Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Body Styles:||3-door hatchback|
5-door station wagon
Nissan Sentra/Nissan Almera
VW Jetta/VW Golf
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The Toyota Corolla is a small family car produced by Toyota of Japan. It is one of the best selling cars in the world, and is not only known worldwide for its reliability, but also its conventional engineering. Corollas are manufactured in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, South Africa, Brazil, Turkey and Thailand, as well as being assembled in other countries around the world. It is possibly the most produced automotive nameplate in the world, with 28 million units made since its launch.
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 hatchback coupé was at one point badged the T-18.
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 KE10 series, was small, with a 90 in wheelbase, and came in two-door coupe, three-door station wagon and two- and four-door sedan versions. Power came from a 1.1 L OHV I4, the K, which produced 60 hp. A 4-speed manual transmission was mandatory, and the car used rear wheel drive. The suspension in front was MacPherson struts, with leaf springs connected to a solid axle in back.
The second-generation model (KE20), launched 1970, had "coke-bottle" styling. It had a longer 91.9 in wheelbase and a new 1.2 L 3K I4 which made 73 hp. The suspension remained the same, but tweaks improved ride and handling, and the Corolla became the second-best selling car in the world that year.
The third-generation Toyota Corolla (1974–81), or the Corolla 30, 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.
A 2-door sedan still used the 1.2 L 3K engine, while the 4-door sedan, 2-door hardtop, SR5, and station wagon all used the stronger 1.6 L 2T engine. A 3-speed automatic transmission was added as well as 4- and 5-speed manual transmissions. A 3-door "liftback" 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$2711 in 1975, but one needed to step up to the $2989 "deluxe" to get features comparable to the contemporary pack.
The fourth-generation model (KE70) released in 1979 was a boxy, rear-wheel-drive range. 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.
This generation (apart from the wagon) got a new rear coil spring independent suspension, and the wheelbase was longer at 94.5 in. A new 1.8 L 3T engine was added, producing 75 hp. The year 1983 introduced the Corolla's first overhead cam engine, a 1.6 L.
In 1980, during this model's life, Corolla daily production reached an all-time high, averaging 2,346 units.
The fifth generation (AE80) 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 coupé, three-door "liftback", 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.
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 I4 and produced an impressive 124 hp, 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 anime.
- AE-82 - FWD Sedan, FWD 4/2-door hatchback (FX/FX16), FWD 5-door wagon
- AE-84 - 4WD 5-door wagon
- AE-86 - RWD GT-S/SR5 Coupé
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 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 favoured 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.
- 4A-F - 1.6 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, carb , 95 hp
- 4A-FE - 1.6 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, 102 hp
- 4A-GE - 1.6 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, 115 hp GT-S
The next Corolla (AE100) 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 246·5 cm 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.
This model was not as successful due to a rising yen and home-market recession, blunting demand.
- 1.6 L 4A-FE - 1.6 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, 105 hp
- 1.8 L 7A-FE - 1.8 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, 115 hp DX and LE
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.
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.
US-market (ZZE112) engines - 1ZZ-FE :
The ninth-generation Corolla (AE120/ZZE120) appeared in August 2000 with edgier styling and a longer 102.4 in wheelbase—the same as the 1983 Camry, but even longer. 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 1,700 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 US 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 ft.lbf 2ZZ-FE 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 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 .
US-market (ZZE122) engines:
- 2002-present: 1ZZ-FE - 1.8 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, VVT-i, 130 hp
- 2005 2ZZ-GE - 1.8 L I4, 16-valve DOHC, FI, VVTL-i, 170 hp XRS
- Corolla history
- Corolland (US market)
- Edmunds' US market history for the Corolla
- Mailing list devoted to 1967-74 Corolla
- Old Corolla FAQ
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