The History Of Toyota Vista Ardeo
The Toyota Vista was launched in 1982 as a sister nameplate to the Camry. The name was introduced to tie in with Toyota's Vista dealership network, and launched around the same time.
Unlike the Camry, which was available with a V6 engine, all generations were only available with a straight-4 engine that used either gasoline or diesel fuel.
Each Vista model is essentially a Japanese-market Toyota Camry, with different front- and rear-end treatment; plus, while Camry is always a sedan, most Vistas up to V40 are hardtop. When the Camry was redesigned, so was the Vista. This pattern will continue until late 1996, when a new, larger, US-oriented Camry took over the "Camry" name (earlier this larger CX/ CV platform was marketed in Japan as Scepter (MCV10) and Camry Gracia (MCV20/ MCX20)). Then in August 1998 the last generation Vista would be redesigned, independent of the Camry.
The Vista first appeared April 1982 as a nicer trim level of the second generation Toyota Camry, and was sold exclusively at a new Toyota dealership channel with the same name, Vista. The bodystyles offered were the 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback with a 5-speed manual transmission initially the only offering, with an automatic transmission introduced later in August 1982. Trim levels were the VC, VL, VE, and the VX at the top. The official name of the vehicle was the Camry Vista. A glass moonroof was available on the top level VX, with the 2S-ELU engine.
August 1983 saw the 1C-TL 1.8 L turbodiesel offered. June 1984 saw the suspension given a more sporting approach, and a DOHC 2.0 L engine was offered on the VS trim level. A DOHC engine in a front wheel drive vehicle was unusual at the time. The diesel was upgraded to 2.0 L August 1985.
The second generation Vista was first offered for sale August 1986, and unlike its higher spec cousin, the Lexus ES, the Vista was not available with a V6 engine. The 5-door hatchback was replaced with either a 4-door sedan or hardtop bodystyle, with a similar appearance and social status to the larger Mark II. The Vista continued a Toyota tradition of becoming a sportier version of a more basic sedan, and came it a GT trim level. All engines now use fuel injection exclusively.
October 1987 saw the introduction of 4WD on the 2.0 L 4S-Fi engine, mated to an automatic transmission, and the Vista Etoile used the 4S-FE engine.
This version of the Vista shares similar styling with the Windom. It was introduced July 1990. The engines available were the 3S 1.8, 2.0 and a 4S 2.0 L. The diesel engines used the 2C-T and all engines came with DOHC. Four wheel steering was also available on vehicles with the 2.0 L gasoline engine. The VX trim level was available in May 1991 with leather interior. July 1992 saw the removal of the 3S-GE engine on upper trim level vehicles, and the air conditioning refrigerant switched to R134a CFC-free instead.
While the Camry became a US-centric model with the narrower, shorter Japanese version eliminated, the Vista was now the only vehicle that continueed to embrace the 4700mm (185in) x 1700mm (66.9in) length-width bracket, legacy of a Japanese taxation law. With this redesign, however, Toyota decided to revitalize the Vista nameplate. The car is 100mm (3.9in) taller than its predecessor.
This Vista is significant because it's one of the first fruits of Toyota's company-wide platform renewal efforts. Studies for new FWD platform and packaging (layout) began in 1993 and appeared on market in February 1997 in the Toyota Prius, but the Vista is the first mass-production, FWD Toyota with a new platform. Toyota claims this is the first true redesign and re-think of its FWD platforms since the 1982 Camry/ Vista. With this platform, Toyota trades rear McPherson Struts for a torsion beam axle setup. A double-wishbone setup reminiscent of the Nissan Primera axle is available for all-wheel drive—this will become the rear suspension for more demanding FWD cars such as the final Toyota Celica. Toyota also flips the engine orientation so that the intake manifold is in front, improving space efficiency.
Production for the Vista halted in July 2003, as Toyota prepared to merge the Vista dealers into the Netz dealership network. The move to simplify Toyota's dealership came in light of the pending Lexus launch in Japan, planned for August 2005. In April 2005 the process was complete and all Vista dealers became Netz dealers.
The fifth generation Vista was available as a sedan, and a station wagon called the Vista Ardeo. 1.8L and 2.0L engines were available. The interior features a center instrument panel/ navigation display.
The platform for this vehicle was used for the first generation Toyota Prius, and was also shared with the Opa, Wish, Caldina, Avensis and Celica.
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