Toyota Chaser is a mid-size 4 door sedan. In September 1996, the Toyota X100 Chaser replaced the Toyota X90 Chaser. By this time, the Chaser had become a more sporty sedan; for many, it was the definitive Chaser and the best-looking model. The product lineup consisted mostly of Avantes and Tourers, with the Avante as the luxury model (with more interior accessories) and the Toyota Tourer as the sporty model. Toyota’s VVTi, the company’s version of variable-valve timing, was added to the 1JZ engines; they were also upgraded to give out more torque, since they had already reached the legal limit set by Japanese authorities regarding horsepower. In 1997 the lineup remained largely unchanged, although a basic Toyota Tourer 2.0L model was added. The Toyota Tourer was powered by a 1G-FE engine, capable of 140 PS (138 hp/103 kW) at 5600 rpm. It was sold with only the 4-speed electronic control type (ECT) automatic transmission.
The Toyota Century is a large four-door limousine. The Toyota Century received a complete redesign in 1997, although the new model was visually very similar to the old. This current model is powered by a 280 PS (276 hp/206 kW) 5.0 L 1GZ-FE V12, initially with a 4-speed automatic, and then a 6-speed “intelligent” transmission. It also features air suspension and a factory LPG gas option, enabling the 2-ton car to be classed as a low emission vehicle. The Toyota Century remains the first and only Japanese front-engine, rear-wheel drive production car equipped with a V12. Like other cars in the top of the luxury class, the Century is designed with a chauffeur in mind. Hence, the rear seats recline and the front passenger seat has a fold-down center section so that a passenger in the back may stretch his feet forward. The rear seats are equipped with a massage system. The exterior door handles open the doors electrically since the sound of the door being opened mechanically is perceived as being “too obtrusive”. The doors of the Toyota Century do not need to be closed directly, instead the door only needs to contact the latch, causing the door to pull itself completely closed electrically.
The Toyota Mark II found much success throughout its life as the definitive private-use executive car in Japan (the larger Toyota Crown was considered more of a chauffeur-driven car for upper management, and the Toyota Century is the flagship sedan on a presidential level). The Toyota Mark II and its variants often sold in numbers comparable to the smaller Toyota Corona and Toyota Corolla. Popularity peaked in the 1980s and the Toyota Mark II was available with engines ranging from a 1.8 liter 4-cylinder to a turbocharged 2.5-liter than pushed the 280 horsepower (209 kW) self-imposed limit of the Japanese auto industry. Like the first-generation Corolla in 1966, the Mark II would come to symbolize Toyota’s winning formula of capturing its customer’s upward aspirations through excellent perceived quality. In the late 90’s, the Mark II design slightly changed once more. Becoming increasingly popular among auto enthusiasts in the mid 90’s, Toyota went for a more aggressive approach. Couple with a powerful engine and solid chassis, the Toyota Mark II is a formidable platform for a fast car. The JZX90 and JZX100 chassis had the optional Tourer V model. The Tourer V had a reinforced body, sport suspension, stronger drivetrain, and a turbo 2.5 liter inline 6 engine know as the 1JZ-GTE. It came from the factory with 280 horsepower and optional 5-speed transmission. The 1JZ-GTE engine is very easily upgradeable and with very little money, 330hp was easily attainable.
