The seventh-generation Celica substantially reduced its weight (by 60-90 kg against comparable model grades of the previous generation), by adopting 1.8-liter engines and an originally developed front-wheel-drive platform to deliver improved stability and power during high-speed driving, reflecting the development concept of "new sensations of a lightweight GT."
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The only available body type was a hatchback coupe. The well-proportioned body characterized by a long wheelbase and a short overhang promised a smooth ride. Other features included vertically slit headlamps, a dynamic side view, and the poised rear styling.
The engine lineup consisted of two types of high-performance 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve units producing 145 PS and 190 PS, respectively, combined with a 5-speed or new 6-speed manual transmission, or a 4-speed Super ECT transmission. The 4-wheel independent suspension employed a MacPherson strut system for the front and a double wishbone system for the rear.
Production of the Celica was discontinued in April 2006 at the end of the model generation.