Let the Toyota Carina ED help you celebrate the Year of the Tiger

Four-door coupes might be all the rage today, but the Toyota Carina ED debuted as one way back in 1985. It was a style-setting car in Japan, a pillarless four-door that shared a platform with the sporty Celica. When the second-generation launched, commercials showed it driving alongside a stripe-less albino tiger — something about grace and performance.

The design priority of the Carina ED was to keep the profile ultra low and sleek for a sedan, bringing a classiness typically reserved for more expensive FR luxury sedans to a compact FF platform. Engines and chassis were shared with the Celica, and due to Toyota’s sprawling dealership networks, there was another platform twin, the Corona EXiV. While the Celica tackled WRC, the Corona EXiV was campaigned in JTCC.

That left the Carina ED to be the styling flagship. It was so popular, it spawned a whole class of oft-forgotten cars in the same vein, like the Mazda Persona, Nissan Presea, and Mitsubishi Emeraude. It even had a role in the in the cop show Aristocrat Detective.

Unfortunately increasingly stringent rollover and side-impact rules eventually killed off the pillarless architecture. But, we will always have the 1989 white tiger commercial to remember it by. Happy Year of the Tiger from JNC!

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4 Responses to Let the Toyota Carina ED help you celebrate the Year of the Tiger

  1. f31roger says:

    Ah… so refreshing!!!

    I love the obscure Toyota coupes and sedans. I do love that class of weird vehicles.

  2. Crown says:

    Geez, WWATA?

    What’s With All The Acronyms?

  3. Lupus says:

    i’ve first came across this car in GT4 – Toyota Carina ED 4WS.
    It was odd to me, ’cause in that time in Europe was offered a Carina E that looked totally different. It also shared it’s underpinnings with Celica, but the body styles where far more conservative: 4 door sedan, 5 door liftback and wagon. It evolved into the 1st gen Avensis.

  4. Clay says:

    When I tell people that a friend raced a Toyota Carina they say there was no such model. They’ve never heard of a Carina or even a Corona for that matter. The experts all want to correct me and tell me it must have been a Corolla..

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