1990 Toyota Celica GT4 Coupe
Result: PASSED IN
Toyota’s frontline weapon in the World Rally Championship during the late 1980s was an all-wheel drive version of the popular Celica sports car, the first time a Japanese manufacturer enjoyed real success in Group A, leading the way for a new generation of rally cars from Mitsubishi and Subaru. 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. Debuting in the 1988 Tour de Corse, the Celica didn’t taste succcess until Rally Australia the following year. Toyota released a second generation GT-Four, codenamed the ST185, in 1989, featuring more curvacous styling, an air-to-air intercooler and a significant boost in power. The four-wheel drive system had a central viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential, with a 50/50 split between front and rear. Transmission was via an all-synchromesh five-speed gearbox with a single dry plate clutch and Australian delivered cars used the E151F unit with a 3.933 ratio. Bodywork on all export market ST185 Celicas featured pronounced flared arches (known as wide bodies, with narrow bodied cars reserved for the Japanese market until August 1990). Homologated for Group A, the ST185 debuted at the 1992 Rally Monte Carlo and went on to win four events that year, with legendary Spaniard Carlos Sainz claiming the World Driver’s Championship. 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 order to homologate the car for Group A, Toyota had to build at least 2500 road going versions and these have become sought after amongst discerning enthusiasts for their fantastic handling, rapid performance and potential as track day or rally cars.