Facts About the Third Generation
The Liftback and surfboards
In developing the new Liftback model, also known as a hatchback, to be added to the third generation Corolla lineup — with a concept of "sporty wagon for multi-purpose use", Chief Engineer Sasaki began by carefully considering the definition of "leisure." Sasaki personally took time to experience what it is like to actually ride in a yacht and enjoy an afternoon of cycling and a barbecue. During this time, Sasaki visited a sporting goods store and was subtly measuring the length of a surfboard. A store clerk walked up to him and mentioned, "Shorter surfboards are the trend nowadays, so I should be able to give you a discount on those long ones." Sasaki imagined that if surfboards are getting shorter, that might be something that the Liftback customers will want to carry around in their cars. So, the length of the surfboard was used to determine the dimensions of the Liftback's cargo space.
World top ranking in passenger car production by model
In 1974, the third generation Corolla was released. In that fiscal year, Corolla's annual production volume exceeded that of the VW Beetle and became No. 1 in a ranking of passenger car production by model.
An era of increased safety awareness
The third generation Corolla was cherished by many customers and referred to by its model code, "Three-O." It was able to achieve this because it supported exhaust gas regulations and was designed with safety measures beyond those of the competition. The instrument panels of all models were covered with full pads, and 3-point ELR (Emergency Locking Retractor) seatbelts were adopted for the first time in a Toyota vehicle. In addition, DX and higher grade models were equipped with an impact absorption steering column as standard equipment, and the HI-DX and higher were equipped with front disc brakes as standard equipment.
Voluntary campaign restraints with the oil shock in Japan
At this time, the first oil shock and exhaust gas problems became issues in Japan. It was a time that demanded self-discipline of automakers in the development and release of new cars. There was also the issue of how to handle the oil shock and exhaust gas regulations. At the time of the release of the third generation Corolla, Toyota had no other choice than to voluntarily refrain from a splashy new car campaign. This included reducing newspaper advertisements and not clearly specifying the new model in the catchphrase as well.
Full-scale environmental countermeasures
The third generation Corolla was released in April 1974, just one year and eight months before the 1975 Exhaust Gas Regulations were enforced. However, the engine room layout adopted a design with ample leeway in anticipation of requirements after the regulations were enforced. Numerous developments and tests were repeated, and, in the latter half of 1975, both the 1.6-liter series and 1.4-liter series were added to the lineup as "1975 Exhaust Gas Regulation Compliant Vehicles."
TTC exhaust gas purification system
The Toyota exhaust gas purification device was named the TTC (Toyota Total Clean System); three types were utilized, including the catalytic method based TTC-C, the combined vortex method based TTC-V and the lean combustion method based TTC-L.
This system was later adopted in all engines used in Toyota vehicles. An "-U" was added to the end of engine codes equipped with the exhaust gas purification device to differentiate them from engines not yet equipped with this device (Example: T-U, 3K-U, 2T-U).