU engine, special grill, special bumpers, black interior (against the norm of coloured interiors of the time) and was only available in white or lime green paint.
The limited edition "US Grand Prix" GT liftback was offered in 1980 due to Toyota's connection to the US Grand Prix West in Long Beach, California. For 1981, the North American models were given a bigger engine, the 2.4-liter 22R which was simultaneously fitted to the Pickup. To celebrate the Celica 10th Anniversary, the GTA coupe was released. This was basically a GT coupe with a four-speed automatic transmission, Supra style interior, power windows, upgraded sound system and alloy wheels. The GTA is distinguishable by its copper brown / beige two-tone paint and a "GTA 10th anniversary" plaque on the center console.
There were about 70 different variants of second-generation Celica sold in Japan over the model's lifetime. At its pinnacle in 1979, Toyota retailed 49 versions at once.
1981 Toyota Celica coupé 1600 ST (TA40, Europe)
1981 Toyota Celica SunChaser cabriolet (TA40, Europe)
1979–1981 Toyota Celica liftback 2000 LT (RA40, Australia)
1979–1981 Toyota Celica liftback 2000 LT (RA40, Australia)
In 1978 Toyota began production of the Mark I Toyota Supra in Japan, as the Toyota Celica XX. The year it debuted in the United States and Japan was in 1979. The US Mark I (chassis code MA46) was originally equipped with a 110 hp (82 kW) 2.6 L (2563 cc) 12-valve SOHC inline-6 engine (4M-E). Simultaneously in 1979, the Japanese Mark I (chassis code MA45) was offered with a 110 hp (82 kW) 2.0 L 12-valve SOHC inline-6 engine (M-EU).
Toyota launched the Celica Camry, a four-door sedan, in the Japanese market during January 1980. This model was essentially a second-generation 1977–1981 Toyota Carina (A40 and A50) with an elongated front-end styled to resemble the 1978–1981 Celica XX, known as the Celica Supra in export markets. Unlike other Celicas, this Carina-derived model is a four-door sedan rather than a coupe or liftback. Toyota replaced the Celica Camry upon the arrival of the front-wheel drive Toyota Camry (V10) in 1982.
Third generation (A60; 1981–1985)
Third generation (A60)
Pre-facelift Toyota Celica Coupe 1600 ST (TA60, Europe)
August 1981 saw the introduction of the third-generation Celica. The car was initially available in notchback coupe and liftback forms with many buyers preferring the liftback. The US-made convertible came in 1984. Styling was changed considerably from previous models and power was provided by a 2.4 L 22R or 22R-E engine in all North American models, while smaller engines were used in other countries. The 2.4 L became the biggest 4-cylinder engine offered in any Celica ever. Other engines were the 1.6-liter 4A, 1.6-liter 2T, 1.8-liter 3T, 1.8-liter 4T, 1.8-liter 1S, 2.0-liter 2S, 2.0-liter 18R-G and 2.0-liter 21R, depending on the particular market. Trim levels for the Japanese market were SV, ST, ST-EFI, SX, GT, and GT Rally. Rack and pinion steering was offered for this generation Celica.
Fuel injection became standard on all North American Celicas started from August 1982, therefore the 22R engine became 22R-E (or 22R-EC with California emissions equipment).
In August 1982, Toyota added the GT-S model to the North American market to re-inject the sports image that Celica had lost as it grew larger and heavier with each subsequent model. The GT-S included larger 14x7" wheels and 225/60HR14 tires, fender flares, independent rear suspension, a sports interior including special seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob. Most of these came from the Supra. This made sense as the Supra was based on the Celica. From the windshield back, both cars were nearly identical when in liftback form. There were also optional rear louvers for the coupe and liftback.
The facelift model Toyota Celica Coupe 1600 GT-R (AA63, Japan)
The Celica was facelifted in August 1983 for the 1984 model year. The revision included fully retractable headlights, restyled grille, and airdam. The rear combination lamps were also revised. The Japanese Celica 1600 GT got new 4A-GE engine, and the 1600 GT-R also powered by the same motor was introduced. Another new model was the turbocharged 1800 GT-TR.
The GT-S convertible, built by American Sunroof Company (ASC) in California, was originally released in a limited 200 units in 1984. 4,248 more were built for the 1985 model year.
The Australian, European, Japanese, and general export model Celicas came with rear side vents, which are highly sought after by North American Celica enthusiasts.
For the European continent, the Celica was offered as 1600 ST with 2T engine, 2000 XT (21R), and 2000 GT (18R-G). The UK models were 2.0 ST for early version and 2.0 XT for the facelift. All the cars for the UK market were powered by the 21R engine.
In Australia, Toyota decided initially to use the 21R-C in the Celica. As a result, the car only turned out 67 kW (90 hp). However, for the facelift model, it was replaced by the quicker 73 kW (98 hp) 2S-C motor and then by the injected 2.4-liter motor (22R-E) which provided 87 kW (118 PS; 117 hp). The facelift versions also came with independent rear suspension, rather than the traditional live axle differential.
Juha Kankkunen's 1985 Toyota Celica TwinCam Turbo (TA64) Group B rally car
In September 1982, the first Celica turbo was launched in Japan for the local market only. The GT-T (TA63) came with the twin-spark 1.8-liter 3T-GTE engine, W55 5-speed manual gearbox, a limited slip differential, pump up lumbar "sports" seats and optional digital dash.
