The Liftback was introduced for Japanese market in April 1973, but not until 1976 for export models. Models for home market Liftback were 1600ST, 1600GT (TA27), 2000ST, and 2000GT (RA25 and RA28). The American Liftback is a GT (RA29) with a 2.2 liter 20R engine. All the Liftback models, which are commonly referred to as the 'Mustang' shape, have flat noses. Although there is no "B" pillar in the Liftback, the rear windows do not roll down (as they do in the hardtop coupe). Although they looked the same, there were a few minor visible differences. The facelifted coupe is coded RA23 with an 18R engine, or RA24 with a 20R engine. Also available was the TA23, which was similar to the RA23, but with the T-Series engine. The RA23 and RA28 had a more distinctive bulge in the bonnet, or hood, which was lacking in the TA22 or RA20 Coupe and in the TA27 and RA25 Liftback Celica. The TA22 Celica also had removable vents mounted in the bonnet, which the RA23 and RA28 lacked. The RA series also had an elongated nose to accommodate the larger engine. The door vents, fuel filler cap, and interior were also different between the TA and RA series.
For 1976-1977, the Liftback was released with the 18R-G Twincam engine (except US) with a Yamaha head and running gear. This engine produced significantly more power than the 18R-C. Peak power was about 100 kW (134 hp) @ 6000 rpm.
In Australia, the Celica was first released in the 1.6 L 2T motor. The later 1975-1977 Celica was released with the 2.0 L 18R motor.
The very first entry for Celica in the World Rally Championship was in the 1972 RAC Rally, when Ove Andersson drove a TA22 1600GTV into ninth place.