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Toyota Corolla Information & History

The Toyota Corolla is a small family car/compact car produced by Toyota of Japan, known worldwide for its reliability, and conventional engineering. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world. Toyota has made 28 million cars under the Corolla name since its launch in 1966. Corollas are currently manufactured in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Thailand.

Alternative Versions

A slightly upmarket version is called the Toyota Sprinter, sold in the Japanese home market. It was replaced in 2001 by the Toyota Allex. Over the years, there have been rebadged versions of the Corolla, including the 1980s' Holden Nova of Australia, and the Sprinter-based Chevrolet Nova, Geo Prizm and Chevrolet Prizm of the United States. In Australia, the Corolla liftback (TE72) was at one point badged the T-18.

First Generation (1966)

The Corolla was launched in Japan in October 1966. Eiji Toyoda, chairman of the company, said it worked hard to create popular demand, and disputes that Toyota rode a wave of private car ownership that was taking off in the mid-1960s.

Toyota has been almost steadfast in facelifting each generation after two years, and replacing it with an all-new model every four years. Exports to the United States began in 1968 at about US$1,700, and the car has been popular since.

The initial car, the KE1x series, was small, with a 90 in (2286 mm) wheelbase, and came in two- and four-door sedan (KE10 and KE11), two-door coupe (KE15), and three-door station wagon (KE16 and KE18) versions. Power came from either a 1.1 L (1077 cc/65 in³) OHV I4, the K, which produced 60 hp (45 kW), or the 1.2 L (1166 cc/71 in³) 3K in later models. A 4-speed manual transmission or 2 speed automatic transmission was available, and the car used rear wheel drive. The suspension in front was MacPherson struts supported by a transverse leaf spring beneath the engine crossmember, with leaf springs connected to a solid axle in back.

Second Generation (1971)

The second-generation KE2x model , launched 1970, had "coke-bottle" styling. It had a longer 91.9 in (2334 mm) wheelbase, and used the 1.2 L (1166 cc/71 in³) 3K I4 which made 73 hp (54 kW). The front suspension design was improved greatly, using a swaybar, however the rear remained relatively the same. There was a two and four-door sedan (KE20) available, as well as a two-door coupe (KE25), and three-door wagon (KE26). The Corolla became the second-best selling car in the world that year.

A 1.6 L (1588 cc/96 in³) 102 hp (76 kW) 2T engine came in 1971, quite impressive for the time, and a sporty SR5 (aka: Levin in Japan) was introduced in 1973. Corollas with this engine were designated TE21 or TE27.

Third Generation (1975)

The third-generation Toyota Corolla, built from 1974-81 (worldwide versions) (KE3x/KE5x), marked Toyota's greatest growth in the United States in the wake of the fuel crisis. In addition to the Sprinter, there was a rebodied version built by Toyota affiliate Daihatsu, called the Daihatsu Charmant. While there were certain fourth-generation models with a longer model life, this generation, when considered as a whole, was the longest-lived one, possibly due to the worldwide recession in the 1970s.

All body styles-two- and four-door sedan (KE30), two-door hardtop (KE35) and three-door station wagon (KE36/KE38)-still used the 1.2 L (1166 cc/71 in³) 3K engine in certain markets, while most Japanese and American models got the stronger 1.6 L (1588 cc/96 in³) 2T engine. These model codes were designated "TE3x". A "Toyoglide" 2/3-speed automatic transmission was added as well as four-speed and for the "E/5, and "SR5" a five-speed manual transmissions. A three-door "liftback" (KE50) was added in 1976, along with a sporty-looking "sport coupe" body style.

Road & Track was critical of the 1975 Corolla, calling it "large and heavy" and "expensive" compared to the Honda Civic and Datsun B210. They also criticized the "relatively crude rear suspension" and lack of interior space and poor fuel economy when compared to the VW Rabbit. The base model cost US$2,711 in 1975, but one needed to step up to the $2,989 "deluxe" to get features comparable to the contemporary pack.