To meet the FISA regulation for Group B Rally Car to compete in the World Rally Championship (WRC), 200 units of the Celica GT-TS were built. These were the basic cars for Group B Celica Twincam Turbo (TA64) which were built and rallied by Toyota Team Europe (TTE). The Group B Celica TCT made its WRC debut in the 1983Rally Finland. The production car had a 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) engine, and with a 320 bhp (239 kW; 324 PS) 4T-GTE engine, the fully works rally car was the most powerful third-generation Celica.
In August 1985 the Celica was changed completely. It was an all-new vehicle with front wheel drive, a rounded, flowing body and new 2.0 L four-cylinder engines. The Celica was no longer built on the Toyota A platform, and instead realigned with the Toyota T platform underpinning the Toyota Corona. The Toyota A platform was now exclusive to the Toyota Supra. The coupe bodystyle in Japan was used only for the Corona coupe, sold only at Japanese Toyota dealerships Toyopet Store without the retractable headlights. An optional feature only offered on the Corona coupe was four-wheel steering, not shared with the Celica during this generation, however, the turbocharged engine on the Celica was not installed in the Corona coupe.
Toyota introduced the "ultimate Celica", the GT-Four (ST165) onto the Japanese market in October 1986. With full-time all-wheel drive, including an electronically controlled central locking differential, and a turbocharged version of the GT-S 2.0 L engine producing 190 hp (142 kW) (3S-GTE), it immediately took its place as the flagship of the Celica range and became the official Toyota rally car for all years of production. The GT-Four, with a revised viscous coupling central locking differential, began export in 1987 (1988 US model year) and marketed in North America as the All-trac Turbo. It was rated at 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) and 190 lb⋅ft (258 N⋅m). The All-trac system was also offered for a limited time on the Camry, and Corolla in North America without the turbo, as well as the normally aspirated and supercharged Previa.
The ST165 chassis design was quite acclaimed in its time. Toyota chose not to make any drastic suspension changes for the AWD GT-Four.
The front suspension comprises MacPherson struts with an anti-swaybar and strut tower brace, while the rear employs struts with a trailing link and twin lateral links per side plus an anti-swaybar.
The ST165 GT-Four made its World Rally debut in the 1988 Tour de Corse and finished 6th. The first victory came in 1988 Cyprus (non-WRC), and the first WRC victory in 1989 Rally Australia.
For the Japanese market the fourth-generation Celica started with the 1S-iSU engine in the ST160 and 4A engine in the AT160. The 4A engine was terminated in August 1987 and the 1S-iLU engine was replaced by the 4S-Fi engine in the ST163 in May 1988. The 3S engine in various twincam forms was introduced in August 1987 in the ST162. The 3S-GTE turbo engine was also introduced at the same time in the all-wheel drive ST165 GT-Four. Two months later, a factory convertible (coded ST162C) was offered with the twincam 3S-FE engine. The vehicle with the 2.0 litre engine was regarded as the top trim level package due to the increased annual road tax so the GT was fully equipped to justify the tax liability.
Non twincam models came in ST and SX trim levels. Models with the 3S-FE economy twincam came in the ZR trim level, including the convertible. Models with the 3S-GELU sports twincam came in GT and GT-R trim levels and lastly the turbo all-wheel drive model came in the GT-Four trim level. A digital instrument panel was offered on the top level GT and GT-R. The notchback two-door coupe bodystyle was not offered as a Celica in Japan; instead this body was sold as the Toyota Corona coupe, with fixed headlights rather than the Celica's flip-up units.
1985–1987 Toyota Celica 2.0 SX liftback (ST162, Australia)
1987–1989 Toyota Celica 2.0 SX liftback (ST162, Australia)
The Australian spec Celica ST162 were the base model ST with 3S-FE engine offered as coupe and liftback, and the top of the line SX liftback with higher performance 3S-GE Twincam engine. Rear spoiler and alloy wheels came standard on the SX, which made it the same appearance as the Japanese GT-R or American GT-S.
The limited edition SX White Lightning with all white bumpers, side protectors and wheels was offered in 1989. Inside, it featured cruise control (automatic models only) and the same sports seats used in the ST165 GT-Four, but was otherwise identical to the SX.
In most European countries these models were available instead:
The convertible (better known as cabriolet) was based on the 2.0 GT. The GT-S was badged 2.0 GT-i 16.
1988 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo (ST165, US)
Trims available were the ST coupe or the GT and GT-S that came as a coupe or liftback; with the GT trim available as a soft-top convertible starting in the 1987 model year. The GT-Four was available as a model year 1988, 2 years after the release in Japan. All trims came standard with a tachometer, oil pressure, voltmeter (replaced with a boost meter in the ST165) gauges and a rear window defogger for the interior.
