Celica – Generation 7
The current (and possibly last) Celica was introduced in 2000, and was a completely new vehicle. At launch the car featured an all new engine in the form of the 1.8 litre 1ZZ-FE and in 2002 this was joined by the even better 1.8 litre 2ZZ-GE which produced around 190bhp.
The looks of the Generation 7 are a complete departure from the evolution of previous models.
The new range was not to include a GT4 model as Toyota seem to have no intention to return to the rally scene that they dominated a little over a decade ago before their unfortunate departure. However, handling of all models of the Gen 7 is still very good thanks to a fantastic chassis. And performance is brisk thanks to the powerful, flexible engines and the light weight of the new cars.
The inital engine offering (the 1ZZ-FE VVTi) produced around 140bhp (much less than the 2.0 litre 3S-GE in earlier cars, but despite this the car was relatively quick. More importantly, from Toyota’s perspective, it was efficient and offered a considerably better fuel economy than earlier cars.
The 190bhp 2ZZ-GE engine was introduced to the Generation 7 Celica after development work with Yamaha. Essentially the changes involved new cylinder bores to enable the engine to rev to a much higher limit, plus variable valve lift to supply much more fuel and air to the engine above a certain rev limit. This gave the Celica a completely new lease of life and a very distinctive characteristic; up to the point where the variable lift occured, the car was very similar to the VVTi models, but above that an extra 40bhp became available, and the sound of those extra horses was incredible.
Despite announcing the demise of both the MR2 and Celica in July 2004, both cars continue to be available from dealers two years after that announcement.
Recently the company also released a limited run of supercharged cars which produced a similar peak power output to the VVTLi models, with the added benefit of better fuel consumption and greater torque across the rev range. These may well be the Celica’s swansong, and could prove to be very valuable cars in future years.
Generation 7 Celica 190
My first Celica was a Generation 7 revision 1 which was registered in May 2001. It was my first Toyota and since then I’ve purchased several others as I was so impressed with the reliablity and performance of the car.