The Toyota Celica came in two different models. The ZZT230 powered by an economical 1.8 L 4-cylinder 140 hp 1ZZ-FE engine and the ZZT231 powered by a higher-performance 1.8 L 4-cylinder 191 hp in Europe and Japan (180 hp) 2ZZ-GE version, co-developed with Yamaha. Both of these engines featured Toyota’s signature VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence) system, which continuously varies the camshaft timing. In the USA and Canada the base model with 1ZZ-FE engine is called GT, and the higher performance model with 2ZZ-GE engine is GT-S. The GT-S had a more extensive and advanced system called VVTL-i (Variable Valve Timing with Lift and Intelligence), which is similar to the VVT-i except until 6100 rpm, when maximum intake valve lift is increased a fraction further to provide an increase in top-end power, accounting for the 41 hp difference. The GT was available in both a 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic and the GT-S was available with a close-ratio 6-speed manual and a 4-speed manually shiftable torque converter automatic by Tiptronic. The Toyota Celica enjoyed the spotlight for about a year or so, being that it was one of the few vehicles offering 100 hp/L for under $27,000 USD. Unfortunately, Toyota was too late to the sport compact party in 2001, Honda released its Integra replacement, the Acura RSX for the 2002 model year, the Type-S model with a 2.0 L 4-cylinder 200 hp engine, which competed directly with the Toyota Celica GT-S. In 2004, for the 2005 model year, the RSX Type-S raised the hp to 210.
The first-generation Toyota Carina was launched in 1970 as a four-door companion to the Toyota Celica. Over time it became a sister car to the Toyota Corona, but while based on the same underpinnings, it was usually sportier with body work and interior completely separate from the Corona and aimed towards the younger buyers – it generally filled a gap between the Corolla and Corona models. This pattern would continue all the way until today – The Toyota Carina’s position relative to the Corona is identical to the Allion’s position relative to the Premio, which replaced the Corona. At the ED’s redesign in 1989 a sister car was introduced as the Corona Exiv. In 1992 Toyota would repeat the product planning on a Corolla-based hardtop, the Sprinter Marino and Corolla Ceres. In 1993 the ED/Exiv were redesigned alongside the Celica (gaining styling incredibly similar to the larger Toyota JZX90 Mark II), and that was the last iteration of the nameplates.
The second generation of the Toyota Camry Solara was completely redesigned and introduced to the public in 2004 and featured a more curvy body, with the option of adding XM radio and/or a navigation system. The Gen 2 body is also heavier than the Gen 1.5 body. The 4 cylinder is a carryover of the first mid generation’s engine, and the larger available engine was the new 3.3 L V6 rated at 225 net HP @ 5600 rpm (168 kW) and 240 lb·ft (325 N·m) of torque @ 3600 rpm (325 Nm) with a 0-60 of 6.9 seconds, with a quarter mile of 15.50 @ 93.50 mph (150.47 km/h). With the four-cylinder engine you could choose a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the V6 was matched to only a five-speed automatic transmission equipped with a sequential automatic, also known as a Multi-Mode Transmission (MMT). Both engines now feature Toyota’s VVT-i technology. The Toyota Camry Solara also moved to TMMK for the second generation model. Although it gained a slightly updated appearance, it still retained both engines. Due to the new SAE-Certified testing method, the 4-cylinder model is rated at 155 hp (116 kW) with 158 lb·ft (214 N·m) of torque (214 Nm), and the V6 is rated at 210 hp (157 kW) and 220 lb·ft (298 N·m) of torque (298 Nm), but the output and performance is still the same without mechanical change.
The sixth generation Toyota Camry went on sale in March 2006. It was significantly redesigned, with a 56 mm longer wheelbase, but the overall length remained the same. It was introduced at the 2006 North American International Auto Show alongside a hybrid version. The sixth generation Toyota Camry sold in some countries in Asia and the Middle East have different exterior body parts and a similar interior to the Camry depicted. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2007 Toyota Camry and the Camry Hybrid a five-star safety rating for frontal crashes for both driver and passenger. Both models also received a five-star safety rating for side impact crashes for driver and passenger. The Camry received a four-star safety rating for rollovers. The Camry Hybrid was not tested for rollovers. The sixth generation model Toyota Camry received a four-star safety rating as a result of Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) testing. Consumer Reports 2007 Annual Car Reliability Survey gave the V6 version of the Toyota Camry a “below average” rating, thus removing the V6 Camry from Consumer Reports’ “Recommended” list. This rating does not apply to the four cylinder and hybrid versions, which continued to be recommended.