Toyota USA, along with Rod Millen Motorsports and Toyota Racing Development (TRD), has engineered the Ultimate Celica, a 500-horsepower, all-wheel drive powerhouse.
The Ultimate Celica is the extreme in driving excitement. It features a race-bred suspension, custom exhaust system, Recaro sport seats with four-point belts, an integrated rollcage, a racing fuel cell, performance tires and wheels, and Champ Car-inspired styling.
To reach the 500 horsepower goal, TRD immediately began work on tuning a four-cylinder production powerplant previously used in Toyota’s championship-winning IMSA GTP race cars of the early ’90s, and Rod Millen’s record-setting Pikes Peak Hill Climb runners. The bore and stroke were increased, a turbocharger installed and a custom-built a set of headers made out of inconel and a stainless steel exhaust. As a result, the Ultimate Celica produces 500 horsepower at 8,000 rpm and creates 340 lbs.-ft. of torque at 5,500.
In order to handle the increase in power and torque, the Celica’s production, front-wheel drive powertrain was converted into an all-wheel drive system.
Modifications also were made to the Bilstein struts and springs to balance and support the vehicle’s additional weight, and racing-inspired over-sized brakes were installed for more efficient braking power. To help stiffen the vehicle’s chassis, Rod Millen Motorsports built a custom rollcage. The front tubes of the cage were welded to existing bodywork and hidden behind the interior panels, while the remainder of the rollcage is only visible behind the front seats.
The new body pieces widen the vehicle by 3.8-inches in the front and 3.2 in the rear. Further sharpening the Ultimate Celica’s appearance are 245/35 Michelin Pilot performance tires wrapped around 19-inch BBS magnesium racing wheels with knockoffs, and the vehicle’s unique colour was developed and applied in a special, three-stage process at the Calty studios.