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2003 Toyota Celica GT-S Road Test

2003 Toyota Celica GT-S Road Test

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2003 Toyota Celica GT-S - Be Still My Heart

Toyota has modified the front grille ever so slightly, compared to the 2002 Celica shown below. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
Toyota's Celica GT-S will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first sporty weeklong tester I took home as an 'official' automotive journalist. I was justifiably blown away. Granted I was a greenie and it probably wouldn't have taken a heck of a lot to impress me, but my initial positive reaction to Toyota's racy coupe has proven to be well warranted.

Many years since have passed and the model in question has just received a mild makeover, freshening its slit-like grille opening and modifying the lower front fascia. Its profile is near identical while only subtle changes were made to its rear end styling. Did it need an update? Toyota obviously felt so but to me it doesn't necessarily look better than last year's car only different.

The 2002 Celica GT-S incorporated a narrower, deeper grille opening compared to the wide slit on today's car. (Photo: Toyota)
When I first laid eyes on it at a press introduction in Vancouver I honestly didn't know what to think. The car messed with my inherent beliefs of what a GT should look like. Its long, triangular headlamps were radical, strong shoulder line wedge-like and overall shape angular when most of its peers boasted soft, round curves. The Celica's relatively small square taillights broke away from the larger than life trends of the day as well, clearly defiant.