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Thread: Toyota Model Codes Explained

  1. #1
    I definitely ain't a Chief Engine Builder wagonist's Avatar
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    Jul 2005

    Default Toyota Model Codes Explained

    Toyota model codes are are unique for every car that Toyota makes (well almost. Its been found that some Carinas & Celicas share an indentical code ).
    Although they may look like a jumbled mess, they actually (shock) have a meaning.

    The model codes were initially made up of four or five characters. The first two (four character codes) or three (five character codes) are alphabetical characters followed by two numerical characters. The codes look like AE86 (1983-1985 Sprinter), or JZA80 (current Supra). These codes refer to Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) cars.

    With the switch to FWD, the codes are made up of four, five or six characters. The first two (four and five character codes) or three (six character codes) are alphabetical characters followed by two or three numerical characters. The codes look like AE82 (Corolla), ST162 (1985-1989 Celica), or ZZT123 (current Corolla).

    First characters
    The first one (if 2 characters) or two (if three characters) letters describe the engine.
    Take for example, the MkIII Supra which appeared in 1986 to 1989. This car came out with three different engines, and thus had three possible model codes:
    1G-GTE engine: GA70
    7M-GTE engine: MA70
    1JZ-GTE engine: JZA70

    Other overseas cars have a multitude of engine options. The Corona/Caldina twins had 4 engines available
    5E-FE engine: ET19x
    7A-FE engine: AT19x
    3S-FE engine: ST19x
    2C-T engine: CT19x

    Next character
    The next character (and the only one remaining) describes the chassis of the car. Every chassis of Toyota has a code, and even though a car can keep its name through chassis changes, the model code will reveal a different chassis. Take for example the Celica. Rear wheel drive Celica's came on an 'A' chassis, but the change to front wheel drive meant a new chassis, the 'T' chassis:
    1983-1985 Celica: RA6x
    1986-1989 Celica: ST16x

    Note that the Celica's also changed from the 'R' Series engines to the newer 'S' series engines at the same time. With some overseas models available with the "A" series meaning an AT18x

    The numbers represent new models and revisions of standard models.

    The last number represents a revision of a model generation whilst the number(s) in front represent a different generation of car . For example, if we take the rear wheel drive Celicas:
    MkI Celica: TA22, RA22, TA23, RA23, RA28.
    MkII Celica: RA40
    MkIII Celica: RA60, SA63, RA65

    The number meaning is the same as the RWD car
    eg FWD Celicas
    Mk IV Celica: ST162 - 3S-GE FWD
    Mk IV Celica: ST165 - 3S-GTE 4WD
    Mk V Celica: AT180 - 4A-GE FWD
    Mk V Celica: ST182 - 3S-GE FWD
    Mk V Celica: ST184 - 5S-FE FWD
    Mk V Celica: ST185 - 3S-GTE 4WD
    Mk VI Celica: ST202 - 3S-GE FWD
    Mk VI Celica: ST204 - 5S-FE FWD
    Mk VI Celica: ST205 - 3S-GTE 4WD

    And there you have it. I hope it all made sense, if you want to have some more real world examples, check out our Member's Cars page to see the model codes of the cars our members drive!
    Last edited by wagonist; 09-01-2006 at 09:00 AM.

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