Rafael Granja profile picture Rafael Granja a year ago 10
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The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car.

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

In July 1999, Toyota started production of the seventh-generation Celica, with European sales beginning late that year. It was inspired in 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.
The Celica came in various different models.

In Europe:

The Celica ZZT230 VVT-i

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

It was powered by the 1ZZ-FE rated at 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) at 6400 rpm and 125 lb⋅ft (169 N⋅m) of torque at 4200 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. Just like the GT in the USA. This car did 0-60mph in 7.2 Seconds due to a better ECU than the GT version on the USA.

The Rarer Toyota Celica ZZT230 VVTL-i GT:

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

It was powered by a 2ZZ-GE rated at 191 PS (140 kW; 188 hp) at 8250 rpm and 180.44 N⋅m (133.09 lb⋅ft) of torque at 6800 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. This car came with a special cosmetic kit, almost looks the same as the USA GT-S “Action Package” but it has a different bumper, same side skirts, same wing, same rear bumper and different rims. Buyers had the option of a six-speed manual or a five-speed manual gearbox. The base tire size was 205/55/15 but the optional size offered was 205/50/16 just like the T-Sport and TTE. All Celica models had four-wheel disc brakes and metal pedals. Manual transmission shifters and all steering wheels were leather. This version went 0-60 in 6.7 seconds.

The Celica T-Sport ZZT231

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

The Celica T-Sport was powered by a 2ZZ-GE rated at 191 PS (140 kW; 190 hp) at 8250 rpm and 180.44 N⋅m (133.09 lb⋅ft) of torque at 6800 rpm. The engine was featured with 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. VVTL-i is basically Toyota’s take on Honda´s VTEC YO! Buyers only had the option of a six-speed manual. The base tire size was 205/55/15 but the optional size offered was 205/50/16. The T-Sport went 0-60 in 6.5 seconds.

A special version of the Celica, the TTE (Still ZZT231)

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

The TTE (wich stands for Team Toyota Europe) Celica is basically the same as the T-Sport except it had a Front Bumper Lip, Center Exhaust Exit on the back, TTE rims, TTE exhaust and TTE Springs.

In the USA:

Toyota Celica GT ZZT230

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

It was powered by the 1ZZ-FE rated at 140 bhp (104 kW; 142 PS) at 6400 rpm and 125 lb⋅ft (169 N⋅m) of torque at 4200 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.
Transmission choices were a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. The GT has standard front disc brakes and rear drum brakes, tire size was 195/60/15 with standard wheel covers or optional alloy wheels. This car did 0-60mph in 7.6 Seconds.

The Toyota Celica GT-S ZZT231

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

It was powered by the 2ZZ-GE engine rated at 180 bhp (134 kW; 182 PS) at 7600 rpm and 133 lb⋅ft (180 N⋅m) torque at 6800 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. There was 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 really cheap 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”.

The Toyota Celica GT Panasonic Edition ZZT230

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

It was a GT Model, so it was powered by the 1ZZ-FE, it was a special little Version of the car where Panasonic and Toyota decided to do a “weird” colaboration. It was basically a GT celica with the Action Package, a much better Panasonic MP3 Player/Radio, a livery and some stickers saying Panasonic.

The Toyota Celica TRD Sports M ZZT231

Toyota - The 7Th Gen Toyota Celica. Toyota´s biggest underrated/underdog car. - Blog

This car was sold only in Japan. TRD only built 1,200 of these, each with its unique chassis plate denoting the build number.
Their mission was to make the car lighter, stiffer, faster and better handling, which they most certainly did.
Original Sports M Factory Upgrades: TRD started by stiffening the monocoque chassis with extra spot welds to suspension structural points & roof pillars whilst reducing soundproofing and thus shedding weight. The engine was fettled with TRD lightweight pistons of increased compression, re-profiled high-lift camshafts & lightweight valves. The exhaust system was replaced with a TRD manifold & high response Version S muffler. This combination increased power to 210ps/200hp. A TRD Helical LSD with uprated organic clutch virtually banished wheelspin off the line whilst the gearbox ratios were revised to close ratio (6 speed). The suspension was upgraded to TRD Sporty shock absorbers, a thicker front anti-roll bar & uprated TRD suspension bushes. Wheels remained original in design but were painted dark grey as opposed to Silver. In typical TRD fashion, the body-kit of the Sports M enhanced the original design without resorting to excessive fuss. Unique features included a revised front lip, side skirts, rear valence and rear spoiler - with just two badges to give a clue of the tasty changes beneath the skin.
Note: This body-kit was made of injection molded Polyeurethane so it would be resilient to stone chips and the damage that FRP body kits tend to suffer from regular use. Inside, the TRD theme continued with half Alcantara sports seats and door inserts at the front, TRD Sports SRS leather steering wheel & a matching leather-trimmed shift knob. The instruments included a 240 km/h speedometer and a contrasting white-faced TRD 10,000 scaled rev.
This car did 0-60 in 5.6 seconds.

Toyota discontinued the Seventh Generation Celica at the end of 2005 due to lack of sales. Celica´s sales hit 52,406 units in 2000, but came down to 14,856 in 2003. Only 8,710 Celicas were sold in 2004, and only 3,113 were sold in 2005. This car was designed to be on the market for the Coupés just like the Acura RSX, Integra, Hyundai Coupe and some other coupé´s of the market at that time.