Backed by a stiff suspension, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder, DOHC all-aluminum engine that was co-developed with Yamaha to produce a 180-horsepower with 133-lbs/ft of torque, the Celica drives like a sports coupe for the next Millenium. The new engine takes advantage of VVTL-I (Variable Valve Timing and Lift with intelligence) that kicks in when engine speed is high by increasing the intake/exhaust lift and produces better fuel efficiency and power.
The ride and handling was similar to its closest competitor, the Acura Integra, but the look was hands-down more assertive. A sharply raked, but large window provided excellent visibility, and the seat positioning encouraged an active driving manner. The light black faux suede with nylon mesh highlighted seats and door panels, a metallic looking plastic dash, and chrome foot pedals enhanced the sporty attitude.
The Celica GT-S tested had the four speed automatic transmission with Sportshift, 16’ Allow wheel with W/205/50R16 Tires, and anti-lock brakes. With upgraded stems and ABS, along with a power tilt and Slide moonroof and floor mats increased the price from $21, 865 to $23, 885 (including a $455 destination charge).