Toyota Chaser | JDM Story

Toyota Chaser | JDM Story

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Toyota Chaser | Yankii JDM History

The Toyota Chaser has enjoyed a popularity rating for several decades among fans of luxurious and sporty JDM Cars import. We can summarize the Toyota Chaser in 3 words: Powerful engine, RWD, and premium finish. Discover the little-known history of this sedan like no other, exclusively reserved for the Japanese market.

Toyota Chaser for sale

The Luxuriously Sporty Chaser

The very first Toyota Mark II was launched at the end of 1976. This third generation is a real breakthrough for Toyota.

Toyota is inspired by the American and European market to release a more statuesque model. The displacement of the engines is increased, the chassis is more precise and comfortable and all the equipment on board is enriched.

Toyota has great ambitions for its model, which it places between the range of the Toyota Crown and the Toyota Corona!

The Mark II is even offered in the brand's Toyopet Store dealerships, while the "twin" car will join the Toyota Auto Store outlets. A very interesting commercial strategy in terms of visibility.

With this newcomer, Toyota really wants to compete with Nissan, which is very successful with the Skyline, with its younger and more modern image.

To achieve this, the front and rear of the Toyota Mark II are slightly redesigned, the colour scheme is fresher, while the choice of bodywork and engines is limited so that Japan's vehicle size tax does not reach the high end. The result is still quite upscale but still with a sporty and youthful touch. This Toyota will therefore be marketed under the name Chaser, whose name wasn't chosen at random.

toyota chaser x30 x60Chaser X30 - Chaser X40 (1977-1980)

toyota chaser x30 1980

The Chaser is produced in Toyota's Motomachi plant, just like the Mark II. It was released for sale in June 1977 in two body styles: 4-door sedan, or 2-door hardtop.

The overall line of the car is elegant and emphasizes a front end that really reminds us of the Ford Mustang II with a long hood, a large trapezoidal grille, and two round headlights. The rear end is more classic, with rectangular lights that are a little less refined but just as elegant.

On the inside, it's all about comfort. Depending on the version, the passenger compartment can be fitted with :

  • Electric windows
  • Power steering
  • Armrests
  • On-board computer
  • Height-adjustable steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • Cruise control
  • Cassette radio are available as options

toyota chaser interior

On the engine side, Toyota has taken over the 4- and 6-cylinder blocks of the Toyota Mark II, while reducing the maximum cylinder capacity to 2,000cc. These different engines are found under the hood of the Chaser:

TYPE
MODEL
CYLINDER CAPACITY
HP
KW
3T-U
1.8L OHV
1770 | 3T
98
73,08
18R-U
2.0L OHC
1988 | M
100
74,57
M-U
2.0L OHC
1988
110
82,02
M-EU
2.0L OHC
1988 | Electronic injection
125
93,21
13T-U
1.8L OHV
1808 | 16R
95
70,84
21R-U
2.0L OHC
1973 | 21R
105
78,29


4 and 5-speed mechanical gearboxes are available, as well as a 3-speed automatic transmission. As for the suspension, the front is equipped with a McPherson-type set, while the rear has a rigid axle with 4 tie rods on the basic finishes, and an independent trailing arm on the sportier models, which also benefit from 4 disc brakes.

Over time, toyota will make a few updates on his Chasers. The first one will take place at the end of 77, when a new engine arrived, the 13T-U, which you can find on the table above.

toyota chaser x40 options

In August of the following year, Toyota are entitled to a Facelift: new grille, bumpers with plastic protections, corrected driver's seats... On the mechanical side, the 21R-U replaces the 18R-U and a 4-speed automatic gearbox appears as an option. Also, the SGS version, the sportiest, is now equipped with a Harder suspension kit (shock absorbers, springs and specific stabilizer bars) for increased dynamic efficiency.

toyota chaser x60Toyota Chaser X60 (1980-1984)

Toyota chaser x60 1984

The second-generation Toyota Chaser was introduced to the Japanese market in October 1980, a few months after the arrival of the Toyota Cresta, the new "twin sister" of the Mark II sold in the brand's Vista dealerships.

For the time being, the coupé variant was eliminated and only the 4-door version of the Chaser, available as a saloon or hardtop, remained. Very similar in appearance, the main differences between these two bodies lie in the design of the windows and taillights. Overall, this new iteration is much squarer than the previous one, a typical feature of cars from the beginning of this decade.

This is also true for the driver's compartment, which is still very well designed and welcoming. On-board visibility has been improved as well as ventilation and soundproofing, while the equipment is a quantum leap in terms of both comfort and safety. On the Toyota Avante, the top-of-the-range finish includes a series of plush seats and velvet trim, automatic climate control, central locking, electric mirrors, the Harder Suspension kit coupled with sports tires...

