TRD 2000 :

9 Oct 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on TRD 2000 :

TRD 2000

What better way for Toyota to cash in on the success of the JTCC than to jam a 3S-GE into a AE101 Corolla/Ceres sedan?

Extremely slammed ride height, 19-inch wheels, T-wings#8230; the 2.0L Super Tourer category certainly left its mark on the tuning scene through the 1990s. In Japan the popularity of the series peaked at around 1996 and quite early on Toyota was well aware of the marketing potential of the Japanese version of the Super Tourers, the JTCC, and offered a TRD special model in October of 1994. These were no ordinary #8220;TRD parts bin#8221; specials.

The plan was to produce a road going version of the JTCC Corolla which meant slotting in the 400cc bigger 3S-GE engine and S54 gearbox from the ST202 Celica SS-II which produced 180hp and 19.5kg/m, a decent jump over the standard Corolla GT#8217;s 160hp and 16.5kg/m.

The TRD 2000 shared center stage with the TRD 3000GT  at the 1994 Tokyo Auto Salon and was well received being able to draw some attention away from its bigger and more powerful brother. Only 99 were originally planned to be made, of which only 14 were eventually sold with 12 being Corollas and only 2(!) were Ceres hardtops! At a time when small capacity #8221;boy racer#8221; style front wheel drive cars were popular, the TRD 2000 was a dream come true.

However, at the 3,350,000 JPY asking price (which was a good 1,624,000 JPY over the base car), it was always going to be difficult to move one let alone 99 to all but the most die hard of JTCC fans. To put that price into perspective, the ST205 Celica GT-Four sold for 3,150,000 JPY in 1994 at a time when that model was enjoying considerable popularity with Toyota winning WRC driver#8217;s and manufacturer#8217;s titles in #8217;93 and #8217;94.

AE101 Toyota Corolla Ceres TRD 2000

What did the 1,624,000 JPY get you? The 3s-GE and S54 gearbox of course, plus other performance upgrades such as 20mm lowered springs and upgraded shock absorbers, sports brake pads, a dual muffler stainless exhaust system, a strut tower bar and a quick shift lever, all produced by TRD.

At extra cost there was a list of optional parts you could add to your TRD 2000 as well including things like Konig Prinz P200 sports seats, front and rear stabilizer bars with polyurethane bushes, a heavy duty clutch, a mechanical LSD, a TRD leather sports steering wheel and TRD 15#215;6.5 Type-FT alloy wheels with 195/55/R15 Yokohama Grand Prix M5 tires. Was it worth it?

Going by the few TRD 2000 owners who have blog entries about their cars, the sheer scarcity of such a model attracted them to the TRD 2000 as well as being a model that performed very well on the track when up against other circuit favorites of the same era like the EG/EK Honda Civic SiR-II. One owner clocked a respectable 1:09.00 around Tsukuba Circuit (see video below) while taking it relatively easy around the track.

TRD also produced two Corolla Ceres based TRD 2000s after a (fairly influential) customer personally requested the TRD treatment be applied to that model too. I#8217;ve heard virtually nothing about this car in my travels, only that the two cars were sold in the Tokyo district with one being an ex-showroom model.

Check out an in-car video of a TRD 2000 Corolla at Tsukuba Circuit:

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