A look at the previous 11 generations of the Toyota Corolla Altis
The year was 1966, when Toyota introduced the Corolla model (known in Japan as the Toyota Karora). In less than a decade, it became the best selling car worldwide in 1974, and in 1997, it surpassed the Volkswagen Beetle as the best selling nameplate in the world. In 2016, it breached 44 million units and very soon it will breach the 50 million mark. The Corolla’s Latin translation is “small crown,” perhaps alluding to the brand’s flagship model and big brother the Toyota Crown. It was produced in may variations and its early models were mostly in rear wheel drive powered by carbureted gasoline engines until Toyota shifted to front wheel drive systems, while there are special variants using four-wheel drive platforms. The Corolla’s chassis designation code is the letter “E” which appears in each of its chassis and engine codes. Here’s a quick look at the various generations of the Toyota Corolla.
The first generation Corolla came with a 1100cc pushrod engine with a very minimalist design that was engineered to be very robust and reliable. Its competitors Datsun and Subaru only had 1000cc engines to avail of the sub-one liter engine tax break but Toyota flipped the tables and marketed its “100cc
advantage,” implying better horsepower with a 60hp engine mated to a 4-speed manual or 2-speed automatic transmission. The gamble paid off and the rest, as they say, was marketing history. In 1968, a fastback version was introduced.
By May of 1970, Toyota introduced the E20 Corolla that featured a rounder shape. It was also the generation that had a Corolla and parallel nameplate Sprinter model produced side by side. This was also the generation that other more premium and performance trims and variants were introduced, the Corolla Levin and Sprinter Trueno as the performance versions. Toyota also upgraded the engine using the famous 2T engine with a double overhead camshaft in 1972 and some variants have 5-speed manual transmissions.
The reason for having four chassis codes was because this generation had various body styles including a new three-door hatchback known as the Liftback. These Corollas were bigger and heavier, with longer wheelbase and width plus this was the generation where Toyota added retractable front seat belts as standard.
This heavily restyled model was introduced in March, 1979 and had a square edged and boxy design. Toyota also added the A series engine to the model range and was the last of the Corollas to use the K and T series engines. This was also the first generation of Corolla to use fuel injection systems in some Japanese domestic market (JDM) models.
With the introduction of
fuel injection as an option to
the entire Corolla line up, these fuel-injected Corollas became more fuel efficient, and this was the first generation to have the front wheel drive layout. It was also the first Corolla to be fitted with a diesel engine as an option. It was also at that time, the most popular Corolla model, selling over 3 million units over its entire production run.
On a side note, only the AE85 and the AE86 variants were the last to have rear wheel drive layouts. The legendary AE86, or “Hachi Roku” which translates to the numbers 8 and 6, was popularized in Japanese pop culture in the long-running Japanese manga and anime series “Initial D” and has become a cult classic. This iconic Corolla model became a popular car of choice in the earliest days of drift racing.
The E90 series was designed to be more aerodynamic, thanks to its rounded edges, and this was where the Corolla became more refined in terms for cabin comfort and driving dynamics. Special variants had the supercharged 4A-GZE engine rated at 165hp, and in some variants it also had the 4 wheel drive All-Trac system as option.
Corolla was redesigned to even be larger and heavier and this generation Corolla was also categorized in the compact class in the US market. This generation also saw the last of its carbureted engines.
8th generation E110
(1995 – 2002)
The E110 Corolla looks somewhat like a heavily face-lifted version of its predecessor, the E100. This was also the generation that Toyoto offered its 1ZZ-FE engines with aluminum cylinder heads in non-JDM markets, making it lighter than its previous generation models.
The new millennium saw the then-new 9th generation Corolla introduced first in Japan. The E120 was packed with more technology and was envisioned to bring the Corolla into the 21st century. After a year, the refreshed E130 Corolla was introduced.
The 10th generation Corolla was unveiled in October, 2006. But the Japanese market had a narrower body and was called Corolla Axio. For the wider international model, most ASEAN markets including the Philippines used the Corolla Altis brand.
Prior to the all-new current generation Corolla, this 11th generation was introduced in Japan on May, 2012. The sedan model was called the Axio, while the wagon variant was called the Corolla Fielder. For the JDM market, Toyota had introduced hybrid versions with the same drivetrain as the Prius C. For the international market, the E170 Corolla was introduced in 2013, and the international E140 and E150 models were discontinued.
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