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Toyota Altezza

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2003 Toyota Altezza.jpg

Toyota Altezza (XE10/SXE10/GXE10/JCE10). 1998–2005 (prod. 111,462). 4-door sedan, 5-door wagon. F/R, F/A, 1988, 2997 cm³ (I6 DOHC), 1998 cm³ (I4 DOHC). Sporting rear-wheel drive sedan and wagon (the latter called Altezza Gita) sharing a platform with the Toyota Brevis and Progrès (and evolved from that underpinning the Toyota Aristo (S160)), and exported as Lexus’s entry into the junior executive market, the IS, challenging BMW 3er-Reihe (E46). Strong body for crashworthiness, adding to weight (1,300–1,400 kg). Short front and rear overhangs. The RS200’s inline four had dual variable valve timing and a 210 PS output, the highest of contemporary Japanese two-litre units. Two-litre six light on torque; three-litre’s output considered modest at 215 PS. Double wishbones front and rear, mounted via a subframe, for excellent ride and handling, arguably surpassing that of the BMW. Strong braking performance. Dials modelled after a chronograph. Named Japanese Car of the Year for 1998–9. Minor refresh in May 2001, and Gita added July 2001.

Manufacturing location: Kanegasaki, Iwate, Japan

Marque: Toyota | Successor: Lexus IS (E20)

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