The Toyota Chaser
is a mid-size car produced by the Toyota Motor Company, Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...
. Most were 4-door sedans, with the 2-door coupe discontinued after the first generation. It was introduced on the 1976 Toyota Mark II platform, and was sold new by Toyota only in Japan together with the Toyota Cresta
The Toyota Cresta was a rear wheel drive 4-door hardtop sedan built by Toyota and launched in 1980 that shared a chassis with the Mark II/Cressida, sold at Toyopet Store dealerships. The goal of the Cresta was a higher level of luxury in comparison to the Mark II, and the Chaser was the performance...
at Toyota Vista Store
The Toyota Chaser has been known as one of the 'triplet sedans' of Toyota, because it shares the same chassis with the Toyota Cressida/Mark II, available at Toyopet Store
locations, and the Cresta, and afforded Toyota the opportunity to sell one platform at two different dealership sales channels. Most of the models use double wishbone suspension with coil springs, especially beginning with the X81 series. The Chaser and its platform sisters are considered a rung below the Crown
The Toyota Crown is a line of full-size luxury sedans by Toyota. The range was primarily available in Japan and some other Asian countries, originally designed to serve as a taxi...
, allowing Toyota to offer a sedan with similar levels of luxury content, yet offering buyers lower tax liability and a more sporty image with a slightly smaller body length, powered by the 2.5 litre 1-JZ engine. The Chaser initially was the competitor to the Nissan Skyline coupe and sedan.
1st Generation (1977-1980)
The Chaser was first produced in July 1977 with chassis codes X30, X31, X40 and X41. They were powered by the 4 cylinder 1.8 L 3T-U, 4 cylinder 2.0 L 18R-U and 6 cylinder 2.0 L M-U/M-EU engines - all single cam engines tuned for economy rather than performance. All models were listed as typical of larger Toyota sedans. In order to provide buyers with a luxury sports sedan, but not incur tax consequences for exceeding dimension regulations, the vehicle was limited to an engine size at 2000cc as well as dimensions under 4.7 m (15.4 ft) long, 1.7 m (5.6 ft) wide, and 2 m (6.6 ft) high. The Chaser was offered as a competitor to the Nissan Skyline coupe and sedan.
2nd Generation (1980-1984)
Production swapped to the X51 and X61 Chaser in 1980, with the addition of the 6 cylinder 2.0 L 1G-EU (single cam) and 1G-GE (twincam) engines. Body styles offered were a four door sedan and 4 door hardtop, no longer offering the 2 door hardtop with this generation. The "Avante" trim level had a sport tuned suspension using Michelin tires. This generation saw a new competitor from Nissan called the Nissan Leopard with a lower asking price in comparison to the Japanese market favorite, the Skyline.
3rd Generation (1984-1988)
This series first appeared in August 1984. The "Avante" series previously introduced became a luxury upgrade starting with this generation and body styles were reduced again to a 4 door hardtop only. The exterior dimensions of this car were slightly smaller in comparison to sister cars Mark II and Cresta, but the Chaser was more performance oriented, while maintaining the advanced features and luxurious interior of the Cresta. October 1985, Mark II / Cresta 1G-GTEU vehicles equipped with "GT twin turbo" has appeared. Disc brakes are larger in diameter, and was now equipped with bucket seats, but Toyota's TEMS electronic suspension wasn't installed. Only Chaser "GT twin turbo S" 5-speed MT that there was only low-cost upgrades (early types only.)
Minor change in August 1986. 1G-GEU engine improvements, LPG engine change 3Y-PU, larger bumpers, front grille and changes in, substantial efforts were made to the equipment. Was popular in early-type rear combination lamps are kept to a minor change. January 1987 a special edition "Lordley" was released, May 1987 a special edition "Chaser Avante" was released. August 1987 special edition "New Extra XG Chaser" was released. September 1987 2L, 2L-T 1986 car emissions compliance engine was introduced. January 1988 special edition "Avante Supra" released as a companion to the third generation Supra. April 1988 special edition "with extra XG Auto Air Conditioner" launch.
4th Generation (1989-1992)
In 1989, the X81 series of Chasers were introduced to the Japanese market. The following models were offered: XL, XG, Raffine, SXL, Avante, Avante Twin Cam 24, GT Twin Turbo and Avante G, with the GT Twin Turbo model the most powerful variant, powered by the 1G-GTE engine putting out 210 PS at 6200 rpm. The Avante G model was the highest special edition model in terms of equipment.
In August 1989, 2 more models were added to the Avante lineup: the Avante G-L, an even more luxurious model of the Avante G (which was already highly equipped for a car of the time), and the new Avante G, with a 3.0 L normally aspirated 7M-GE engine replacing the 2.0 L supercharged 1G-GZE from the previous model.
