Tuesday, November 07, 2023

Automotif CDXXXIV...

Celica GT photographed with Nikon 1 V2 & 18.5mm f/1.8

Toyota's Celica nameplate dates all the way back to 1970, when it was introduced as a sporty rear-wheel-drive coupe that looked and drove like a 5/8ths scale Ford Mustang.

In the late Seventies it spawned a version with a slightly stretched wheelbase and a 2.6L SOHC inline-six, dubbed the Celica Supra.

For the '86 model year, the 4-cylinder Celica was moved to an all-new front-wheel-drive platform, leaving the 6-cylinder Supra to carry on as a separate model.

The seventh and final generation of the Celica appeared for the 2000 model year. By then, sporty coupe sales were already falling in the face of ballooning SUV and Crossover sales. A strong Yen and Toyota's corporate image as a purveyor of stodgy Camrys and Corollas didn't help Celica sales, either.

The car in the photo is a 2000-2004 Celica GT liftback coupe in the boringly named Black color. Apparently the Toyota of North America marketing department ran out of cool-sounding adjectives after Super White, Absolutely Red, and Carbon...Blue? Why is Blue "Carbon" and not Black? Anyway...

The base GT was powered by the 1.8L 1ZZ-FE four-banger, putting out 140 SAE net horsepower. If you ordered the GT-S package, you got the 180bhp 2ZZ-GE that had variable valve timing and lift. This was the same motor Lotus used in their Elise. That's almost as much power as the 2.8L M52B28 six in my Z3, despite being a whole liter smaller.

Alas, this didn't generate enough excitement to save the nameplate.

After years of slumping sales, Toyota pulled the plug on the Celica after the 2006 model year.