The 1994 Toyota Celica GTS is a sports car that was available to the market and was the sixth generation Celica. With its similarities to the Toyota Supra of the time, it always took a backseat to the Supra taking over the top tier spot as Toyota’s sports car. The 1994 Toyota Celica GTS was one of two models that were offered to the market within the Celica range at the time, there was also a more entry-level version called the Celica ST.
The 1994 Toyota Celica GTS was quite obviously the more desirable model of the two as it had more power and came with a sports package. It’s also important to keep one thing in mind when referring to this model, the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS with the ‘GTS’ designation was only utilized in the Canadian market and was the equivalent of the ‘GT’ with a sport package in the U.S market. Regardless, let’s stick to calling it a GTS for now as it has a nice ring to it. Both the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS and GT came with the same 135hp 5S-FE engine.
The Celica GTS is not a forgotten car of the 90s and in this 1994 Toyota Celica GTS review, we will go through all the interesting points about the car including performance, specs and more. Let’s get right into it!
1994 Toyota Celica GTS specs
Unfortunately for reasons we don’t know why the most powerful model of the Celica was never imported to the American market, it was only ever available in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Europe. This model was known as the Toyota Celica GT Four (ST205) and was coupled with 251hp for Japan and 239hp for all other markets it was exported to. This power was produced from an improved 3S-GTE engine
Now back onto the models offered in the US, the lower spec Celica ST came with an engine known as the 7A-FE which was a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine which was shared with the Toyota Corolla of the time, whilst the GTS came with a bigger 2.2L inline 4 cylinder engine known as the 5S-FE which helped the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS hp climb to 25hp more than the ST at 135 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The 1994 Toyota Celica GTS engine could also be found in the previous generation Toyota Camry.
This engine made the Celica GTS a fun and nimble car to drive, it had enough power and toque couple with its nimble FWD drivetrain to put a smile on anyone’s face. I know by today’s standards it doesn’t seem like much but it surely does the job and does it well. Not to mention that this propelled the Celica GTS from 0-60 mph in 8.4 seconds.
Sometimes you’ll see different ratings for horsepower for the GT in the market, this is simply due to some discrepancies in the Californian regulations, their cars were rated to only 130hp instead of 135hp although the torque figure of 145 lb-ft remained the same.
Driving the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS
Driving a car with FWD is always noticeable, especially as the horsepower increases, the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS doesn’t fall into this category as the horsepower is simply not high enough to cause such issues. Although things such as understeer are present depending on how hard you push the car.
The car is agile and fun enough but unfortunately isn’t up to par with its bigger brother the Supra. But at a completely different price point, the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS serves its purpose.
Improving the Experience
In any car community, there are always discussions of how to improve a car, and something prevalent surrounding the GTS but commonly discussed no matter what the car, is increasing the horsepower.
The 5S-FE is a fun little engine from the factory that can put a smile on anyone’s face, but people are always seeking to extract the maximum performance out of their cars, especially with cult classics such as the Celica. The most common way this is achieved is by slapping a turbo onto the car and calling it a day.
Well, it’s not that simple but the basics involve setting a budget depending on what figures you want to achieve, if it’s toward the lower end of the spectrum $1,500 could be sufficient whilst if you’re looking to extract around 220 hp you could be paying in excess of $3,500.
The most effective way would be to utilize parts from the 3S-GTE engine, the engine found in the Toyota Celica GT Four (ST205). Many agree that the turbo route is the best way to go and that using the 5S-FE as the base is prefered as some say it’s the stronger and more ‘bulletproof’ engine out of the two. Essentially why this is the recommended path to go as the 3S-GTE parts such as the intake, exhaust and turbo bolt straight onto a 5S-FE motor.
Of course, you could just do a simple tune on the naturally aspirated 5S-FE or add some new suspension and other bits to improve handling, but what fun is that when you can extract more power for a very reasonable price? But beware, if you add stress to any engine, it could decrease the longevity of its life.
Our Verdict on the 1994 Toyota Celica GTS
The 1994 Toyota Celica GTS is a fun little car that serves its purpose well, with a few minor and reasonably priced modifications you can extract even more from the inline 4 and enjoy your experience with this car.
The downside would be that it’s a front-wheel drive, but unfortunately, that’s the best we can do in America as we were never given the option to own a Toyota Celica GT Four. Regardless, you’ll surely enjoy the experience whether it’s a project car or your daily commuter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions and our answers to them:
Is the 1994 Toyota Celica RWD?
No, the 1994 Toyota Celica is not RWD (Rear Wheel Drive), it is FWD (Front Wheel Drive). The only Celica in this year that had a different drivetrain was the Toyota Celica GT Four which comes with AWD (All Wheel Drive).
What engine is in the 1994 Celica GT?
The 1994 Toyota Celica GT engine is known as a 5S-FE, which is an inline 4-cylinder motor that produces 135 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque. The GT model produces 25 hp more than the base model Celica ST which only has 110 hp.