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Old 04-02-2000, 01:26 PM   #1
ASNG
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Exclamation Review - 2000 Celica GT-S VVTi...

Sorry, it's supposed to be "VVTL-i"!

OK guys/gals,
I just test drove the new 2000 Celica GT-S.

First off, the car has a huge label hanging off the dash telling you that "this is a high performance vehicle", and that you should be between 2000-4000 rpm for the first 1000 miles. Since I'm not into killing cars during break-in, especially if it is going to be someone else's, I had to request the managers "demo" car, because it was the only one with over 1000 miles on it, and I was not going to waste my time unless I could drive the car to it's limits....though that's not exactly what I said to the dealer...he-he!

So there I had it, high output VVTi engine, 6-speed manual, and NO sales-person for the ride!!...Whoo-hoo!!

The 1.8 VVTi in the Celica seamed to have pretty decent low and mid range, i.e. in non-VVTi mode, when compared to a similar V-TEC Honda power plant. In addition, when switching to VVTi mode, at 6000 rpm, the transition is less dramatic than with V-TEC, and not only because of the better low end.

At WOT, wide-open-throttle, in both VVTi and non-VVTi mode, the engine makes a relatively loud "intake" sound. It reminded me of a Prelude or an Integra GS-R with an intake kit, but to my supprise it was a less "refined" sound, especially coming from a stock setup. Although it is something that I could defintely live with!

The stronger low end certainly helped off-the-line acceleration, but it still seemed to take it's time getting up to that magical 6000 rpm mark, but was not as strong as an RS!
Unlike some reviews that have described a sort of abrupt transition, I did not feel any power "cut-off" when going to VVTi mode. I think they may have confused it with a slower throttle response, that results in a kind of "jerk" when shifting, since the engine does not get up to speed before you release the clutch. I just had to adjust my shifting style and no more "jerking", that was it!

Above 6000 it pulls nicely, but again, with a less dramatic transition than a V-TEC, although it still has no V8 or Eclipse Turbo feel to it. But with a V-TEC enigne atleast, power comes on around 5000 rpm, wich gives you 50% more usable "high-power" range than the VVTi kicking in at 6000 rpm.
Even with the 6-speed and boucing of the 8000+ rpm rev limiter, I still found it kind of hard to keep it above 6000 when shifting through a few tight and twisties. I would like to see that VVTi mode drop to at least 5500 rpm to make the setup a little more user friendly!

General road feel is awesom! Tight steering, firm suspension and minimal body roll. Going through fast and smooth "sweepers" it felt solid and neutral.
Excellent brakes!!...oh please let there be a newly designed brake system on the new Impreza, that is atleast half as good as the ones on the new Celica!!!....

However, and I mean a HUGE "however", when things are not very smooth and "sweepy", the inherent characteristics of a stiff FWD setup start to show, i.e., I realised, again, why I love my RS so much!!

As part of my daily "commute", there is a 1 mile section, that starts with a 2nd gear "right" and "left" off of a main road from 5th gear, opening up to a 3rd and 4th straight, followed by a 3 "right" 2 "left" "S", opening and tightening to a 2 right, followed by a "big-jump" over RRX in 4th.
Anyways, the only place better to "test" would be a race track.

So, pushing the Celica through this "course", I found that it was quite composed when entering hard and tight turns, but powering out was disappointing with all kinds of inside wheel spin and heavy plowing understeer when exiting under full throttle. Not to mention when the pavement gets rough, putting power down and composure becomes an issue, a problem only compounded by the narrow power band above 6000 rpm!
I would smoke any Celica on roads like this with my RS, and not just because I know the road.

The dash is probably a love-hate situation. I tend to like it. At 6'5" the "cockpit" was borderline for me! I could find an OK position but my head was slightly tilted into the sunroof cut-out, and the excessively laid back position was definitely not my style.
General visability was also a concern, with rear visability being quite poor. Mind you I haven't been in many cars that had better visability than the RS, even with the rear wing!

All and all it's a nice car, but if this is the best Toyota has to offer in performace in the year 2000 with a redesigned car, they better start running back to their drawing boards!! The Celica maybe marginally better than it's competition NOW, but in a year or two??...and I wasn't even thinking of the next generation Impreza...he-he!!

Bottom line,
I was very happy to get back into my RS after the test drive. And re-driving my "route" made me forget any thought I may have had of trading my Scooby!!



[This message has been edited by ASNG (edited April 02, 2000).]
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Old 04-02-2000, 01:35 PM   #2
Evil Bahumut
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Post

Toyota is kinda weak, but if they ever brought the Soarer 2.5 VVti twin turbo over to the states...
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Old 04-02-2000, 02:12 PM   #3
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Im not sure.. but isnt that the same as a lexus SC?
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Old 04-02-2000, 02:27 PM   #4
bryanw
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All I can say is, "Bring back the Supra!!"


"......and the RX-7, 3000GT, 300ZX, etc......"
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Old 04-02-2000, 04:25 PM   #5
Islander
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I've two friends with Toyota pickups with V6's and they seem really gutless. This a Toyota trait?
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Old 04-02-2000, 04:37 PM   #6
Evil Bahumut
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Impy, your right.. the lexus sc400= soarer.. just without the 2.5 L twin turbo. I don't know about the 2000 models though. I doubt it. Just like the IS300 = toyota Altezza (hits US shores in 4 months!) really isn't the same thing, just looks like it.
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Old 04-02-2000, 05:34 PM   #7
98mpreziveRS
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mmmm....twin turbo supra...*drooling* shouldn't stopped it in 98, we want it back, those were sweet cars, had mind numbing acceleration as well as great handling! We need that car again, along with a turbo'd impreza and a long list of other cars.
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Old 04-03-2000, 05:47 AM   #8
ASNG
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Exclamation

The faith of the Supra only shows what happens with an expensive import coupe in the current market.