Toyota chaser x60 interior

In options, the choice is very wide! There's a very sophisticated on-board computer with digital display, an audio system with integrated equalizer or the innovative ESC (similar to ABS). While the chassis architecture doesn't change much, the engines have been partly renewed:

TYPE
MODEL
CYLINDER CAPACITY
HP
KW
13T-U
2.0L OHC
1770 | 13T
95
70,84
21R-U
2.0L OHC
1972 | 21R
105
78,29
18R-GEU
2.0L DOHC
1968 | 18R
135
100,66
1G-EU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6
127
94,70
LX60
2.2L SOHC
2188 | Diesel
72
53,69
M-TEU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6 Turbo
145
108,12
1G-GEU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6 Turbo
160
119,31
1S-U
1.8L SOHC
1832 | 1S
100
74,57
2L-T II
2.4L SOHC
2446 | Turbo Diesel
96
71,58


At the launch of the chaser, we find the 13T-U, the 18R-GEU and a 1G-EU. Proof of the wide range of models on offer, there's even a 72hp 2.2L Diesel...

In October 81, Toyota responds to Nissan and its L20ET (the first Japanese turbo engine ever built) by offering a supercharged 6-cylinder: the M-TEU. Thanks to its turbo, this 2.0L develops no less than 145 hp!

toyota chaser x60 options

But toyota does not stop there and redesigns its range of engines at the time of the aesthetic update of the summer 82, and releases its new Toyota Avante Twincam24 equipped with the 1G-GEU, a 6-cylinder 24 valves for a power of 160 hp. With this model, the manufacturer strikes a big blow by clearly reinforcing the sporty identity of the Toyota Chaser. Smaller units such as a 1.8L 100hp and a 2.4 Turbo diesel 96hp. Finally, a new 4-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission (ECT) was added in February '83.

toyota chaser x70Toyota Chaser X70 (1984-1988)

toyota chaser x70 1988
For its new Chaser, Toyota is keeping the ingredients that made the strength of the model while carefully modernizing the line. Available in 4-door Hardtop only, it is slightly smaller than the Mark II and Toyota Cresta and plays the sportiness card even more.
At the start of its launch in August 1984, the engine line-up remains unchanged from the previous generation:
TYPE
MODEL
CYLINDER CAPACITY
HP
KW
1G-GEU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6 Turbo
160
119,31
1G-EU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6
127
94,70
M-TEU
2.0L SOHC
1988 | Straight-6 Turbo
145
108,12
1S-U
1.8L SOHC
1832 | 1S
100
74,57
LX60
2.2L SOHC
2188 | Diesel
72
53,69
2L-T II
2.4L SOHC
2446 | Turbo Diesel
96
71,58
LX60
2.2L SOHC
2188 | Diesel
72
53,69
1G-GTEU
2.0L DOHC
1988 | Straight-6 TwinTurbo
185
137,95
 

toyota chaser x70 interior

Regarding the transmissions, there is only a 5-speed mechanical gearbox and a 4-speed ECT-S automatic with LSD as an option on the top-of-the-range model. After making its debut on the Soarer, the famous TEMS (Toyota Electronic Modulated Suspension) makes its appearance on the Toyota Chaser, whose chassis has been redesigned. This innovative suspension system, which focuses on both performance and comfort, offers electronic damping control in various automatic or manual modes. This is a novelty that directly benefits the occupants, as do the superb upholstered seats with the many adjustment possibilities reserved for the Toyota Avant Twincam24. The options include a digital dashboard display or the original air purifier, useful for those in need of assistance. Despite the opulence of the equipment, the weight of the vehicles varies from the previous Chaser, with 1280kg (compared to 1220) for the most luxurious model.

toyota chaser x70 options

In the autumn of 85, the arrival of the sulphurous GT TwinTurbo is celebrated in the dealership. A high performance version powered by the all-new 1G-GTEU. To put it plainly, Toyota engineers selected the most powerful engine of the range and added two turbos and an air/water exchanger!

Thanks to this mechanism, power climbs to 185 hp! A special steering wheel, bucket seat and larger diameter brake discs are part of the program for this new finish that replaces the Avante Turbo (M-TEU engine). It is accompanied by the GT TwinTurbo-S with less equipment (no car air conditioning or radio). Toyota corrects its rich and sporty powertrains in August 86 with a light restyling.

