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A Playful Plaything

It’s always when we reach a certain age that someone or something would urge us to proceed with the subsequent stage. Especially, at our 20’s there are almost template like-questions that would send our youthful stress levels off the roof. Conceding that progressing through every step of the way is necessary, the reluctance to leave a live of naivety can be quite depressing.

Take the 5 best years of your life in a higher learning institution for example, how does one carry on the life of a corporate woof woof from being the King of Spring Break is beyond me but assuming that’s just how it works, we all just pick it up and move along, forcefully.

Point is, this leap of faith from phase to phase can be as daunting as leaving for a day in school without some pants on. Pretty sure some of us have noticed how some of the wildest men at the peak of their madness have been tamed by the rigors of adulthood and this along with the most terrifying persistence that we, especially men to tie the knot is being made to squeeze the trigger of a gun pointed to our own head.


The Celica then is a close reminder of exactly that, but in the most contrasting fashion. While it may not be much of a head turner, it represents the need to mature yet holding on to a hint of playfulness that would still allow a little bit of fun to be had. Many would argue that the Celica’s of old would raise more goose bumps than a horror flick could with its mighty force induction system and AWD configuration, its younger sibling is a friendlier model yet striking a wonderful balance between performance and drivability.

While its weight may not complement the power on offer too well, most of the modifications have been focused on improving the response of the 2ZZ power plant.
Air going in now sees less restriction with an open pod intake hooked up to a Q45 throttle body and on to a DD Performance Research 2ZZ intake manifold before every ounce of air is dissipated in the inferno from within.


Once the optimum mixture is ignited, waste gases see their way out through a PPE 4-1 race extractor and on to a 2.5 inch straight flow exhaust by Everco in Sunway. With more heated generated from more power, a Forged racing aluminium radiator was in favour of the standard unit to keeps things level headed at the engine bay. While we were informed that the oil pump gears were the Achilles heel of the 2ZZ’s operation, a Circuit works oil pump gear was sorted to counter that effect.

Trusting the brakes and suspension well enough to do the job sufficiently, both have been left as standard but the four contact points of the Celica on the road have been entrusted with highly acclaimed Goodyear Asymmetric 2 rubber coating a set of 17-inch Lenso wheels. With GReddy’s E-Manage along with Pivot’s speed cut optimally bringing out every inch of performance of the Celica, attentions were turned to how the Celica carried itself.

Its fully refurbished interior and full Acumex sound dampening offered some substance from the inside while the more juicy bits have been concentrated on the exterior. An original face lifted front bumper is matched with a Veilside rear bumper complimented by Bomex side skirts in between. A subtle but functional Euro rear bumper rejuvenates a rear end that has also had a tail light face lift.


After all is said and done, the Celica is said to be pushing out around 190 whp, almost 30 more horsepower than what Toyota had originally intended for it to have with a surge in power similar to the VTEC system when the revs are going through the 6,200 rpm to the 8,300 rpm range. Stats of joy!

Car: Toyota Celica 2ZZ VVTLYr 2000 Superstrut Edition

Engine Modifications: DD Performance Research 2ZZ Intake Manifold, Q45 throttle body with 2.5 inch open pod intake, PPE 4-1 race extractor, 2.5 inches straight flow exhaust by Everco exhaust Sunway, Forged racing aluminum radiator, Circuitworks oil pump gear, Port and polished header

Brakes: Stock

Chassis/Suspension: Stock Super Strut suspension system

Wheels & Tires: 17 x 7.5 Lensorims, Goodyear Asymmetric 2 215/45

Electronics: GreddyEmanage Blue, PIVOT speedcut remover

Interior: Fully refurbished, GT86 leather gear knob, Full Acumex sound dampening, Mirror piano black center console

Exterior: Original facelifted front bumper, Veilside rear bumper, Bomex side skirts, Euro rear spoiler wing, Facelifted tail light, Spec D Angel eye Halo projector head lamps, Lexus Starfire Pearl Glasurit Paint

Text: Pan EJ
Photos: CK Fun