The Celica, which Toyota pioneered a new genre of specialty cars, made its debut in 1970. It became to gain high popularity with the release by adopting a stylish form and a “full choice” system. In addition, the Celica was also used as a basic vehicle of motor sport, its success generated more popularity. In particular, the Celica also competed in the World Rally Championship at the hands of Toyota Team Europe led by Ove Anderson, who was also a rally driver. The possibilities of Celica was demonstrated and raised the reputation to the world.
The first generation Celica made its debut in November 1972 RAC Rally. There after, the Celica rallying model changed in response to the facelift of Celica. In the middle of the 1988 season, the Celica was reborn based on the fourth generation Celica. It was the Celica GT-FOUR (ST165) that Toyota used as the basic vehicle in response to the end of the Group B Rally and moving to Group A. The engine of Celica GT-FOUR has a displacement of 1988cc and an in-line four-cylinder with a turbocharger. It was a big feature that the Celica GT-FOUR adopted the advanced British XTRAC 4WD control system to achieve optimal torque distribution to four wheels according to the road conditions.
However, since Celica, which was chosen as the basic vehicle for rally racing, was not originally designed for rally racing, it required a lot of effort to develop. The Celica GT-FOUR made its World Rally debut in 1988 and competed in full-scale from the following 1989. Although the Celica ST165 was completed after many tests, the trouble in the actual competition was inevitable, and further effort was required. And the effort was paid off in 1990. The drivers were Carlos Sainz, Armin Schwarz and Mikael Ericsson, and finally showed their abilities. Carlos Sainz won the 1990 WRC Driver’s Title and brought Toyota the first world titles. In 1991, Carlos Sainz won the first round of the Monte Carlo Rally and Portugal. In the fifth round, Sainz won and Marc Duez from the Toyota Fina Team also took fourth place in the Tour de Corse. The Celica ST165 has gained a reputation as a masterpiece rally car. The Celica ST165, which run on the rallying stage with many staffs and drivers at the timing when Toyota decided to participate the World Rally Championship in full-scale, was trained through many races and grew up into a masterpiece rally car.