Toyota Chaser X80 (1988-1992)

 toyota chaser x80 1990

The new Toyota Chaser took over in August '88 as a sedan with a slightly more rounded silhouette and less pronounced corners. While the front end retains the style of the previous generation, the stern stands out with a wide headlamp band. On board, the quality of the finish is even better in this Toyota, which proves to be highly technological. Indeed, the Chaser can be fitted with :

  • Electric front seats
  • Digital display
  • Electrically folding mirrors
  • Remote opening
  • CD radio
  • Parking aid sensor
  • All this in 1988!

toyota chaser x80 interior

Toyota didn't forget to pamper the chassis either. The McPherson-type suspension is still in the limelight at the front, but a very modern double wishbone is found at the rear for all 6-cylinder models, while entry-level cars have to make do with their rigid axle with trailing arms.


The TEMS is renewed on the more powerful versions. This brings us to look at the engines available on this generation. This time, all the gasoline engines benefit from DOHC cylinder heads and injection, which is a clear step forward and underscores the sophistication of the Toyota Chaser JDM.

TYPE
MODEL
CYLINDER CAPACITY
HP
KW
4S-Fi
1.8L DOHC
1988 | Straight-4 Diesel
105
78,29
1G-GTE
2.0L DOHC
1988 | Straight-6 TwinTurbo
210
156,59
1G-FE
2.0L DOHC
1988 | Straight-6
135
100,66
1G-GE
2.0L DOHC
1988 | Straight-6
150
111,85
1G-GZE
2.0L DOHC
1988 | Straight-6 Supercharged
170
53,69
7M-GE
3.0L DOHC
2954 | Straight-6
200
149,14
4S-FE
1.8L DOHC
1838 | Straight-4 Diesel
115
85,75
1JZ-GE
2.5L DOHC
2492 | Straight-6
180
134,22
1JZ-GTE
2.5L DOHC
2492 | Straight-6 CT12A Turbo
280
208,79


Diesel aside, the 1.8L 4S-Fi is now the sole representative of the 4-cylinder, the majority of the offer being dominated by the 6-cylinder 2L. At the top of the range are the luxury Avante G and the very sporty GT TwinTurbo. The latter can also be fitted with an optional LSD.

toyota chaser x80 sound

In the summer of 1989, Toyota decided to put an end to the engine capacity limitation of its Toyota Chasers, which can now exceed 2L. In fact, the manufacturer introduced a version powered by a 3L (7M-GE) producing 200 hp. The ultimate in refinement, this new top-of-the-range model comes standard with TRC (traction control), an equipment added at the same time on the 1G-GZE model.

August 90 rings the hour of the facelift for the Chasers: New options, emblems on the pillars of custode ... In addition, the 4S-FE replaces the 4S-Fi and the 2L Twin turbo and compressor engines are replaced by the 2.5L blocks, the famous 1JZ-GE and 1JZ-GTE! They can also be found under the hoods of the Mark II and Toyota Cresta. While the former delivers 180 hp, the 1JZ-GTE gets 280 hp thanks to its two CT12A turbos mounted in parallel and its air-to-air exchanger.

Toyota Chaser X90 (1992-1996)

Toyota chaser JDM x90

October 92, Toyota launches its 5th luxuriously sporty sedan at JDM dealerships. The lines have been streamlined, which gives us a very elegant and rather sober package. Except for the sleek grille, chrome window pillars and front fender ornaments (which appeared on the 84 model), there are very few signs that betray Toyota's stature. Inside too, the ostentatious upholstery and trim of the previous versions have been replaced by more discreetly coloured furniture. That doesn't mean that this new Chaser lacks cachet, far from it! As always, the equipment is overwhelming, with the top-of-the-line model benefiting from standard power seats (leather optional), a wood-trimmed dashboard, a 7-speaker CD radio and remote opening. TV, GPS, CD changer and corner sensors are just some of the many optional extras.

Toyota Chaser x90 interior

In terms of engines, there's little change: There are the 4S-FE (120 hp), G-FE (135 hp), 1JZ-GE (180 hp) and 1JZ-GTE (280 hp), as well as the 97 hp 2.4L Turbo Diesel. But there's something new: the 2JZ-GE, the 6-cylinder DOHC 3L developing 220 hp, chosen to take over the torch from the aging 7M-GE.

The most sumptuous finish remains the Avante G, while the most powerful is renamed Tourer V. With 1,450 kg on the scale, the latter comes standard with a Torsen-type LSD for more dynamic handling and shares specific stabilizer bars with the Tourer S (its atmospheric variant). Once again, the suspension has been significantly corrected, with all versions now benefiting from double wishbones at the front and rear. TEMS, 4-wheel ABS and TRC remain in effect on the top end of the range.

Whereas the Chaser had until then only had rear-wheel drive, Toyota decided to market a model with 4-wheel drive (toyota i-Four electronically controlled permanent transmission) in the fall of 1993. The Avante Four and Avante G Four (1JZ-GTE engine) are the only ones to benefit from it.

