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The story of Four


A name that's synonymous with real-world performance and an icon of rallying in the 1980s and 1990s – a discipline that demands power, precision and confidence. Now, over 20 years since the Celica GT-FOUR exited a stage for the last time, the legacy continues. This time as GR-FOUR, a state-of-the-art 4WD system in the new GR Yaris.

Success on every surface

Engineered to not only delight enthusiasts on their favourite roads but also deliver victories at the highest level of motorsport, the legendary GT-FOUR was – and still is – the definitive Celica. Discover just a few of the highlights from its illustrious life.


1986 – 1989

  • Engine 2.0-litre DOHC Turbo (3S-GTE)
  • Power 185PS
  • Torque 249Nm
  • Weight 1,480 kg

Based on the fourth-generation Celica liftback, the ST165 GT-FOUR featured a full-time four-wheel drive system and – at the time – Japan’s most powerful 2.0-litre engine. Easily distinguished by its larger front bumper intakes and prominent decals, the GT-FOUR would provide the perfect basis for Toyota Team Europe’s (TTE) attack on the WRC title.


1988 – 1991

  • WRC Debut 1988 Tour De Corse
  • First WRC Victory 1989 Rally Australia
  • WRC victories 13
  • WRC Championships 1990 WRC Drivers’ Championship

The ST165 Celica GT-FOUR was not only Toyota’s first all-wheel drive competition rally car but also the first Toyota capable of competing at the highest level of the World Rally Championship (WRC). After a steady debut year in 1988 and taking its first WRC win in 1989, Carlos Sainz would go on to secure the 1990 WRC Drivers' Championship at the wheel of an ST165 GT-FOUR.


1989 – 1993

  • Engine 2.0-litre DOHC Turbo (3S-GTE)
  • Power 225PS
  • Torque 304 Nm
  • Weight 1,390 – 1,520 kg

The ST185 GT-FOUR was based on the underpinnings of the fifth-generation Celica liftback. Known as the GT-FOUR RC in Japan and the Carlos Sainz Limited Edition across Europe, it was set apart from the range by a purposeful bonnet vent, lightweight bumpers and a numbered plaque. For homologation, the ST185 GT-FOUR was only produced in 5,000 sought-after units.


1992 – 1994

  • WRC Debut 1992 Monte Carlo Rally
  • First WRC Victory 1992 Safari Rally
  • WRC victories 16
  • WRC Championships ’92, ’93, ’94 Drivers’ Championship and ’93, ’94 Manufacturers’ Championship

To date, the ST185 Celica GT-FOUR will be remembered as Toyota’s most successful rally car. In the three years it competed it racked up 16 WRC victories, three WRC drivers’ titles and two WRC manufacturers’ crowns. Instantly recognisable by its famous white, green and red Castrol livery, the ST185 GT-FOUR would blast Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Didier Auriol to WRC titles in style.


1994 – 1999

  • Engine 2.0-litre DOHC Turbo (3S-GTE)
  • Power 255 PS
  • Torque 304 Nm
  • Weight 1,390 – 1,440 kg

Based on the distinctive ‘fixed headlight’ sixth generation liftback, the Celica ST205 was the most powerful GT-FOUR to date. Produced in a limited production run of only 2,500 cars, the homologation model featured a weight-saving aluminium bonnet, uprated ‘four-pot’ brakes and an additional 30 bhp from its enhanced turbo and intercooler. The motivation? Another WRC title.


1994 – 1997

  • WRC Debut 1994 Rally GB
  • First WRC Victory 1995 Tour De Corse
  • WRC victories 1
  • WRC Championships 0

On paper, the ST205 GT-FOUR had all the ingredients for success: championship-winning DNA, superior aerodynamics and a unique anti-lag system. Sadly, bar Auriol’s Corsica victory and highlights such as a tremendous two-three-four finish in New Zealand, its potential was never realised and the team shifted its focus to the new Corolla in 1998 instead.