The GT-S Celica uses the same twin-cam engine (2ZZ-GE) and 6spd gearbox found in the Lotus Elise. The difference is that the Lotus ECU, intake, and exhaust gives the Elise an extra 10 hp. Also, the Elise weighs a mere 1,950lbs, while the GT-S weighs 2,500 lbs (which is still quite low – the same year Miata has a curb weight of ~2,300 lbs, for comparison)
Designed by Yamaha, the 2ZZ is a very peaky engine that doesn’t come alive until about 6,400 RPM. The 11.5:1 compression is higher even than Acura’s high-strung Integra Type R (10.6:1 compression), with the 8,350 RPM rev limiter kicking in slightly sooner compared to the Type R (8500 RPM)
The engine employs forged steel connecting rods and a block made of high-pressure cast aluminum alloy. The cylinder walls are strengthened with Metal Matrix Composite (MMC), which is a reinforcement material made up of ceramic parts and fibers
Paired with Toyota’s reliability standards, you can see why Lotus chose this engine, as well as why it zero internal changes for the Elise. Even the 6spd gearbox from the GT-S needed zero changes for the Elise, as the throws were short and precise enough for Lotus standards
Compared to the GT, the GT-S models came standard with VVTL-i engines (2ZZ-GE) vs the VVT-i engine on the GT (1ZZ-FE). The GT-S engine was developed with Yamaha and can vary both the valve timing and valve lift (hence the “L”) which provides the same function as Honda’s VTEC system (featuring a low lift cam and a high lift cam) as well as variable valve timing. GT-S models also received bigger brakes, fog lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport pedals, premium sound, Cold Area Package (heavy-duty starter and battery), and more. The GT-S could also be optioned with larger 16″ 5 spoke wheels (shown here)
For an unknown reason, the rev limiter on 2002 and 2005 models is reduced to 7800 RPM (same engine). Unfortunately, the lower cutoff makes it impossible to keep the Celica in its powerband in gears other than 1st, as the lower shift point drops the RPM to below the peak powerband when engaging the next gear (think of it as trying to stay within the VTEC engagement range in a Honda)
Key Model Year Changes:
First year of the 7th generation Celica
The following year (2001) saw minimal changes (nothing notable)
2002 was the first year of the Action Package (adjustable rear spoiler, ground effects, etc) as well as the reduced rev limiter (7800 RPM)
Significant changes didn’t occur until the 2003MY, which received an exterior facelift, interior updates, and DBW throttle. New JBL Audio system (standard on the GT-S) now uses a power antenna (rather than a fixed antenna). 2003 is also the first year of HID headlights (GT-S)
*SAE rated from factory. May not reflect current output.
*Performance numbers pulled from either the factory brochure or reputable automotive road tests.
*Base price when new does not reflect original MSRP of this particular car, nor does it reflect what the original owner paid for it.
*Advertised price at time of posting. Sellers can raise or lower prices on their original ad at any time. Click on the original ad to view current price/availability.
Mileage Disclaimer: NOC has not confirmed if the mileage stated by the seller is true and accurate. It is up to the buyer to verify these claims. Vehicle history reports, service records stating mileage, and even inspections of odometer tampering are recommended.