1991 Toyota Celica GT4 Group A 4WD Coupe (Carlos Sainz Edition No.143)
Result: PASSED IN
|Engine||In-line four-cylinder, 1998cc|
Toyota's frontline weapon in the World Rally Championship during the late 1980s was an all-wheel drive version of the hugely popular Celica sports car, beginning in 1988 with the ST165 model. Badged the GT-Four in road-going form, the ST165 Celica was powered by Toyota's advanced 3S-GTE turbocharged 2-litre engine with Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection and four-valves per cylinder, developing around 190bhp and debuted in the 1988 Tour de Corse, although it didn't taste succcess until Rally Australia the following year. Toyota released a second generation GT-Four, the ST185, in 1989 with more curvacous styling while the motor received an air-to-air intercooler and a significant boost in power. The four-wheel drive system featured a central viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential with a 50/50 split between front and rear. The transmission was via an all-synchromesh five-speed gearbox with a single dry plate clutch. Homologated for Group A, the ST185 debuted at the 1992 Rally Monte Carlo and went on to win four events and Spaniard Carlos Sainz would ultimately claim the World Driver's Championship that year. Competing against the all conquering Lancia Delta Integrales, the Toyotas aquitted themselves well and ultimately won no less than 38 WRC events and both Driver's and Manufacturer's Championships in 1993 and 1994. In addition to the regular GT-Four, Toyota offered special edition in 1991 limited to just 5000 units worldwide: of these 3000 went to Europe, 1800 were reserved for the domestic Japanese market and 150 came to Australia, each individually numbered with a special plate on the centre console. Marketed as the Group A Rallye here, the model was popularly known as the Carlos Sainz Limited Edition elsewhere. These cars used a host of special competition parts, including a more effective water-to-air intercooler and a revised bonnet with better ventilation and distinctive scoop, lightweight bumpers and a shorter gearshift action and clutch pedal action. The Celica Group A Rallye also came with a long list of standard equipment, including ABS, an auto tilt-away steering wheel, electric driver's seat and cruise control and, with an asking price exceeding $45,000 in 1991, was easily the most expensive Celica sold in Australia. Today these cars enjoy a loyal following and are coveted by discerning enthusiasts for their fantastic handling, rapid performance and potential as track or rally cars.