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Is Toyota Celica A Sports Car? (Answered)

Is Toyota Celica A Sports Car? (Answered)

In the pursuit of finding an answer to a question, one often comes across an explanation that turns out a bit complex yet thorough and accurate. It is what our research roars in the face of the query concerning Toyota Celica. Therefore, hold your anticipation for some time and get with us throughout the blog to find the answer.

Toyota Celica is essentially a sport compact since it lacks power on several fronts. However, it was created and marketed as a sports car by its look and feel. It continued to materialize as a two-door coupe across its seven generations that fits the criteria of a sports car. From 1986 to 1999, it was also armed with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

With the above description, you might have begun to realize that it is a car that overlaps features between a sports car and a sport compact. For better understanding, we need to evaluate it across several factors. It includes the power-to-weight, engine type, design, and drive system. In the end, we will see the category of it when it comes to insurance. So, let’s start the discussion.

Power-To-Weight Ratio

One of the effective predictors of determining whether Toyota Celica belongs to Sports cars or not is the power-to-weight ratio. It helps uncover how powerful the engine is against the weight of a car. Often, a sports car turns out powerful against its weight compared to a sport compact.

In this context, a sports car usually has a power-to-weight ratio of 0.07 horsepower for every pound. So, we will use it as a marker for Toyota Celica.

Along these lines, here is the curb weight of different generations:

  • First-Generation (1970–1977): 1,962–2,615 lb
  • Second-Generation (1977–1981): 2,326 lb
  • Third-Generation (1981–1985): 2,138–2,705 lb
  • Fourth-Generation (1985–1989): 2275-3164 lbs
  • Fifth-Generation (1989–1993): 2205-3236 lbs
  • Sixth-Generation (1993–1999): 2370-2458 lbs
  • Seventh-Generation (1999–2006): 2,403–2,601 lb

Moreover, here we see the maximum horsepower of different generations:

  • First-Generation (1970–1977): 130 hp
  • Second-Generation (1977–1981): 123 hp
  • Third-Generation (1981–1985): 170
  • Fourth-Generation (1985–1989): 185 hp
  • Fifth-Generation (1989–1993): 204 hp
  • Sixth-Generation (1993–1999): 242 hp
  • Seventh-Generation (1999–2006): 192 hp

We find the power-to-weight ratio of a car by dividing the horsepower by the curb weight. The above figures and the curb weight ranges indicate that a car may or may not be a sports car within a generation. For example, here we show you by calculating the power-to-weight ratio of some cars. Thus, here we find out this of one of the cars from the first generation. It’s good to know that sports cars generally have a power-to-weight ratio of 0.07 or higher.

Toyota Celica GT Liftback = 96 hp / 2500 lbs = 0.03

Now, we find it from the fourth generation.

Celica T160 2.0i turbo 4WD = 185 hp / 3164 lbs = 0.05

This time, here we find out it of one of the cars from the sixth generation:

Toyota Celica T200 2.0i GT-4 Turbo 4WD = 242 hp / 3131 lbs = 0.07

Our calculations indicate that the car from the sixth generation can fit the sports car category, while the previous cars escape it.

Also read: Is The Nissan Maxima A Sports Car?


A sports car can carry different engines, namely Inline-6 and Inline-4. These engines weigh comparatively lighter in weight than larger engines, such as the big-block V8 engine. When we see various versions of Toyota Celica, we come across several 4-cylinder engines.

While carrying different Inline-4 engines, it lacks the power-to-weight ratio that makes a car a sports car. There is indeed no explicit demand regarding the power output of an engine to fall in the category of a sports car. However, it seems inappropriate to add a car with the lowest level of the engine with weak power into the category.

On the other hand, a few versions hit the marker we expect from a sports car, even setting aside the cars deprived of needed power-to-weight ratio cars. As a result, we can perhaps give the green signal to them to a sports car category.


Besides the power-to-weight factor, another significant one is the design of a car. It helps differentiate between a sports car and other types of cars. In general, a sports car comprises two doors. Meanwhile, the design of a car focuses on aerodynamics and handling. Understandably, the underlying aim of a sports car is to make the handling smooth. Hence, a car can go around a track swiftly and efficiently. Also, it is low to the ground that helps provide it better handling in corners.

In the case of Toyota Celica, it indeed has two doors. It is also easy to use and gives a comfortable drive. More importantly, engineers of the car ensured superb handling. It is designed with independent front suspension along with a four-link rear setup with segregated dampers.

Despite different features overlapping with the characteristics of a sports car, Toyota Celica does not give the same feel. Nevertheless, one can classify its design as something close to a sports car.

Also read: Is The Hyundai Veloster A Sports Car?

Drive System

The drive system is another essential point to discuss to evaluate the category of a car. A sports car most probably has rear-wheel drive. However, it can also have front-wheel and all-wheel drive. Still, experts in the automobile industry argue that front-wheel drive makes driving less sporty.

Speaking of Toyota Celica, the first three generations of the car carried rear-wheel drive. From 1985, the company tailored the layout from rear-wheel drive to front-wheel drive.

In this context, we can contend that the generations before the fourth one meet the criteria of a sports car. At the same time, it is again essential to highlight that one element is not enough to put a car into one category. We should remember that a sports car can embrace front-wheel drive as well. So, a car meeting other elements despite not being rear-wheel drive can hit the category.

Is The Toyota Celica A Sports Car For Insurance Purposes?

The insurance cost of Toyota Celica is slightly above average to insure. It is more likely since it is considered a sports car for insurance. A car, riskier to cover, falls in the category of a sports car.

Typically, each car belongs to one of 50 insurance groups, with one being the cheapest and fifty being the most expensive. And Toyota Celica spans from insurance group 27 to 33.

It is essential to highlight that other factors sway the cost of your car insurance premiums. Engine type and capacity is one crucial element. You need to pay more when a car carries larger engines. It is the case since they cost more to replace or repair.

Another factor is driver age. The youngest drivers manifest a significant risk to insurers when it comes to stats. For this reason, they are charged higher premiums. Here we explain to you with an example. The average 20-year-old driver might pay $2,514 for the Toyota Celica 1.8 VVTLi T Sport 3d. On the contrary, the average 40-year-old will pay $1317.

Apart from that, there are other factors, such as your credit history and job, your marital status, the model of your car, the safety rating score of your car, etc.


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