ST: The ST was the most basic form of the T160 chassis. In 1986, the chassis was designated as the ST161. It had the SOHC 8-valve, 2.0 L 2S-E engine from the Camry, producing 97 hp (72 kW) at 4,400 rpm and 118 ft-lbs. of torque at 4,000 rpm. However, this only lasted a year as it was changed over to an all new DOHC engine 3S-FE for the 1987 model year producing 115 hp (86 kW) at 5,200 rpm and 124 ft-lbs. of torque at 4,400 rpm; and as a result, the chassis designation was changed to ST162. The ST was the lightest T160 chassis at 2455 lbs. with the manual transmission. A 5-speed manual was the only transmission available in 1986, with a 4-speed automatic being optional 1987 onwards, bringing the curb weight to 2522 lbs. Steel wheels were wrapped with 165/80-13 tires. The interior had manual windows and locks, bucket seats and an AM/FM receiver as standard features. Power steering and power brakes were standard, with ventilated discs in the front and drum brakes in the rear to go along with a 4x100 bolt pattern. Cable operated air-conditioning was optional.
GT: The GT shared the ST's engine as well as the chassis designation being the ST161 with a 2S-E engine in 1986 quickly changing over to the ST162 with a 3S-FE engine 1987 onwards. The curb weight was 2515 lbs for the coupe and 2546 lbs. for the liftback. A 4-speed overdrive automatic transmission (A140L) was an option, bringing the curb weight up to 2579 and 2610 lbs., respectively. The convertible weighed in at 2700 lbs. for the manual and 2760 lbs. for the automatic. For the interior, the GT came with an electronic 4 speaker AM/FM/MPX tuner, power side mirrors, tilt steering wheel, driver's lumbar support and an automatic retracting radio antenna was standard. Power locks, windows, power tilt/slide sunroof, side mirror defogger, cruise control, electronic air-conditioning, and 13"x5.5" aluminum alloy wheels were optional with 185/70-13 tires. A digital instrument panel was available as an option for the non-convertible GT trim only. The GT also includes a front strut bar across the two strut towers as an upgrade over the ST trim, but retains the front ventilated disc and rear drum brake combination from the ST.
GT-S: The GT-S (chassis code ST162) was given a de-tuned version of the DOHC 2.0 L engine (3S-GELC) featuring T-VIS and a 6800 rpm redline producing 135 hp (101 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 125 ft-lbs of torque at 4,800 rpm. An EGR and O2 sensor restricted the engine along with a milder ECU. The GT-S replaced the rear drum brakes with disc brakes going along with a 5x100 bolt pattern. Standard features in addition to the GT trim included an 8-way adjustable sports bucket seats with power lumbar and side bolsters, automatic climate control, side mirror defogger, wrap-around spoiler, telescopic steering wheel, and speed-rated 205/60-14 tires on 14"x6" alloy wheels. Leather interior including shift knob, door panel inserts, and steering wheel were optional. In Canada, all GT-S models were 5-speed (S53) manual transmissions, but in America, an electronic controlled 4-speed automatic (A140E) with lock-up torque converter was available. New features in 1988–1989 included an illuminated vanity light as standard and ABS as optional.
Turbo All-Trac: The turbo All-Trac (chassis code ST165), or turbo 4wd as it was named in Canada, is the American version of the GT-Four. It was given a DOHC turbo-charged, water-to-air intercooled 2.0L engine (3S-GTE) featuring T-VIS producing 190 hp (142 kW) at 6,000 rpm and 190 ft-lbs of torque at 3,200 rpm. The All-Trac only came with a 5-speed all wheel drive transmission with a viscous-coupling center differential, bringing the curb weight to 3197 lbs. The ST165 was not sold in North America before 1988 except for seventy-seven special-edition cars sold in 1987 as 1988 models at each of the 77 Toyota dealerships in California to commemorate Toyota's IMSA GTO championship win. These Celicas are all white with white wheels and blue interior and have "IMSA GTO CHAMPION" printed in small letters on the side moulding, as well as a white stripe on the grill. This top of the line trim came with the same options as the GT-S with the exception of the power interior options, leather steering wheel, fog lights, V-rated tires, and a factory full body kit as standard. One interior feature that is missing from the GT-S trim and other trims is the cup holder as the center console is different due to a larger center body tunnel to accommodate for the ST165's center drive shaft.
Fifth generation (T180; 1989–1993)
Fifth generation (T180)
Facelift Toyota Celica 1.6 ST-i liftback (AT180, Europe)
Convertible, 1991–93 coupe, narrow body liftback: 1,705 mm (67.1 in)
Wide body liftback: 1,745 mm (68.7 in)
Liftback FF: 1,280 mm (50.4 in)
Coupe, liftback 4WD: 1,290 mm (50.6 in)
Convertible: 1,300 mm (51.2 in)
The fifth generation Celica was introduced in September 1989 for the 1990 model year. The Celica received new Super Round organic styling, upgraded wheels and tires, more powerful GT-Four (All-Trac Turbo in the US) with better cooling system, and for the Japanese market only, the four-wheel steering (4WS) models. Toyota engineers claimed that the round styling and lack of straight edges increased strength without adding weight. The styling was later copied by other manufacturers. Japanese market models were now S-R, Z-R, GT-R, Active Sports (first Toyota with Toyota Active Control Suspension), and GT-Four. The S-R and Z-R were powered by a 3S-FE engine, while the GT-R and Active Sports came with a 3S-GE. The 3S-GTE in the GT-Four features an air-to-air intercooler and CT26 twin entry turbo to eliminate exhaust gas interference. The Japanese market GT-Four has 165 kW (221 hp) and 304 N⋅m (224 lb⋅ft) of torque, a result of more aggressive ignition advance and ceramic turbine. The Full-time 4WD system in the GT-Four has viscous coupling limited slip center differential and Torsen rear differential.
