Okey, this is my car. I've driven it around 25.000Kms since I bought it 7 months ago so we know each other pretty well... Actually, is has been longest relationship (and the cheapest one too). Now, back to bussiness.
The car is a 1998 Toyota Celica (ST202) powered by the 7A-FE engine, sending 117hp to the front wheels... Or, at least, it did in 1998.
The first thing you notice when you get in, besides how low you sit, is the center console. As the Supra's, the console is slightly turned to the driver. Wich I think pictures pretty well the thoughts behind the cars made back then.
Now, the driving. The gear ratio is quite big wich is good for highway and fuel consumption. I've managed to make 5.5l/100kms. And it was reaaaaaally boring. I will never try it again.
Anyway, when you are having an spirite driving on mountain roads*, you can go to 100- something kph in second gear. That means that, unless there is a big straight, wich is very, very rare here, second is the only gear you are going to need.
I know many of you are still thinking "but it is front wheel drive"... Yes, but the grip is astonishing. You throw the car to the corner, and hope for the best and it delivers! Not a bit of understeer. Actually, it's more declined to oversteer wich is so smooth thanks to the chassis lenght...
But, if you start feeling that you are about to understeer, with a bit of left foot braking- mid corner- you can sort it out.
And now the bad part. And is a big one. It isn't a GT-Four. For those who doesn't know, this generation was sold in three variants: the 1.8ST, the GT with a 3sge engine and 173hp, also fwd, and the big brother, the GT-Four, with a 3S-GTE engine with around 250 horsepower.
Most of the time you don't mind it but when you go to a car show and park it next to a GT Four, or when you say "I have a Celica" and they go "A GT-four?" and you have to explain it... Or, the one I hate the most, when you release the throttle and there isn't any PSHHHH noise coming from a blow-off valve under the bonnet. Those moments is when you think "damn, I would like a bit more of power, and awd..."
But you know what? I'm very happy with it. Since I changed the exhaust for a custom made one, every morning, I turn on the engine and it returns the favor. And that is what matters at the end...
*Mexico's mountain roads. Everything is legal there.