The 1.8L came in two basic versions: the "economy car" 1ZZ version and the high-performance 2ZZ. Both came with Toyota's Variable Valve Timing and Lift intelligent system (VVTL-i), which was essentially a knock-off of Honda's seminal VTEC.
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The 1ZZ had a cylinder bore of 79mm and a stroke of 91.5mm; the long stroke and smaller bore biased the engine toward low-end torque. The 2ZZ larger 82mm bore and shorter 85mm stroke biased it toward producing high-rpm power at the expense of some torque.
The 1ZZ's fairly strong fracture-split, "powdered metal" connecting rods were outclassed by the 2ZZ's forged steel rods. The 2ZZ used a set of forged aluminium pistons to achieve its 11.5:1 compression ratio, which boosted power over the 1ZZ's 9.5:1 but made high-octane gas a necessity.
1ZZ engines (which came standard in most four-cylinder Toyotas, as well as the Chevrolet Prizm and Pontiac Vibe) made between 120hp/122ft-lb. of torque and 140hp/125ft-lb. of torque. Most 2ZZ engines made between 173 and 189 horsepower (in Celica GT-S, Corolla T-Sport, Lotus Elise and Lotus Exige trim), but later supercharged versions made between 225 and 240hp depending on application.
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