Pre-facelift Toyota Celica 1.6 ST notchback coupe (AT180, US)
The North American Celica had fixed door mirrors and amber front corner lights. All other destination models had folding mirrors and front clear corner lights. Driver's side SRS Airbag is standard on all US models. The base model ST has 1.6-liter 4A-FE, the GT and GT-S were powered by the 2.2-liter 5S-FE. The 1.6-liter was similar to the one used in the Corolla. The GT-S was rated 5 hp (4 kW) more than the GT at 135 bhp (101 kW; 137 PS). The 2.2-liter was designed for more low-end torque, which appealed to US buyers' preferences as opposed to the high revving engines of the past. This engine was similar to the Camry's engine except for the balance shafts. The All-Trac Turbo was available with the improved 2.0-liter 3S-GTE engine. It was rated at 200 bhp (149 kW; 203 PS) and 200 lb⋅ft (271 N⋅m) torque. The GT-S and all export market GT-Four/All-Trac Turbo are wide-body liftbacks with flared fenders. The Japanese market GT-Four was also offered as narrow-body for the pre-facelift model.
Trim levels for the European Celica were 1.6 ST-i, 2.0 GT-i 16, and GT-Four. The 2.0 GT-i 16 cabriolet was offered only in certain European countries. Only the 2.0 GT-i 16 liftback and GT-Four were officially sold in the UK. New for 1992, the wide body liftback 2.0 GT-i 16 was offered in the Netherlands and Belgium. This was basically a GT-S with 3S-GE engine.
Pre-facelift Toyota Celica SX liftback (ST184, Australia)
Model grades for Australian Celica were SX coupe, SX liftback, GT-Four, and also 150 units limited edition GT-Four Group A Rallye. The Australian cars are less luxurious than Japanese market and North American market models. Initially, the GT-Four did not come with ABS and fog lamps, which became standard few months after the introduction. In 1993, the Limited Edition WRC Trophy model was offered in Australia. This is basically the SX with sport front seats from the GT-Four, cruise control, rear window shade / spoiler, and special decals.
Pre-facelift Toyota Celica 4WS Convertible (ST183, Japan)
In August 1990, the wide body liftback GT-Four A and Convertible, in base and Type G trim levels, were added into the Japanese Celica lineup. Super Live Sound System with 10 speakers became standard on the GT-Four A and optional in other models except the S-R.
To celebrate 20 years of Celica production, the 20th Anniversary GT-R was released for the Japanese market in December 1990. This limited edition GT-R has the GT-Four front bumper.
The Celica convertible was built by American Sunroof Corporation (ASC) in California. It was offered as GT in US with 5S-FE engine, and as base model and upmarket Type G in Japan or 2.0 GT-i 16 cabriolet in Europe with 3S-GE engine. The Japanese market convertible also has 4WS. The European Celica cabriolet retained the old style front bumper for 1992, and received the facelift in 1993.
There are three different gearboxes for ST185 GT-Four. The E150F gearbox with 4.285 final gear ratio was installed in the regular Japanese version and All-Trac Turbo. European and Australian models, as well as the RC/Carlos Sainz/Group A models, came with the E151F gearbox with 3.933 ratio. The Japanese market only GT-Four Rally, a limited edition lightweight rally version sold only in Japan (not to be confused with the Australian GT-Four Grp A Rallye model), has the E152F gearbox with close ratio on the 1st through 4th gear and 4.285 final ratio. It also came with steel wheels and without air conditioning, power windows, or a power antenna. The early model GT-Four Rally is based on the narrow body, and the facelift model is wide body with round fog lights. Also sold in Japan only was the GT-Four V. This was an economy version of narrow body without alloy wheels, leather, or System 10, but still came with fog lights, power windows, and optional sunroof.
Anti-lock brakes (ABS) were available on the GT-S all four years and was available on the GT for 1992 and 1993 models. ABS, Leather interior, power sunroof, and System 10 premium sound system are optional on the GT-S and the 1990–1992 All-Trac Turbo, and standard on the 1993 All-Trac Turbo. With its sport-style interior, power-operated driver's seat, auto tilt-away steering wheel, and cruise control as standard equipment, the All-Trac Turbo (known as the GT-Four outside of the US) was the most expensive Celica yet. With a 2.0-liter turbocharged3S-GTE producing 149 kW (200 hp), it was the most powerful Celica ever sold in the US.
The Japanese market models received 3-point rear seat belts.
New 5S-FE, producing 100 kW (134 hp) and 196 N⋅m (145 lb⋅ft) of torque.
Front discs were now 277 mm (10.9 in) and ventilated.
The front-drive models (except for the wide body liftback GT-S, which used the same front bumper as the 4WD models) received a new style bumper.
The export version GT-Four / All-Trac Turbo and GT-S retained automatic air conditioner, but the push button fan switch was replaced by the more conventional rotary type.
The North American GT and Australian SX models received standard fog lights.
