WRC Homo: 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo

Before you get all fired up (we are talking to you, Stan) – the title is short for homologation. As in, Toyota wanted to build a badass Celica for the World Rally Championship but needed a widebody, all wheel drive, turbocharged production version to be offered to the public in order for it to be legal for competition. Called the GT-Four in the rest of the world, this gravel-munching monster was badged All-Trac Turbo for the US. Find this 1990 Toyota Celica All-Trac Turbo for sale in Nashville, TN for $7,500 via craigslist. Tip from Daniel who says: “If this is legit this this one is in the 1% of good ones left.”

The ST185 All-Trac Turbo / GT-Four was a pretty sweet version of a mediocre hairdresser’s car. Toyota fitted it with a viscous center diff to send power from the transversely mounted 3S-GTE engine & transaxle back to a retrofitted rear differential, potentially a limited scrimp. If you want to go sideways very rapidly in dirt, or just demolish all of the FWD & RWD competition in the stoplight drags, this is your steed. Think of it as a 25 year old take on the STi / Evo formula, except in a liftback coupe body. Or a scaled-up Mazda 323 GTX, except it’s actually a good car.

The seller of this car says it has a Carlos Sainz front bumper. Before you go thinking, “why is some rookie F1 driver being associated with an early ’90s rally car?” realize that this refers to his dad Carlos Sr., El Matador, the veteran two-time WRC world champion rally driver. With the widebody fenders and good sized intercooler lurking in the shadows, it gives the car a formidable presence.

On the other hand, the 3S-GTE engine is not really that impressive vs. modern turbocharged four cylinders, from a specific output perspective. It made 200hp from 2.0L which is 100hp/L, nothing to sneeze at, but since bettered by several naturally aspirated production engines and far eclipsed by today’s hyper boosted turbo mills (the Mercedes-Benz M133 DE 20 AL as found in the current CLA45 AMG makes 355hp from 2.0L for a stupendous power density of 177.5 hp/L). But for the early 90s, this was a baby supercar engine. It’s the same ‘plant found in the contemporary SW20 MR2 Turbo, and responds well to performance modifications. This one’s “built” and running AEM standalone engine management for a claimed 215hp at all four wheels. Conservatively, that’s over 250 bhp at the flywheel, so a healthy 25% bump up from the stock power level.

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