The Celica ST185 GT-Four Grp-A-Rallye Turbo was developed from scratch to meet the new Group A regulations.
Introduced for the 1988 season, but a delay in homologation meant that it didn’t make its debut until the Tour de Corse, the fifth event of the year.
There were many innovative features in the design and engineering of the GT-Four, including an Xtrac six-speed transmission.
The base engine for the ST185 GT-four was Toyota’s 3S-GTE Turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder DOHC unit, with output increased from 185 to 265bhp in line with the new Group A regulations. Key strengths included good acceleration response and torque delivery in low to mid-range, coupled to the traction and performance provided by the full-time four-wheel drive system.
The four-wheel drive system had a central viscous coupling and Torsen rear differential, with a 50/50 split between front and rear. Transmission was via an all-synchromesh five-speed gearbox with a single dry plate clutch and Australian delivered cars used the E151F unit with a 3.933 ratio. Bodywork on all export market ST185 Celicas featured pronounced flared arches (known as wide bodies, with narrow bodied cars reserved for the Japanese market until August 1990).