15 inch wheels on the Z-R, GT, and SX models fitted with Dunlop 205/55VR tires.
Discontinued Japanese market models: 4WS S-R, Active Sports, and narrow body GT-Four.
The 'A' was dropped from the 'GT-Four A' and the wide-body turbo model was simply known as the GT-Four.
New round fog lights for the Japanese market GT-Four.
The Japanese market only GT-Four Rally uses the wide body shell.
The Cruise Control Package, SD Package and Luxury Package became optional on the Japanese market Z-R, GT-R, and GT-Four models.
For the FIA WRC Group A homologation, the special rally edition of 5000 units named GT-Four RC was launched in Japan in September 1991. The export models are called Carlos Sainz (CS) Limited Edition in Europe (in honour of their famous World Rally Champion) or Group A Rallye in Australia.
1992 Toyota Celica GT-Four Carlos Sainz Limited Edition (ST185, UK)
In October 1993, Toyota launched the sixth-generation Celica for the 1994 model year. The styling of the new Celicas was acclaimed by most publications as "Supra-esque" with four round headlights and also had a visual resemblance to the Soarer introduced in 1991. Celicas were available in either notchback coupe or liftback form, the convertible would come later. New safety equipment in the form of driver (and then later passenger) airbags were standard in most markets, and anti-lock brakes were available on all models. Many Celicas also sported CFC-free air conditioning.
For the US market, the Celica was only available in ST and GT trims for the 1994 model year, but the addition of the optional "Sports Package" to the GT Liftback produced GT-S-like handling. All models came with standard dual SRS Airbags. The ST had a new 1.8-liter 7A-FE engine which could also be found in the Corolla, while the GT was powered by the carried-over 2.2-liter 5S-FE engine which featured dual overhead camshafts and direct fuel injection, could also be found in the Camry. The turbocharged All-Trac was no longer offered in the US. The 7A-FE is rated at 105 hp (78 kW) and 110 lb⋅ft (149 N⋅m), while the 5S-FE is rated at 135 hp (101 kW) and 145 lb⋅ft (197 N⋅m). In Canada, the Celica GT liftback with "Sports Package" are badged GT-S.
Initially the Japanese market models were SS-I and SS-II. The ST205 GT-Four was launched in February 1994 and the Convertible in the Autumn of the same year. The width of this generation was no longer in compliance with Japanese Government regulations concerning exterior dimensions, which added an additional tax liability on Japanese buyers. This generation also saw a badge engineered version without the headlight treatment, called the Toyota Curren, and was sold only in Japan at Toyota Vista Store locations, allowing the Celica to be sold at different retail sales channels. The Celica was exclusive to Toyota Corolla Store locations.
1994 Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST205, United Kingdom)
Production of the GT-Four (or previously known as All-Trac in the US), continued for the Japanese, Australian, European, and British markets. This ST205 version was to be the most powerful Celica produced to date, producing 178 kW (239 hp) (export version) or 187 kW (251 hp) (Japanese market) from an updated 3S-GTE engine. Influenced strongly by Toyota Team Europe, Toyota's factory team in the World Rally Championship, the final version of the GT-Four included improvements such as an all-aluminum hood to save weight, four-channel ABS (with G-force sensor), an improved turbocharger (incorrectly known by enthusiasts as the CT20B), and Super Strut Suspension. The 2500 homologation cars built to allow Toyota to enter the GT-Four as a Group A car in the World Rally Championship also sported extras such as all of the plumbing required to activate an anti-lag system, a water spray bar for the Intercooler's front heat exchanger, a water injection system for detonation protection, a hood spoiler mounted in front of the windscreen to stop hood flex at high speed and the standard rear spoiler mounted on riser blocks. The car proved to be quite competitive in the 1995 World Championship. However, the team was banned from competition for a year after the car's single victory due to turbocharger fixing – a device that meant there was no air path restriction on the intake – when the jubilee clip was undone this would flick back into place so as to go un-noticed by inspectors. Toyota has always claimed that they knew nothing of the fix – but opponents say it was one very cleverly engineered device. In some respects this car is a true sports car; in order to qualify for rallying it has a lot of special features and a unique strut arrangement.
In Australia, the Celica ST204 (2.2-litre) was offered in SX and ZR trim levels. The ZR has standard SRS Airbag, fog lights, alloys, and other features. The limited edition SX-R was offered in 1998–1999. Based on the SX, this model came with black/red interior, white-faced speedometer and tachometer, fog lights and alloy wheels.
The ST205 Celica GT-Four was available in Australia only in 1994. There was a limited delivery of only 77 units, and each vehicle came with an individually numbered plaque in the cabin and Group A Rallye badges on the hatch. All Australian models were taken from the 2,500 units homologation run and had black leather interior and a full size spare wheel. The only option being a moonroof (17 of the 77 were available with this feature).
Facelift Toyota Celica GT convertible (ST204, US)
The fourth-generation convertible was introduced in 1994. Built off of the GT coupe, the conversion took place in the ASC facility in Rancho Dominguez, California. The vehicle arrived in the US as a partially assembled vehicle. At ASC, the roof was removed and a three-layer insulated and power-operated top was installed, producing a vehicle that was virtually water and windproof.
