BOOST AND LIFT | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 04, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:23 AM, November 06, 2015

Project car

BOOST AND LIFT

Supercharged 2006 Toyota Celica

The Celica was a hot selling car in Bangladesh, mainly because it's a 2 door coupe with appealing styling and the second reason being it's a Toyota. That meant that it's bulletproof reliable and parts for it are attainable locally.

I'm going to gather my thoughts on this one a little differently; because this is the first project car I've featured where the owner was cool enough to hand over the keys to me. Right when you enter the car, you notice only the driver's side got the Recarobucket seat treatment. Once you're settled in, you immediately notice this car has been fine tuned to perfection, the short shifter is setup so that each and every gear falls precisely when you want it to and thanks to the super-short throws, quick-shifting is tremendously fun in this car. The aftermarket Fidanza clutch is quite friendly even when you're just cruising about, in-fact it feels no harder to operate than my stock clutch and that says a lot. When you have a car as high strung as this one you'd think it's hard to drive it in the city, but it's really not, it's fine tuned and refined. It feels like any stock Celica when you're granny shifting and that on its own is an achievement is a small window into how much effort was spent behind the car. The interior has threeDefi gauges and controller, which are cleverly integrated into the center console behind a tinted glass. The car has an automatic sunroof whichtilts and slides, adding to the cool factor. Yes I have a sunroof fetish, probably because my car doesn't have one.

This is no ordinary Celica GT-S. It has been fitted with a supercharger from Blitz Power Japan and is now running 9 pounds of boost through its VVTL-I, 2ZZGE heart. The car was also fitted with a set of coilovers and a stack load of bars and strengthening braces to improve handling. Getting up and driving this thing, it makes usable boost from 2500 RPM all the way upto the 8400 RPM redline. It feels like it's running on jet fuel (which it probably is) and when you're pushing this car you simply don't have thetime to look at the clocks or the gauges, just guess the RPM from the engine note and upshift to the next gear. The blowoff valvechimes and you're in

boost again; unlike a turbocharger, there is no lag: floor it in any gear, at any speed and the torque will carry you forward with no hesitation. You have to be a skilled driver to drive this car properly, and I was quite terrified to push it as there is just an endless amount of power going to the front wheels, not that you'd feel it with the amazing handling and road-holding capability the car has in its current form. Even at unspeakable speeds this car feels quite stable, it's deceptively fast and you really don't realize it until you look at the speedo or guess the speed from the engine note (which I happen to be quite familiar with) and gear. The motor is built by Cosworth and has forged internals, the only thing stock about this car is the gauge cluster and steering.

Moving to the exterior, the hood is made out of super-light carbon-fiber, the front bumper is from the optional Toyota “Action pack” and the rear kit and skirts are by Varis. The car sits low on a set of genuine 18” OZ wheels.  The Blitz Nur Spec exhaust complements the powerplant.

This car gets away from its stock counterparts without even trying, it's just that agile. This is no Celica, this is a front-wheel driven rocket disguised under a Celica bodyshelland even with all the aggressive kits, you simply don't expect a 7th Generation Celica to go like this does, which in my mind makes it a sleeper.

Photos: Tasdid Chowdhury

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