A great example of a very rare and desirable rally car for the road; 4 wheel drive, twin entry turbo, lightweight and well-balanced with astonishing acceleration.
 

At a glance:
1994 Toyota Celica GT-4 4WD twin entry turbo, manual
Imported from Japan in 2010
Mostly original specification with only a couple of purposeful & tasteful modifications
3 private owners
102,226 miles
MOT to April 2021

 

The model:
The Toyota Celica GT-Four was a high performance model of the Celica, with a turbocharged 3S-GTE engine, and full-time AWD. It was created to compete in the World Rally Championships, whose regulations dictate that a manufacturer must build road-going versions of the vehicle in sufficient numbers. These vehicles were referred to as "homologation special vehicles". The Celica GT-Four came in three generations; ST165, based on the fourth generation Celica, and manufactured between October 1986 and August 1989; the Super Round shape ST185 produced from September 1989 to September 1993; and this model ST205 built from February 1994 to June 1999. The ST205 came in late 1994, and became official rally car in 1995 with one WRC victory and also won the 1996 European Rally Championship.

The significance of the Toyota Celica GT-Four in WRC history, previously dominated by European manufacturers, is that it was the first time a Japanese car manufacturer entered the WRC with an AWD turbocharged car, took trophies and won the titles. Since then other Japanese manufacturers have been successful in the WRC. Toyota preceded the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Galant VR-4 and the Subaru Legacy and Impreza.

The Celica GT-Four ST205 was launched for the Japanese market in February 1994, and for the Australian, European, and British markets in the mid-year. This version was to be the most powerful Celica produced to date, producing between 242 PS (178 kW; 239 bhp) for the export model and 255 PS (188 kW; 252 bhp) for the Japanese market model from an updated 3S-GTE engine matched to the E154F gearbox. 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, an improved CT20B twin entry turbocharger, and "Super Strut Suspension".
 

The history of this car:
The car was first registered overseas and imported in 2004, with only 3 owners since then. It was declared manufactured in 1994, the first year of the ST205 production.

 

The specification:
Presented in Astral Black with blue grey velour interior. The car is in fully original specification apart from the following additions: Turbo timer, replacement rear exhaust and aftermarket genuine Rays alloy wheels.

 

Mileage:
A low 102,226 miles supported by the old MOTs and service history.

 

Service History:
The car comes with masses of itemised paperwork receipts showing full service history from Toyota from 2004 onwards, but regrettably no original Japanese service book.

The car will be freshly serviced prior to collection by the new owner.
 

On the Road:
These cars drive really well, with seemingly endless acceleration, it's very well balanced with astonishing AWD grip and a powerful turbocharged beast under the bonnet. It can be driven gently like a standard Celica, but there is a rip-roaring turbocharged beast under the bonnet, waiting to be unleashed when the mood takes you.

 

Engine:
The 3S-GTE was Toyota's 2 litre inline 4 turbocharged performance engine used to power the most powerful versions of Toyota Celica and MR2 models between 1986 to 1999. The aluminum alloy head featured dual over head cams and 4 valves per cylinder that measured 33.5mm for intake and 29.0mm for exhaust. To increase combustion efficiency, cross flow intake and exhaust layout was coupled with pent-roof combustion chambers. Fuel injectors were placed on the side of the head as opposed to 3S-GE which had the injectors on its top. Toyota continued developing 3S-GTE through out its life span. Although there is no such official classification from Toyota, 3S-GTE engines are generally collected under four generations.

Toyota introduced this third generation 3S-GTE in late 1993 with Series III Toyota MR2, just a few months before the launch of Celica ST205 which also used the same engine. The third generation had some major enhancements compared to first two generations. The head was almost completely redesigned; intake ports were not featuring T-VIS any more and the exhaust ports were widened about 10mm. The third generation 3S-GTE utilised the CT20B turbocharger generating 18psi of boost. The larger turbocharger needed more air and more fuel therefore the injector size was increased to 540cc from 430cc. Intake cam lift was raised to 8.7mm and throttle size was now 60mm opposed to 55mm found on previous versions. The MAP sensor was also revised to cope with the remaining changes. MR2 models were breathing through a front mounted air to air intercooler and making 245hp whereas Celica models, equipped with top mounted water-to-air intercoolers, were making 255hp.

The engine starts well, warms up quickly and ticks over very smoothly with no untoward noises.

The engine pulls very strongly through all of the gears and is refined and responsive throughout the rev range.
 

Transmission:
The 5-speed manual E154F gearbox feels very precise with no sloppiness in the linkages and snicks into gear as you would expect. The clutch bites in the correct place, and the gearchange is very easy to perfect.


MOT:
Mot until the end of April 2021 with no advisories.


Condition:
The car is in very good condition for its age, with considerable service history indicating that it has been exceptionally well maintained over the years since arriving in the UK.

The interior is in excellent condition with no significant signs of wear and the bodywork has no obvious signs of accident damage or repair, apart from a slight scuff on the offside rear bumper corner. If required, I will rectify that for you prior to collection, but I would rather the next owner see the car in it’s original condition, rather than with fresh paintwork which you could misinterpret as hiding a multitude of sins.


Availability:
According to online sources there were only 38 GT-Fours taxed and in use on UK road in the second quarter of 2017. These include the ST185 and ST205 models, so there are less than two dozen of these cars in still use, making this an increasingly rare car.


Pricing:
These cars command a handsome premium. There are lots of standard Celicas still on the road, which is a testament to their build quality, but they aren’t worth an awful lot. However, this turbocharged monster is becoming increasingly desirable in the UK and Europe and the prices seem to be steadily rising. The car is priced very attractively at £7,450.


Conclusion:
This is a rare car and they are fast becoming desirable modern classics. Very few were ever made, of which only a small number were imported to the UK, and of that small number some have been modified beyond recognition, and some are no longer on the road. So if you are in the market for one of these astonishing Japanese rally cars for the road, look no further.

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