Like its coupe and liftback siblings, the American GT convertible is ST204 with 5S-FE engine, while the Japanese Convertible and European GT cabriolet are the 3S-GE powered ST202. The Japanese market soft top Celica was offered as the base model Convertible Type X with either manual or automatic transmission, and the fully equipped automatic only Convertible.
Summary of 6th Generation Models
ST, ST Limited, SR
North America, Europe
SS-I (3S-FE), SS-II, SS-III, GT (3S-GE)
Japan, Europe (liftback and convertible), Hong Kong & Thailand (GT liftback only)
Coupe, liftback, convertible
SX, SX-R, ZR, GT
North America (all body styles), Australia & New Zealand (liftback only)
Japan, Europe, Australia, New Zealand
In August 1995, minor changes were given to all Japanese market Celica Liftback models, and the SS-III was added into the line up. All models received new rear combination lamps, and if fitted, the new style rear spoiler. The front drive models received new a front bumper design. The SS-III came with standard Super Strut Suspension and side aerodynamic rocker panels. The GT-Four also got side rocker panels, restyled rear spoiler, and new alloys. In January 1996, facelift was given to the Japanese market Celica convertible.
Facelift Toyota Celica SX liftback (ST204, Australia)
Facelift Toyota Celica GT liftback (ST204, USA)
The 1996 Celica for export market received the same front restyling as the Japanese models, although the tail lights were untouched. The new front bumper has two smaller sections on each side of a smaller air dam as opposed to a single large air dam in previous models. Also new were optional side skirts to improve its aerodynamic efficiency, as well as a redesigned rear spoiler. The North American GT and Australian ZR models came with standard fog lights, and the ST and SX models without the optional fog lights had black grills fill in their place.
To celebrate 25 years of Celica, the SS-I and SS-III Special Edition were released in Japan, and the 25th Anniversary ST Limited and GT convertible marked this occasion in the US. These Special Edition models have special emblems on the front fenders, and the inside on the rear view mirror hanger, and the name Celica was printed on the front seats as well.
For 1997, the only change in the North American Celica was the discontinuation of the GT coupe. Another minor change was given to Japanese market Celicas in December 1997. Projector headlights were optional for all models. The 3S-GE engine on the SS-II and SS-III received VVT-i, the SS-III was given a BEAMS tuned 3S-GE engine. WRC style high rear spoiler returned on the GT-Four and also standard on the SS-III.
In 1998, the underpowered ST model was discontinued in the US, leaving only GT models. In addition, the GT notchback coupe returned after a year's absence. In the UK, Toyota released the SR based on the 1.8 ST. The SR has full body kit, mesh grille, 16-inch alloys, and upgraded sound system. The US Celica line up was simplified even further in 1999 by eliminating all coupes, leaving only the GT liftback and GT convertible. The GT-Four was still offered in Japan. Also in early 1999, Toyota released pictures of their XYR concept car, which would soon become the next Celica.
In July 1999, Toyota began production of the seventh-generation Celica, with European sales beginning late that year. It closely resembled the XYR concept with the exception of the front bumper and rear spoiler, while omitting the previously available coupe body style. The 2000 model year Celica was an element of Toyota Project Genesis, an effort to bring younger buyers to the marque in the United States. Toyota took time to lighten the car and lower cost wherever possible. Power window and door lock controls were placed in the center console so only 1 set was necessary for both doors. Initial sunroofs were made of polymer plastic instead of the traditional glass. This generation was assembled by Kanto Auto Works at its Higashi-Fuji plant in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Toyota Celica SS-I (ZZT230, Japan)
The Celica came in two different models. The ZZT230 was powered by a relatively economical 1.8 L 4-cylinder 140 hp (104 kW) 1ZZ-FE engine and the ZZT231 powered by a higher-performance 1.8 L 4-cylinder 192 hp (143 kW) (in Europe and Japan) 2ZZ-GE version, co-developed with Yamaha, the latter featuring a two-step variable valve lift control in conjunction with its variable valve timing. In 2004, CNNMoney.com rated the Celica as one of the best cars to purchase for fuel economy.
Exporting of the Celica ceased in July 2005. However, until mid-May, customers could still order one, although it was advised they took action before that time ended.
The last Celica was rolled off production line on 21 April 2006, after 36 years and seven generations. In its last year, the Celica was only officially sold in Japan. There has been no direct successor to the Celica, however, the Scion tC (exclusive to North America) is seen by some people as the spiritual successor to the Celica.
In the US and Canada, two models were offered; the base model GT and the higher performance GT-S. All models are in liftback only body shape. All models featured dual front airbags, daytime running lights (DRL) with auto-on parking and headlights, and 4 cup holders: two in the front and two in the rear. Power door lock and power window switches were mounted on the center console to reduce costs. Rear seats were contoured for only 2 passengers and can split down 50/50 to increase cargo capacity. Two-speed front wipers had variable intermittent adjustment. The rear wiper had a single speed and fixed intermittent speed. Windshield and rear window washers were also standard. In the interest of light weight, optional sunroof was made of polymer plastics instead of glass. In later models, the sunroof was made of glass, probably for cost reasons. Other options include ABS, rear spoiler, fog lights, HID low beam headlights, upgraded JBL stereo system, 6-disc CD changer, leather seat surfaces, side-impact airbags, floor mats, vehicle intrusion protection (VIP) alarms with door lock/unlock feature, cargo net, cold area package (heavy-duty battery and starter motor) and hatchback cargo cover.