Early Corollas in this range (KE3x) with 3K engines produced 73 hp (54 kW) from just 1166 cc. However emissions became a problem further into the 1970s, and the 4K engine in the KE5x series produced only 60 hp (45 kW), despite and increased capacity of 1290 cc. These figures are fairly optimistic (probably tested without ancillaries such as alternators or water pumps) to make the car look good for sales, in reality most corollas of the time produced about 30 hp (22 kW) at the wheels, which can be estimated to 45 hp (34 kW) at the flywheel.

The TE3x series 2T-C engines had an additional bump in horsepower thanks to their hemi-design and larger displacement (1588cc)giving the engines 75hp at the flywheel outmatching rival Datsun B210s engine output. A sporty 2T-G engine was also in the lineup in the Japanese model hardtop (AKA Levin) producing 124hp with a DOHC performance head, and later models with fuel injection.

Fourth Generation (1980)

The fourth-generation model (Ke70) released in 1979 in Japan, was a boxy, rear-wheel-drive offering. Although most of the fourth generation was replaced by 1984, the station wagon and van versions soldiered on into 1987. Equally, there was a Daihatsu Charmant variant. The car were also avaliable in coupe versions (TE71 and TE72).

This generation (apart from the wagon) got a new rear coil spring five-link rear end with panhard rod, and the wheelbase was longer at 94.5 in (2400 mm). A new 1.8 L (1770 cc/108 in³) 3T engine was optional to some markets, producing 75 hp (56 kW), whilst parts of the world retained the old 4K. The year 1983 introduced the Corolla's first overhead cam engine, the 1.6 L (1587 cc/96 in³) 4A-C in the AE71 model range.

In 1980, during this model's life, Corolla daily production reached an all-time high, averaging 2,346 units.

The 1980-81 models had 4 lamps in the front in some markets, all 82-83 models have 2.

Fifth Generation (1984)

The fifth generation (AE8x) is generally regarded as the finest Corolla when measured against its contemporaries and some 3.3 million units were produced. This model, from 1984, moved the Corolla four- and five-door sedans into front wheel drive, but the two-door coupe (AE85 and AE86), three-door "liftback" (TE72), three-door van and five-door wagon continued on the older rear wheel drive platform.

The front-wheel-drive wheelbase was now 95.6 in (2428 mm).

It was the first Corolla to top the New Zealand top-10 lists, ending Ford's dominance of that market. A "short" hatchback range, called the Corolla FX in Japan and the Corolla Compact in Germany, arrived in 1984, on the front-wheel-drive platform. The three- and five-door hatchbacks resembled the Corolla sedan with a truncated boot. Although there was a five-door liftback model of the basic Corolla, the FX-based hatchback was sold alongside it. The five-door liftback was sold with the Corolla Seca name in Australia and the nameplate survived on successive five-door models.

A hot DOHC 16-valve engine, designated 4A-GE, was added in 1984 on the rear-drive cars. It was a 1.6 L (1587 cc) I4 and produced an impressive 124 hp (92 kW), turning the Corolla GT-S into a popular sports car. This engine was combined with the front-drive transaxle to power the mid-engined Toyota MR-2.

The Sprinter sports cars, in two- and three-door forms, were notable for the line's first use of pop-up headlamps, which the equivalent Corolla Levin sports models did not have. These AE86 models have been immortalized in the anime series Initial D, and have been also featured in the computer and video game Need for Speed: Underground 2.

A new Corolla FX, built at the US NUMMI plant, appeared in 1987. It was available with either SOHC or DOHC engines, the latter marketed as the FX-16.

Sixth Generation (1988)

All Corollas were front-drive for 1988, with production beginning in May 1987. The Geo Prizm shared a slightly different body with the Japan-market Sprinter. The all wheel drive Sprinter Carib wagon used a solid axle rear suspension with coil springs, while the rest used struts all around. It was sold from 1988 to 1994 and had different bodywork to other Corollas. It was called the All-Trac in the US and sold with the Tercel or Corolla name in some countries.

The Sprinter five-door liftback was re-badged as the Corolla in Europe, though for a period in Ireland (and possibly elsewhere) it was badged the "Sprinter GLS", unusually in cheap-looking decals instead of the metallic-coated plastic badges found on all other Toyotas of the time.

