ST185 Rally History
1992 - 1994 (Group A)
Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD (ST185) Celica GT-Four RC / ST185 debuted in the first round of the WRC series in 1992, the Monte Carlo Rally. The ST185 was destined to be more successful than it's predecessor, the ST165; a version that made Toyota team a top contender in WRC.
The designers and engineers in charge of developing the ST185 had to clear numerous technical hurdles in order to provide a machine that met the demands presented to them. The finished product was also called "Carlos Sainz Edition" in honor of the achievements of the Spaniard who claimed the 1990 Driver’s title with a Celica. He was the first world champion driving a Toyota.
Every manufacturer intending to compete in WRC is mandated to produce and sell a predetermined number of cars in order to qualify for Group A homologation. A total of 5,000 GT-Four RCs were manufactured and sold in Europe, Australia and Japan to satisfy this requirement. The model was a logical development from the mass-produced version, which was introduced to the market in September 1989. Upon the request of Toyota Team Europe (TTE), modifications were mainly dedicated to improved cooling efficiency.
Toyota Celica Turbo 4WD (ST185) When looking at the car, the most prominent features are the front grille with wide openings and the air duct incorporated into the hood design. This duct promotes the dispersion of heat from the engine compartment.
Toyota’s engineers were plagued with a series of problems until midway through the car’s debuting year, preventing any showing of its best potential. Then, at Catalunya Rally, with the suspension and the driveteam modified, the Celica GT-Four RC began running at ist predicted strength. Although a little late in the season, the car won five events and placed second in the 1992 ranking. The record of five wins was an encouraging result for the next season.
The colour scheme was totally changed for 1993. The car was dressed in the corporate colours of crown sponsor for the first time in Toyota’s rallying history. Another change was a move from Chez Pirelli to Michelin, which ensured competitive equality in terms of tyres.
Toyota gained its sixth win in the year at Rally Australia, clinching the long awaited Manufacturer’s Championship. Apart from this achievement, a new traction control system was tested at the 1000 Lakes Rally, expressing the company’s eagerness for pursuing the best in advanced technologies.
The Toyota Celica GT-Four family is one of the most successful rally cars ever. Despite that it is not a "popular" car to own and modify. It does not have the popularity of the Legacy RS, GTi-R or dare I say it, the WRX. Those cars are highly popular yet in some cases have not proved it in competition.
Here's a brief summary of the GT-Four's rally success, and a few other cars thrown in for good measure. All data is plagarised from Klein's Rally Cars book, which is a fantastic book (ISBN 3-8290-4625-1). Cars are listed several times due to sufficient differences to justify re-homologation.
Listed is the model, approximate years of use, number of 1st place results and championships won
31 Total Celica GT-Four Wins (All Generations)
45 Total Lancia Delta Wins
1 Total Subaru Legacy RS Wins
6 Total Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 Wins
_________________1990 Toyota Celica GTR 4WS ST183
- Steer From The Rear, Literally!