The GT was powered by the 1ZZ-FE rated at 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) at 6,400 rpm and 125 lb⋅ft (169 N⋅m) of torque at 4,200 rpm. It uses Toyota's VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with intelligence) system which modulated the intake cam phase angle to increase torque and horsepower throughout the rev range. This is a similar engine used on the Matrix, Corolla, and MR2 Spyder. Transmission choices comprised a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The GT has standard front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, 195/60/15 with standard wheel covers or optional alloy wheels.
The GT-S was powered by the 2ZZ-GE engine rated at 180 bhp (134 kW; 182 PS) at 7,600 rpm and 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m) torque at 6,800 rpm. The engine featured Toyota's VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing and Lift control with intelligence). A second stage valve lift control for intake was added to the variable intake cam phase timing. Variants of this engine were offered in the Matrix XRS, Corolla XRS and the Lotus Elise (with a Lotus ECU which added 10 bhp). Buyers had the option of a four-speed automatic with shift buttons on the steering wheel, or a six-speed manual. The base tire size was 205/55/15 but the optional size offered was 205/50/16. The tire upgrade was merely US$42 so most GT-S models had the optional wheels and tires. All GT-S models had four-wheel disc brakes and metal pedals. Manual transmission shifters and all steering wheels were upgraded to leather. Liftback cargo covers were standard along with fog lights for models without the "Action Package".
TRD USA offered performance upgrades such as lowering springs, dampers, anti-sway bars, brake disc pads, air filters, exhaust, short-shift kits (manual transmissions), and body kits. The exhaust offered an increase of 14 hp (10 kW), albeit mostly at higher rpm. A supercharger was also offered for the 1ZZ-FE engine; however, Toyota never marketed it directly for the Celica GT due to being too large to fit under the hood. The supercharger was available as an option for 2003–2004 Corolla and Matrix models. The most popular among buyers were the “Action Package” which offered a more aggressive front bumper with wider grille, rocker panels, and higher rear spoiler. This body kits are the same as JDM Mechanical Sports. The revised front faring interfered with the mounting location for the standard factory fog lights, requiring them to be adjusted or removed when this option was added.
On the 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2004 GT-S models, the rev limiter is set to around 8200–8300 rpm (seems to differ vehicle-to-vehicle) while the 2002 and 2005 have it set to 7800 (left-hand drive markets only). This lower limiter on the 2002 and 2005 models reduces the available performance as the 2ZZ is primarily a high-revving engine, and it is more difficult for the driver to land in the 'lift' (aggressive cam) rev range on an upshift.This only affects the 6-speed manual transmission as the gearing is spaced to where shifting up at approximately 8,250 rpm in any gear other than first gear will result in about 6,200 rpm after the shift, which is where "lift", or the aggressive cam, engages. This allows models without the limited rpm range to remain within the car's power band throughout the gears. First gear is excluded because the gearing ratio is much lower than 2nd gear. The Celica received facelift for 2003 model year. The interior was mildly restyled, power antenna replaced the fixed one, the front and rear fascias were redone. In 2004, all models were fitted with a cabin air filter. The Action Package body kit was restyled for 2005 model year, with different front bumper and rear spoiler which is not as same as Japanese Mechanical Sports, but still higher than the standard one.
In July 2004, Toyota announced the Celica (as well as the MR2) would be discontinued in the United States at the end of the 2005 model year due to lack of sales. Celica sales hit 52,406 units in 2000, but dropped sharply to 14,856 in 2003. Just 8,710 Celicas were sold in 2004, and only 3,113 were sold in 2005. The sports coupe market, in general, was rapidly shrinking, due in part to the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the effects of the collapse of the Japanese asset price bubble, also known in Japan as the "bubble economy". The Subaru XT6, Nissan 240SX, Honda Prelude and Mazda RX-7 were already gone and the Acura RSX was soon to follow.
The facelift model Toyota Celica SS-I (ZZT230, Japan)
The Japanese models continued to carry SS-I and SS-II trim levels. The SS-I is powered by 1ZZ-FE engine, SS-II is motored by 2ZZ-GE engine. The SS-II also can be ordered with Super Strut Package with super strut suspension, rear strut bar, 16-inch alloys, metal pedals, and colored rocker panels. The SS-II has climate control AC with digital display. Options included the choice of the Elegant Sports Version with front lip spoiler and headlight covers, or the Mechanical Sports Version with full body kits.
The Japanese market Celica was updated with minor changes in August 2002.
Toyota also released a limited-production version of the 7th generation called the TRD Sports M based on the SS-II. This version was rated at 200 hp (149 kW) and featured a reinforced unibody and available TRD engine and suspension components. The Sports M was only sold in Japan. The reduction of engine displacement reflected a drop off in sales to Japanese customers due to the annual road tax liability of previous generations.
All the European models have the 6-speed manual transmission and all around disc brakes, and was just marketed as 1.8 VVT-i and 1.8 VVTL-i 190 or T-Sport, which are the GT and GT-S, respectively. Premium and Style Packages were offered for the 1.8 VVT-i model. The European Celica has rear fog lights on the rear bumper.