The sixth-generation five-door hatchback is still made in South Africa as an entry-level model called the Toyota Tazz. The three-door is sold as a panel van model there, called the Toyota Carri. These generations were also favored by tuners.

American production of the sedan took place at NUMMI and Cambridge, Ontario. These two plants made 279,000 units, making a total of 4.5 million of this generation (AE90) made.

Seventh Generation (1991)

The next Corolla (AE10X) was larger, heavier, and more expensive, with development chief Dr Akihiko Saito wanting to develop a 'mini-Lexus', after success with that range's flagship. With its 97 in (2465 mm) wheelbase, the Corolla had moved into the compact size class once occupied by the Toyota Corona and Camry. This model appeared in 1991 in Japan, and 1993 in North America.

It was available as a three-, four- and five-door sedan and a five-door station wagon. Sprinters were available as a four- or five-door sedan, including a four-door hardtop called the Sprinter Marino (only for this generation). The Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno were sold as two-door coupés. The US-market Geo Prizm was sold as a four-door sedan.

The five-door Sprinter was sold as the Corolla Sprinter in Europe, confusingly. The three and five-door Corolla FX was also sold in Europe just as the Corolla, and was available mostly in normal (non-sports) specs unlike the FX in Japan.

This model was not as successful due to a rising yen and home-market recession, blunting demand.

Eigth Generation

The eighth generation (AE110/ZZE110), which shared its platform (and doors, on some models) with its predecessor, was introduced in May 1995, 1998 in Europe and North America. Due to recession, Toyota ordered that Corolla development chief Takayasu Honda cuts costs, hence the carryover engineering.

This marked the beginning of the end of the Sprinter. The Sprinter Trueno coupé range was carried over with a facelift, while the Wagon was identical to the Corolla.

A European range had different front and rear ends (this was sold in Australia and New Zealand, too), to appeal to customers there. As a result, a sporting model with a six-speed gearbox was offered. In 1997, the Corolla Spacio, with its body panels stamped at long-time Toyota supplier Kanto Autoworks, was introduced as a two-box minivan version and sold as the Corolla Verso in Europe and the Toyota Verso in New Zealand.

The Japanese has a version called the "Corolla GT" which is a 4-door, 165hp, 6-speed sedan.

All North American Corollas were now built in California (by NUMMI) or Canada (by TMMC). A new all-aluminum engine powered all Corollas, making every car lighter than its predecessor. In the US market, only sedans were offered. VVT-i variable valve timing was added to the engine for 2000.

The US-market 2001 Toyota Corolla has a maximum legal carrying capacity of 850lbs.

Ninth Generation (2000)

The ninth-generation Corolla (AE120/ZZE120) appeared in August 2000 with edgier styling and a longer 102.4 in (2600 mm) wheelbase. It is built on a shortened Toyota Vista platform-the Vista being a mid-sized, rather than compact, car. Like the Vista, the Corolla's width is limited to 67 in (1700 mm), to avoid being in a higher tax bracket in Japan, although most of its European rivals are now wider. This model made it to the United States in 2002.

The torsion bar suspension and drum brakes in the rear are anachronisms, however. The sporty XRS model, introduced for 2004, features the high-revving 170 hp (127 kW) 127 ft·lbf (172 N·m) 2ZZ-GE engine and 6 speed manual from the Toyota Celica GT-S and Lotus Elise.

The station wagon model is called the Toyota Corolla Fielder in Japan, and the five-door the Toyota Corolla Runx and Toyota Allex, launching in 2001.

The Corolla Spacio (Verso in Europe) moved on to the new platform. The Corolla has also spawned another multi-purpose vehicle, the Matrix, sold in Canada and the United States, and forms the basis of the Pontiac Vibe. The Vibe, in turn, is sold with a different grille in Japan and is called the Toyota Voltz.

In Asia (excluding Hong Kong and Japan), the Toyota Corolla is branded as the Toyota Corolla Altis and is similar to the US-spec Corolla. Two versions of engine are available, the 108 bhp 1.6 and the 134 bhp 1.8. The Altis range of the Corolla is manufactured in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.



This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from articles at Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia

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