What's New for 2000
The all-new 2000 Toyota Celica is considerably more performance-oriented than the previous model. Highlights include a sleek exterior, a 180-horsepower engine and six-speed gearbox for the GT-S, and sharp handling.
The 2000 Celica enters its seventh generation considerably leaner and meaner. Styled in the United States by Calty Design Research Inc. in Newport Beach, Calif., the cab-forward design features a high-fashion look with racecar design elements. Sharp-edged panels, dramatic plunging curves, a tall tail and a radically lowered front fascia are stark contrasts. Compared to past models, Celica is shorter in length, but longer in wheelbase.
There are two versions for 2000: a base-level Celica GT, and a more-powerful GT-S. An all-new 1.8-liter, four-cylinder, DOHC all-aluminum engine powers the Celica GT-S. Hitting an impressive mark of 100 horsepower per liter of displacement, the engine generates 180 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 133 foot-pounds of torque at 6,800 rpm. The GT-S powerplant, co-developed with Yamaha, utilizes Toyota's new VVTL-i engine technology. Similar in concept to Honda's VTEC, the system can adjust both valve timing and lift. The GT model's 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 140 horsepower and 125 foot-pounds of torque at 6,400 rpm.
The 2000 Celica GT and GT-S are both available with different variations of all-new automatic and manual transmissions. The newly developed four-speed automatic transmission is found in both the GT and GT-S models. The GT-S also comes with E-shift steering wheel-mounted buttons, similar to those found in the Lexus GS 400. These allow "manual" shifting of the automatic transmission. As an exclusive feature in this class, the manual transmission in the GT-S features six forward gears.
The suspension and braking systems also have been upgraded. The front suspension is outfitted with MacPherson struts with offset springs and a solid anti-roll bar. The rear suspension is a double-wishbone design with a new camber-control function and a solid anti-roll bar. ABS is optional on both models. The Celica GT rides on 15x6.5-inch steel wheels with 195/60 R15 tires, while the high-grade GT-S features 15x6.5-inch alloy wheels on 205/55 R15 tires. Both models offer optional aluminum alloy wheels.
The 2000 Celica's interior has also been significantly altered. A simple cross-over dash layout, big analog gauges, sporty bucket seats and a purpose-built feel behind the wheel add to Celica's cockpit experience. Both Celica grade levels offer a center console big enough to hold eight CD cases, as well as two oversized cups. The rear seatbacks also can be folded forward, providing additional trunk space. Driver and front-passenger airbags are standard, and side airbags are optional.
The previous-generation Celica was generally considered slow, overweight and expensive. The new 2000 Celica should provide some welcome change to Toyota's sporty-car lineup