Toyota Celica Twincam Turbo TA 64 (1983-1986)
The Celica twin-cam turbo was Toyota's choice to enter the World Rally Championship when they decided to take a run at the title. The Celica's major handicap was its lack of four-wheel-drive, however, the car was well-built and fairly straightforward to maintain. The engine produced about 290 horsepower (which later grew to 370 as the evolution versions were released), and it had a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout.
- Homologation: 01.03.1983 (B239)
- Layout: Front Engine (Longetudinal), RWD
- Weight: 1020-1100kg (lbs.)
- Length: 4250mm
- Width: 1785mm
- Wheelbase: 2500mm
- Track: 1410mm
- Height: 1310mm
- Engine: 1791cc Inline 4 cylinder (4T-GTE)
- Compression: 7.1:1 - 8.0:1
- Head: DOHC 8 Valve????
- Fuel: ECI
- Induction: Forced (K27 KKK Turbo)
- Power: 360-390 hp @ 7500-8000 rpm
- Torque: 355 ft/lbs. @ 5000 rpm
- Oil: Dry Sump
The Toyota's first rally in the Group B class was the 1983 1000 Lakes Rally in Finland, with the young but talented Juha Kankkunen behind the wheel. The Celica grabbed a fine sixth place in its first rally. Its second rally was even better. Toyota and desert rally expert Bjorn Waldegard teamed up to win the Ivory Coast rally in October, 1983, on the Celica's second outing. However, the 1983 RAC rally was an eye-opener for Toyota. The Celica simply didn't have the pace to keep up with the other teams on tight European stages.
The Celica was out of its depth on the twisty European roads, but it found its niche on the African continent. The Celica won no less than six rallies in Africa, including three consecutive Safari rallies in Kenya from 1984 to 1986. Toyota added three wins in Western Africa's Ivory Coast rally, making it the undisputed king of the desert during the Group B era. The Celica's ruggedness and simplicity (compared to other Group B cars) made it reliable and perfectly suited to the harsh desert conditions. The Celica changed drastically following Group B's cancellation for the 1987 season.
Makela Auto Tuning in Finland has restored several TCT over the last few years. Their website shows detailed photos of the process. The restoration is as full as one could imagine. They go as far as rebuilding the internals of each gauge and even refabbing bent and rusted sheetmetal in the body.
1984 Toyota Celica Turbo #TC35 Group B ex-Björn Waldegård, Toyota Team Europe 1985 HongKong-Beijing Rally. 1986-1988 Mohammed Bin Sulayem, Toyota Team Middle East Championship winning car.
1984 Toyota Celica Turbo #TC18 Group B ex Juha Kankkunen 1985 HongKong-Beijing Rally
Rallye Engine in Germany is working on restoring a TCT as well.
1983 Toyota Celica Turbo #TC?? Group B ex-Björn Waldegård, Toyota Team Europe 1983 Rallye Côte d'Ivoire.
Toyota MR2 "222D" (1986)
When Toyota realised that the Celica Twincam Turbo wasn't very competitive outside of Africa, Toyota Team Europe (TTE) started work on a new contender - a 600 horsepower Mk 1 MR2. The rally car was codenamed "222D" and was being developed for Group S and possibly Group B. A ground up tube chassis car was constructed. There were three produced, one with the engine mounted transversely with RWD, and two with the engine mounted longitudinally. One of these was RWD while the other was AWD using a custom gearbox manufactured by Xtrac. With 600+hp and AWD, the car resembled the MR2 in appearance only.
These were not true Group S cars however, as the Group S rules limited engine capacity to 1.2L. Instead they were hybrid Group B / Group S cars. One was designed for tarmac rallies, while the other was suited to gravel rallies. All three motors were turbocharged, and had a displacement of 2.0 L. While not known for sure, the engine could have been the either 4T-GTE as used in the celica rally car preceding it, or it possibly could have been the famous 503E used in the GTP cars.
It is rumored that one of these was given to a VIP to drive around during a recent WRC event in Germany. There are recent photos of both a black and a white MR2 assumed to both still be alive. I have read on other sites that 2 of the 3 were destroyed during testing. Who knows what's still out there? One member going by the name of Ralf claims to have spolen on the phone with Mr. Boetcher, the chief of TTE who told him during a telephone call recently that it is possible to buy this car, but he had no idea what it will cost.
- Homologation: None - Prototype