Only 30 months after the launch of the ST185 type Celica, another new generation Celica road car was conceived. The model code game is the same as before, the ST205 being the 4x4 turbo version of the ST200 generation. Note as well how Toyota played with model variation names to identify one from the other. We now moved from GT4 via Turbo 4WD to GT-Four.
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The ST205 is again an entirely different looking machine. It looks big and stretched and has compared to the ST185 more of a liftback coupé shape again. The most unique item to identify it from previous Celicas is that this one features open, round twin headlights rather than the typical clap down under flaps single square devices. But also the bonnet seems huge with a masive front overhang. Together with its huge shelf rear spoiler it looks much tidier and nicer than previous group A Celicas.
However the car already had a difficult start. Juha Kankkunen debuted the ST205 in San Remo 1994 and stuck to it for the rest of the season, while his team mates kept relying on the ST185. During that period the ST205 could not show a significant step forward from its predecessor. In contrary, throughout 1995 the car seemed to have its supposed improved handling hampered by the fact that it had a much wider track than not only previous Celicas, but worse, all other competitors. Such the car had a tendency of trying to jump out of the tracks, ruts and clean lines earlier runners on the stages created. The engine was further refined, but that advantage was gone with new air restrictor rules from 1995.
And exactly this lead to major embarassement and image loss. The Celica soon found and even increased its power advantage to such degree that apparently at stage starts in Australia already scrutineers became suspicious, but could not find anything. In Catalunya, the next and penultimate round of 1995 they however found that the air restrictor had a bypass that was so cleverly designed and hidden, it was 100% obvious created intentionally, such serious cheating was proven. Before Catalunya Toyota and Juha Kankkunen were clearly leading both championships, but this came to nothing, as Toyota had an illegal and intentional competition advantage. The team lost all their 1995 points alongside their competition licence for 1996.
For 1996 TTE further developped the Celica ST205 for customer and importer teams to use it. Incredibly only now, after the ban of the works team, it was discovered that narrowing the track gave this car the best handling a Celica ever had and with legal air restrictors Armin Schwarz became a convincing ERChampion and winner of the Rally GB in 1996!