• Toyota launched the first Corolla model in 1966.
• The Corolla comes in sedan, hatchback and compact SUV trim in South Africa.
• The cheapest Corolla model locally is the Quest that has a starting price of R282 600.
• For more motoring stories, visit Wheels24.
Spanning a 55-year history with more than 50-million customers worldwide, the Toyota Corolla has become one of the most famous nameplates.
The very first model was launched in 1966 and currently spans a total of 12 generations, with South Africa being treated to the Corolla range from the late '70s in the form of the box-shape or E70 chassis.
For some, the Corolla brings back fond memories of owning a car for the first time, while for others, it is a quality premium model that serves as a symbol of success.
Besides being a well-rounded family car, it is also used for motorsport applications like the frequent GTC Championship that takes place across the country.
Eiji Toyoda, one of the senior executives leading the initial Corolla project, once said: "While some are of the opinion that the Corolla rode the wave of motorization, I think it's the other way around. We worked to create popular demand with the Corolla, and in my opinion, that's just what we did."
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Whether you are an ardent fan of the brand or not, here are a few interesting facts to known about the Corolla, according to Toyota Times:
1. The origin of the Corolla name
The word 'corolla' refers to the ring of petals around the central part of a flower (which is considered to be the most beautiful part of a flower). The name was intended to evoke the image of a beautifully styled, eye-catching, high-quality compact car.
2. Corolla wins the Press-on-Regardless rally
A TE25 Corolla with a 2T-B engine (based on the 1600SR of the second-generation Corolla) chalked up the first rally victory for the Corolla by winning the Press-on-Regardless Rally held in the United States in November 1973.
3. The 'new three sacred treasures' in Japan
When the first Corolla was introduced in 1966, Japan was in the midst of rapid economic growth. The buzzword 'the new three sacred treasures', also known as 'the 3Cs', appeared, in which the 3Cs stood for 'colour TV, car, and air conditioner', and these were considered representative of the aspirations of the masses.
4. The '80-plus points' concept
Rather than meaning that getting 100 points was not necessary, '80-plus points' meant achieving an excellent total balance and, on top of that, outstanding performance of 90 points or more in certain areas. As a result, the concept expressed the 'essence of practical car manufacturing' for making a car that would last a long time.