GT-Four Model Variation - ST185

The ST185 was released in September 1989.   It is easily the most common GT-Four,  in New Zealand they are all over the place.  Also large numbers are now being scrapped in Japan so parts are easy to find.

While there was only one ST165 model,   there were heaps of different ST185 models.  There were now several different models and numerous options available.  In Japan the car was available initially as "normal" body and "wide" body cars.  The normal body came with 14" wheels and smaller front brake disks (two pot floating callipers).  The wide body had larger 15" wheels and larger disks with one pot floating callipers.   Although subtle (until you get the two models side by side) the wider body gives a more aggressive stance.  All export GT-Fours were wide body.

A facelift occurred in late 1991.   Usual stuff,  different taillights and option changes etc.  At this stage the ST185RC was introduced,  this model is covered separately.

Mechanically the ST185 is pretty much identical to the ST165,  the new model is mainly just a styling change.  While the gearbox is a different code number I believe it is effectively the same as the E50F2 in the late ST165,  just different ratios.  The suspension is along the same principles (with minor revisions) and the engine bay has the same structure (the ST205 is totally different).

The engine is different in that it now uses an air-air intercooler and a twin-entry turbo (ceramic for Japan).  The head has been revised (cams are not interchangeable and ports may differ) and the compression was raised.   Otherwise I think the changes were minimal.

Interestingly Toyota changed the handling characteristics to introduce more understeer.  Hence different shocks and a larger rear roll bar offer a huge improvement!

The intercooler is in a far from ideal location.  It suffers from heat soak being placed above the engine and has limited airflow (compared to a nice big frontmount).  The bonnet has a scoop to feed the intercooler (then where does the air go? ;) and two rear facing vents at the side.

Production ended during September 1993.   As well as being made for Japan,  this model was exported to more countries than any other.


A Japanese ST185 with the optional (?) foglamps. Cut away of the air-air intercooled ST185 engine.


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