In 2005, Toyota GB released the Celica GT. This is not the same as the GT in North America. The British GT is actually the T-Sport with Traction Control with a different bodykit, different alloy wheels, 30 mm lowered suspension and part leather part Alcantara interior.
7th Generation Models as of 2006, pricing for UK market
Pre-facelift Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTL-i SX (ZZT231, Australia)
In Australia and New Zealand, the Celica was only offered with 2ZZ-GE engine in two trim levels, SX and ZR. The SX was fitted with 15-inch alloy wheels, CD player, electric windows and mirrors. The ZR has standard ABS, moonroof, SRS side and front airbags, fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, 6 stack in dash CD player with cassette, and aluminum pedals. All models have front and rear disc brakes. Optional extras was the 4-speed tiptronic (Automatic), air conditioning, and metallic paint. TRD Sportivo body kits (which is the same as Mechanical Sports Version in Japan) are available.
Although not officially imported by Toyota, there were many Japanese market models sold in Singapore and Indonesia. In Thailand and Hong Kong, the Celica was offered in one trim level similar to the Australian ZR with the 2ZZ-GE engine.
In Australia, 1981–1999 Toyota Celicas were all assessed in the Used Car Safety Ratings 2006 as providing "average" protection for their occupants in the event of a crash.
A driver's side SRS airbag is standard in all US models from 1990. Dual SRS Airbags are standard from 1994. Seat-mounted side airbags are optional from 2000. The NHTSA NCAP rating for the 2005 model year is 4 stars for the Driver Front, 4 stars for the Passenger Front, and 3 stars for the Front side.
Toyota Celica GT-Four (ST165) Group A rally car, 1990 Safari Rally winner.
TTE's Celica GT-Four (ST185) Group A rally car, 1995 Safari Rally winner.
Celica GT-Four competed in Group ARally racing from the 1988 to 1997. Celica GT-Four have won two manufacturer's titles and four driver's titles. Carlos Sainz was the most successful driver, winning WRC titles with the ST165 in 1990 and the ST185 in 1992. The ST185 also won 1993 and 1994 titles with Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol respectively. The ST185's fourth consecutive Safari Rally victory came in 1995, which was also Toyota's 8th victory in this event. The ST205 became a center of controversy when the works Toyota Team Europe was banned for 12 months from the WRC because of use of an illegal turbo air restrictor. When TTE returned to the WRC, TTE switched to the shorter Corolla based on the European E110 3-door hatchback and the new World Rally Car regulations, although the ST205 continued to be used by some regional Toyota and private teams.
For the WRC homologation requirements, the special edition of the GT-Four models were produced for the public in limited numbers, 5000 units. They are considered a collector's item by some enthusiasts. The ST185's homologation version is called the GT-Four RC in Japan, Group A Rallye in Australia, or Carlos Sainz Limited Edition (CS, after the driver) in Europe, and general markets.
The first-generation liftback (known as Celica LB Turbo) was used to compete in the DRM between 1977 and 1978, the car was capable of producing 560 hp (418 kW). The car was entered by Schnitzer via Toyota Deutschland and was driven by Harald Ertl and Rolf Stommelen for the following season. The car had a limited success scoring only 4th and 8th and was plagued with various problems throughout the two seasons before it was sold to TOM'S in Japan which under company founder, Nobuhide Tachi, it had a successful career. Tachi also had a successful career with the second-generation version. Despite its limited success in the series, the DRM liftback was immortalised by Tamiya as a 1/12 radio controlled car and a 1/24 static model.
An almost identical Celica GT Coupe Turbo was built in Denmark in 1978–1979 and raced by Peter Hansen in the Danish championship. He came second in 1979 before winning the Danish Championship in 1980. The car had the same 2,148 cc engine block (18R) and the same Mahle forged pistons as the German DRM car but with an 8-valve cylinder head, producing 300 kW (400 hp). The Danish-built engine with K-jetronic fuel injection proved more reliable than the mechanically fuel injected Schnitzer built engine. Both engines were equipped with KKK turbochargers.
The Celica (usually the first through third-generation rear-wheel drive models powered by R series engines) was sometimes raced privately in stock car racing, usually in four-cylinder classes at the grassroots level. A less stock version of the Celica with factory backing and development was campaigned successfully by several drivers in the Goody's Dash Series. These Celicas started racing in 2000 and had 6th or 7th generation bodies but a steel tube-frame race chassis and a production-based V6 engine that was not available in the street Celica. Robert Huffman won the 2003 Dash Series Championship driving one of these Celicas. Osborne Motorsport won their class in the 2003 Bathurst 24 Hour race.
The seventh-generation Celicas were also successfully campaigned in the NHRA Sport Compact Drag Racing series during the early 2000s. Toyotas run in the NHRA Funny Car class also used Celica bodies, although besides the body, these cars do not share any resemblance to their street counterparts.
In Japan, the Team Racing Project Bandoh created a special rear wheel drive variant of the seventh-generation Celica using a 3S-GTE engine, having previously ran a front wheel drive sixth generation model. It was entered into GT300 class of the Japanese Grand Touring Championship(and later Super GT) until 2008, which they switched their car to Lexus IS350 in race 3 that season.