Toyota chaser x90 options

In September 94, the Chasers get a makeover. These restyled versions are distinguished by their redesigned grille, front bumper and taillights. In addition, the equipment is enriched. Toyota regularly thinks about improving occupant safety, which is why, starting in August 95, the driver's airbag is now standard on the entire range.

Toyota chaser jdmToyota Chaser X100 (1996-2001)

toyota chaser jdm x100 2000

The Japanese giant reworked its model in depth and delivered the first copies of its new Chaser in September 1996. It can be said that this is the generation of emancipation. Compared to its sisters, the overhangs have been reduced and the treatment of the front and rear panels marks the difference more than in the past. Clearly, sportsmanship has been exacerbated. A dynamism that is logically found under the hood of the Chaser, with engines that have been improved in every respect:

TYPE MODEL CYLINDER CAPACITY HP KW
1G-FE 2.0L DOHC 1988 | Straight-6 135 100,66
1JZ-GE 2.5L DOHC 2492 | Straight-6 180 132,22
1JZ-GTE 2.5L DOHC 2492 | Straight-6 CT12A Turbo 280 208,79
2JZ-GE 3.0L DOHC 2997 | Straight-6 VVT-i 220 164,05
2L-T II 2.4L DOHC 2446 | Turbo Diesel 96 71,58


It should be noted that the entire JZ family has switched to VVT-i (Variable Valve Timing by Intake Camshaft Shift Timing) technology and that the supercharged engine now has a single-turbo configuration using a single CT15B. Technology still with TEMS, updated and once again reserved for the luxurious Avante G, while the high-performance Tourer V is exclusive to the Torsen LSD and ETCS, or electronic throttle valve.

Vehicle safety has also been upgraded, with not only a structure from the GOA programme offering better protection in the event of a collision, but also the presence of 4 front airbags and ABS as standard. For the same purpose, depending on the model, there are also xenon headlights, TRC and VSC (electronic stability control). Of course, given the car's standing, life on board is meant to be as pleasant as possible, and everything has been done to satisfy the most demanding owners. Tire pressure sensors, heated mirrors and a state-of-the-art multimedia system are among the equipment available.

Toyota chaser x100 interior

For the month of April 1997, the small 120-hp 1.8L 4S-FE makes its big comeback. The following year, Toyota Chaser go through the Facelift box (grille, front bumper, rear lights...) and the interior is revised.

The all-wheel drive, previously reserved for the 1JZ-GE engine, is now shared with the 1G-FE, which also gets a VVT-i cylinder head for a substantial power gain of 20hp.

The Toyota Tourer S also gets the first introduction of a new "intelligent" 5-speed autobox, the 5 Super ECT, which is both smooth and fast. Despite the model's undeniable qualities, Toyota felt the wind was changing and decided in June 2001 to discontinue production of the Chaser.

toyota chaser carbon

After a 24-year career, this fantastic sedan died out and was replaced, along with the Cresta, by the ephemeral Verossa.

 

Toyota chaser RacingChaser Racing JTCC - Esso TOM's


Toyota sedans make their entry in the JTCC (All Japan Touring Car Championship) in 1997, driven by a 300hp 3S-GE (4-cylinder 2L), but have to face a particularly fierce competition, including Honda Accord, Nissan Primera and other BMW 318i. The Toyota Chaser drivers then have a hard time to stand out and the best ranked of the list, Hironi Takeuchi on the Denso Cerumo car, has to be satisfied with a 9th place at the end of the season.

The following year on the other hand, when Toyota was almost the only manufacturer involved, it was the consecration: Masanori Sekiya won the JTCC championship aboard the Chaser ESSO TOM's, and Hironori Takeuchi took third place at the wheel of the Denso Cerumo.

The Chasers' adventure in the JTCC ended there, for lack of a championship in the following years.

Toyota Chaser JTCC Esso

These sedans can be found in various disciplines, among which the Drift, or their power and stability work wonders. Prepared to the extreme, these choice mounts even manage to excel in the most competitive events: D1 and Formula D, with big names like Daigo Saito or Kuniaki Takahashi at the wheel. With their highly upgradeable turbo engines, Toyota Chaser are also sometimes popular for Time Attack racing!

Toyota Chaser D1 Drift

The Yankii Garage team thanks you for your reading, it's an article that took us a lot of time to write between research, engine codes and Japanese magazine translations! 🤯 So if you liked the article, feel free to let us know as a comment or on our Instagram, and don't hesitate to share our article! 🏁

Thanks and see you soon for a new Yankii JDM Story

 

toyota chaser JDM story


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