Toyota Altezza RS200 – Buyer’s Guide – 146 Performance…

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Toyota Altezza

Toyota Altezza RS200 – Guide – 146

February 16th, by NZPC

Japan’s ‘1999 Car of the should be high on your if you’re in the market for a medium-sized but don’t want to go down the route. We’re talking Toyota’s answer to the E46 BMW 3-Series, the and in particular the RS200 edition, offers up the best balance of and style of all models in the range.

The is the Japanese domestic market version of the luxury Lexus The two cars share many but there are enough differences to set apart.

On the same platform, were built in two basic guises from 1998 to AS200 and RS200. The AS200 the 1G-FE six-cylinder 2.0-litre while the RS200 got the peaky four-cylinder 2.0-litre engine. came in a choice of auto or manual transmissions. An Altezza known as a Gita was also in AS200 guise only, but the choice of the 1G-FE engine or a aspirated six-cylinder 3.0-litre

The RS200 edition was marketed in basic versions: RS200, Z edition and RS200 L edition. the Z added a few performance and styling that we’ll touch on, and the L had all plus half-leather seats. a stock standard RS200 as a here’s all you need to know this popular model.

The Altezza RS200 uses the 3S-GE BEAMS (breakthrough with advanced mechanism four-pot with 11.5:1 The generation four version two and final derivative of Toyota’s aspirated 2.0-litre DOHC 16V includes Dual VVTi and an exhaust manifold in its specification to out 210ps (154kW) at 7600rpm, and (216Nm) of torque at 6400rpm in the manual model. A little power is achieved in the auto (see spec, p74).

The Altezza was sold new with two options: a 6-speed manual, and a automatic Toyota dubbed the Intelligent 5SuperECT’. The automatic can be shifted via the gear lever or on the steering wheel. The 6-speed as fitted in our test car, is a gearbox, with a very shifting mechanism and solid TCS (traction control) and limited differentials were factory on Z and L editions but were options on the model.

Altezzas equipped traction control have a TCS on the dash, but this system can be overridden by simply depressing it. If the car has a torsion LSD installed this be recorded on the build plate in the bay. On the Trans/Axle line the last character should be whereas models factory with open differentials this character recorded as

Even though its design is now than a decade old, the is still a good looking Although there seems to be no and fast rule as to which got what, some were with large front spoilers (complete with driving lights), mesh side skirts, a rear spoiler and boot spoiler. light covers are also common factory fits, but so are the black-bodied headlights, which not look better than the headlights but also tend to be prone to yellowing. Z and L edition also came standard dark ‘privacy glass’ on the door windows and rear

Inside, the RS200 is well although perhaps a little Its large instrument cluster centrally positioned speedometer is the offender in that respect. than that, though, the black trim looks Regular grade and Z edition feature dark grey trim, but you’ll find equivalents on L edition cars. and passenger front SRS airbags are fare on all models, and although airbags were an option, are rarely found. Z edition feature alloy pedals, steering wheels and an Altezza Live eight-speaker audio with boot-mounted CD changer, like most Japanese these accessories could be on any model.

Rear-seat legroom is very even with the front pushed back to their position.

Perhaps the Altezza best attribute is the way it drives. to its healthy torque curve the provides adequate around-town but to extract the utmost from it, the needs to be revved to the redline. At 7.5 seconds from standstill to it’s quick, not fast, but it lacks in straight-line grunt, it than makes up for in the handling Toyota invested heavily in department, speccing the Altezza a double wishbone arrangement and rear. The drive is neutral and the is tight, making this a driver’s car. Ventilated on the front end and solid discs at the coupled with ABS means it well, too.


The cost of a 6-speed manual will mostly depend on its year and how many kilometres are on the Higher mileage examples in condition start at around in a private sale, with model, better condition examples running up to $20,000. particular car, as supplied by car yard Wall Motors, is a model with a certified on the clock and is priced at $13,995. Due to new restrictions that came effect Jan 1 2009, early model RS200 Altezzas are now to be complied for use on New Zealand roads. model GH-SXE10 examples, are. But with a weak dollar and the higher purchasing for later model Altezzas in it’s unlikely that numbers of these cars be imported.


The RS200 is a car just begging to be modified, and a good aftermarket parts network, that’s easily Engine-wise the Gen 4 V2 3S-GE needs a in the pants to get it humming, and soon it was released some of Japan’s tuners came to the party bolt-on forced induction that are still available Trust/GReddy, A’PEXi and HKS developed kits, and Blitz built a kit and a sweet-sounding supercharger kit.

All only generate relatively low so don’t expect to set the world on But because they do not require the to be pulled apart for replacement of componentry, they’re an easy to enhance driveability. Similar can be achieved by piecing together a kit from individual parts.

For serious engine builds a host of forged engine parts are available, including a of stroker kits that cubic capacity out to 2.2 litres. with a bigger turbo the 3S-GE has the potential for huge numbers.

Driveline and suspension are easily achieved, with aftermarket manufacturers catering to the A 5×114.3 PCD opens up a wide of rear-wheel-drive wheel fitments.

Styling-wise there’s plenty on for the RS200, from locally body kits to genuine sourced from Japan.

Toyota Altezza


Apart from the Z and L edition variants, Tom’s (a tuner) and Toyota Netz built a very special on the RS200 platform in 1999. were reputedly only 100 280T versions ever with the model’s name a correlation to its 280hp turbocharged

The 280T was basically an RS200 performance mods and was sold a full factory warranty Toyota’s Netz dealerships. to Tom’s, all 100 cars were the first day they went on Modifications include an IHI turbo, intercooler, Tom’s TEC engine system, Tom’s headgasket, 6kg flywheel, Tom’s Advox and a special body kit, other enhancements. The 280T its 280hp (and 30kg/m of on just 9psi boost.

by a Tom’s build plate in the bay, only a handful of 280Ts are known to exist in New

The Qualitat edition was another Altezza. This version a few performance, handling and styling and was available on both the RS200 and base. Little information is on these models.

Toyota Altezza RS200 –

Engine: Toyota BEAMS inline-4 2.0-litre DOHC Dual VVTi, EFI, valves, 11.5:1 compression

Driveline: 6-speed manual (5-speed auto option), slip differential (option), TCS

Suspension: Front/rear double MacPherson strut, coil

Brakes: Ventilated disc solid disc rear, ABS

17-inch alloy wheels, tyres

Performance: Max power (154kW) @ 7600rpm (6MT) (145kW) @ 7000rpm (5AT), Max 22kg/m (216Nm) @ 6400rpm 22kg/m (216Nm) @ 4800rpm

Toyota Altezza
Toyota Altezza
Toyota Altezza
Toyota Altezza
Toyota Altezza

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