I mean think, yes we can all say "ya, they should have kept it" and "damn SUV's"!
But really, how many of us would actually go out and by a Supra if it was put in a showroom tomorrow, and that's if you could afford one??

How many of us actually bought a Supra, a 300 ZX or an RX-7 turbo when they were around a few years ago?? Not many!!
So, there! I know it's easy to point the finger, but companies have to do what they have to do in order to stay competitive!

And yes, there is always the argument that, "Well, Chryser only keeps the Viper around to attract buyers to the showroom, why can't others??!!"! Show me a nother automobile manufacturer with those kinds of financial resourses and that should answer your question!

ASNG
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Old 08-09-2000, 10:05 AM   #9
EuGeNiLe GTS
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Evil Bahumut - "Toyota is kinda weak, but if they ever brought the Soarer 2.5 VVti twin turbo over to the states..."

EuGeNiLe GTS - "Subaru is kinda weak, but if they ever brought the Impreza WRX Sti turbo AWD over to the states..."

see how u like it hehe
even though they really are brining the WRX here heh.. 2002.. supra should be back.. got it from reliable source....TOYOTA heh.

EuGeNiLe
2k Toyota Celica GTS 6 Speed Absolutely Red
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Old 08-09-2000, 10:26 AM   #10
Fish
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I drove a new GT..

the one thing i didn't like about it other than the cheap interior and massive blind spots..

was that when I tried to take off out of a turn it just lifted the inner tire and spun it..

It's a nice car, I like the dash.. but the material that they used to cover the celing... wicked lame.
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Old 08-09-2000, 10:37 AM   #11
AlphaDog
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Well, I test drove a GTS back in December when I was shopping for my new car. I liked it a lot, until I drove my Si. The Si isn't faster, doesn't handle really as good under pressure, and has worse bottom end. But...

The Si just "felt" better. It drove, on the whole, a lot better. More usable power (despite a small bottom end), good enough handling (easy to make great with aftermarket), and more room inside. Plus I didn't like the Celica's styling. I'm already tired of it. It's a great car, don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't give up my 99 Si with 15K miles on it for a brand new GTS today.

Just my opinion...
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Old 08-09-2000, 10:39 AM   #12
Opie
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Exclamation

EuGeNiLe GTS - Ummm,if you hadn't noticed...this is a Subaru Impreza enthusiast site, not a Toyota enthusiast site. Not that I have a problem with Toyota's but this group is a slightly biased toward Impreza's, your comments are most likely falling on deaf ears.
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Old 08-09-2000, 11:20 AM   #13
EuGeNiLe GTS
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Have a Nice Day?

opie.. yea i know.. dont think i never knew that.. =)
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Old 08-09-2000, 11:22 AM   #14
ColinL
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Post

I really disliked the visibility and overall cockpit. I also thought the engine felt noticeably weaker than an Integra GS-R across the rev range, which is a bit different than what ASNG described.

Obviously FWD is a big downer no matter how great the rest of the car is.
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Old 08-09-2000, 01:05 PM   #15
Phathead
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VVTL-i kicks in at about 6000 rpms not 8000
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Old 08-09-2000, 02:14 PM   #16
EuGeNiLe GTS
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yea get ur info straight heh =) heres a good discussion about vtec and vvtl-i.. get the facts...
http://www.newcelica.org/ubb/Forum7/HTML/000047.html
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Old 08-09-2000, 03:24 PM   #17
Gambit
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This is what I got.
http://www.edmunds.com/vehicles/2000.../longterm.html

"First of all, the engine has to be revved to above 8,000 rpm to get into its "happy zone." This is similar to a Honda VTEC engine, but Hondas generally get their second wind around 6,000 to 7,000 rpm, leaving plenty of room on the tachometer to enjoy the fun. By the time the Celica's 180 horsepower come together at 7,600 rpm, it is basically time to shift. This gives the annoying impression of being "teased" with the car's potential rather than basking in it. It also means you really have to hammer on the car to experience maximum thrust, something Mr. Brauer was loathe to do on the public -- and increasingly cop-riddled -- streets of West L.A."

----------------
Doesn't matter to me either cus ppl who ends up with Imprezas prefer power down low. Sorry if I hurt your feelings tho. Also i think the All trac turbo Celica rocks!
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Old 08-10-2000, 12:12 AM   #18
EuGeNiLe GTS
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Talking

hmm.. yea visibility sucks big time.. like the 95-99 eclipses.. but u get use to it.. i love it how no one can sit in the back seats haha.. since i have to put my seat back for my needs.. so no one can sit in the back of my side.. then all i need is get one of my friends whos like 6 feet so he needs the seat back.. heh yea i dont know how it felt weaker to u.. hmm.. but watever it beats gs-r's man if they made a celica tuned for racing.. like the type r.. cause just how it is keeps up with type r's from what i keep on hearing.. and the type r's were tuned for racing.. oh well.. that supercharger from trd wil have to do..

and that thing puttin down FWD cars.. i guess anything that aint AWD here has to be put down.. oh well..
peace yall

EuGeNiLe
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Old 08-10-2000, 12:21 AM   #19
ColinL
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Nah, I like RWD too.
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Old 08-10-2000, 12:28 AM   #20
Gambit
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Reason why borth the GSR and Si "felt" moe powerful is because those Hondas get to the vtec range earlier and lasts longer than a GTS' VVTi which comes in at what 8000? Correct me if I'm wrong. And it lasts for another 500rpm. So it really suck out just when you thought "Oh yeah, this things is finally moving" and then you bounce off the rev limiter back into no power zone. I think GSRs and Si's vtec coems in at 5000 and last thru to 7000rpm.
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