In August 1990, there were major revisions to the entire Chaser lineup and some of the models received entirely new engines. The top-range models, Avante G and GT Twin Turbo, received the new 2.5 L 1JZ engine, the same type that powered Toyota's contemporary sports car, the JZA70 Supra, although the 3.0 L Avante G remained part of the line. The Avante G 2.5 received a normally aspirated 1JZ-GE engine with a maximum 180 PS at 6000 rpm, while the GT Twin Turbo received the powerful turbocharged 1JZ-GTE twin turbo engine capable of 280 PS at 6200 rpm, the maximum horsepower allowed under Japanese regulations.
5th Generation (1992-1996)
In October 1992, the X90 Chaser replaced the previous X81 Chaser. It had a larger body, better handling and more engine power. The body was curvier and the car was significantly longer. The Chaser lineup was largely carried over from the X81 Chaser except the GT Twin Turbo, which was abolished and replaced by the new Tourer V. The top-of-the-line Avante G model received a 220 PS normally aspirated 2JZ-GE, the next evolution of the JZ series of engines (the most powerful being the 2JZ-GTE twin turbo which powered the JZA80 Supra, released in the same year). The Tourer V was still powered by the 1JZ-GTE engines, carried over from the GT Twin Turbo model. There was also a manual transmission version of the Tourer V, suitable for the car's sporty driving characteristics, and a Tourer S model, which was basically the Tourer V minus a turbocharger. In September 1992, the Tourer models received equipment upgrades, although not to the level of the Avante G, and their prices were correspondingly higher.
With the retirement of the Cressida model after the X81 generation, only the Mark II, Chaser, and Cresta were sold in the Japanese car market. Each of the members of the Cressida family supposedly had different characteristics: the Chaser was geared towards sporty driving, the Cresta towards luxury, and the Mark II was the baseline model, although the cars mostly differed in front and rear ends (plus doors for the Cresta)
6th Generation (1996-2000)
In September 1996, the X100 Chaser replaced the X90 Chaser. By this time, the Chaser had become a more sporty sedan; for many, it was the definitive Chaser and the best-looking model. The product lineup consisted mostly of Avantes and Tourers, with the Avante as the luxury model (with more interior accessories) and the Tourer as the sporty model (with large 16-inch wheels). Toyota's VVTi, the company's version of variable-valve timing, was added to the 1JZ engines; they were also upgraded to give out more torque, since they had already reached the legal limit set by Japanese authorities regarding horsepower. The 1JZ-GTE was powered by a single turbo configuration instead of the twin turbo of its predecessors. New to the lineup was the Avante Four and the Avante Four G Package (basically the Avante 2.5 L with a full-time 4WD system). These cars were only available in 4-speed electronic control type (ECT) automatic transmission. The Tourer V and automatic-only Avante G 3.0 L models had the option of electronic control flex lockup attaching 4 speed automatic (intelligent) (ECT-iE) transmission, besides the ECT-E automatic in the lower-end models.
In 1997 the lineup remained largely unchanged, although a basic Tourer 2.0 L model was added. The Tourer was powered by a 1G-FE engine, capable of 140 PS at 5600 rpm. It was sold with only the 4-speed electronic control type (ECT) automatic transmission.
In 1998, the basic Tourer received the optional manual gearbox and a 4WD option for basic Avante models; the Avante Four S Package received a higher special-edition interior. Additionally, the Chaser received a facelift, with the most significant changes to the rear tail lights. Other changes included new fog lights with a slightly redesigned front bar to accommodate them, different interior fabric, a 3-spoke steering wheel instead of 4 spokes, orange gauge lighting instead of white and a grille with 2 horizontal bars instead of 3.
Toyota ceased producing the Chaser in late 2000. It was replaced with a new model called the Verossa
The Toyota Verossa was a sedan produced by the Toyota Motor Company for Japanese domestic market. The Verossa allowed Toyota to offer a car that complied with Japanese government regulations concerning external dimensions and engine displacement, and offered buyers a sedan that continued to offer a...
which shares the same model code. The Cresta suffered the same fate, but the Mark II continued for another generation (X110) before it was also discontinued. In 2004, the all-new X120 Mark X was introduced in Japan, incorporating many characteristics of earlier-model Chasers (and also the models similar to the Chaser like the Mark II and the Cresta). In fact, the aim of the Mark X is to combine the characteristics of the 3 models into one single model.
Although X100 Chasers took part in the Japanese Touring Car Championship
The Japanese Touring Car Championship , is a former touring car racing series held in Japan...
in the 1990s, the Chaser truly shone in drifting events
Drifting refers to a driving technique and to a motorsport where the driver intentionally over steers, causing loss of traction in the rear wheels through turns, while maintaining vehicle control and a high exit speed...
, due to its traditional front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout
In automotive design, an FR, or Front-engine, Rear-wheel drive layout is one where the engine is located at the front of the vehicle and driven wheels are located at the rear. This was the traditional automobile layout for most of the 20th century....
. Numerous Toyota Chasers, especially the later X90s and X100s, have been modified for use in drifting. Versions of the Chaser have also been highly modified to take part in the "super battle" time trial series in Japan.