1 Nov 1985
It was a big year for Toyota – with both the all-important Corolla and Celica going front-wheel drive.
The latter turned out to be one of the surprise packages of the decade and helped change the public’s perception of Toyota as a maker of interesting cars.
Somehow rising above its humble front-drive Corona-based platform, the ST162 Celica SX wowed the world with its sharp steering, impressive handling and good ride.
Central to the astounding transformation was Toyota’s new family of twin-cam multi-valve engines – in this case a sweet-revving (to 7300rpm) 103kW/173Nm 2.0-litre fuel-injected four-cylinder unit (3S-FE).
Adding to the driving pleasure was a European-designed three-door hatchback body that was as aesthetically pleasing as it was aerodynamic.
A comfortable all-new cabin was just icing on the cake.
A simpler, less powerful 86kW/168Nm 2.0-litre engine (known as 3S-GE) arrived in the two-door ST coupe version, providing a budget - if less alluring – alternative to the SX Liftback.
The Celica had at last become a sports car.