Facts About the Fifth Generation

Introduction of the computer

While today computer technology is the obvious choice, the fifth generation Corolla was a revolutionary car because computers were introduced for its exterior design and engine engineering. A CAD (Computer Aided Design) system just perfected in 1981 was introduced two years before the model's release to aid in design layout. With this system, the preparation of three-dimensional drawings from clay models, which normally took three experienced designers one full month, could be accurately and easily achieved. Full-scale introduction of computers in engine design began around 1980, making it possible to quickly find the most efficient shape by using a computer to handle complex computations, such as rigidity calculations. Computers were also used actively in the development of electronically controlled systems, which were becoming more complex as the performance of engines increased. Today, designs that use computers have further expanded, and computers have become an essential element in vehicle development.

Pursuing passenger protection

Research has progressed on crushable body structures that absorb impact energy and protect passengers in a vehicle collision. The number of prototype vehicles manufactured to develop the fifth generation Corolla totaled 600. Of these prototypes, approximately 100 were used in collision tests. In addition, computers also were used to analyze test results.

Stylish design causes uncontainable bewilderment

The fifth generation Corolla sedan was developed from the idea of incorporating technological innovations for conversion to FF (front engine, front wheel drive) designs, which had become a worldwide trend, and targeting a spacious interior and youth oriented styling. In fact, some of the older customers in Japan could not hide their bewilderment over the excessively youthful design, such as the aerodynamic body that incorporated smooth curved surfaces and a gently curved silhouette that emphasized the trends of the new era. However, the form, which also pursued the trends of the new era, received customer support and brought about major progress in the automotive market of Japan. The youthful image was also well received throughout the world. As a result, the new model built the foundation to propel the Corolla to the No. 1 position worldwide.

Continuously cherished "Hachi-roku"

The last Corolla with a FR (front engine, rear wheel drive) drivetrain was the coupe model "Levin" equipped with the 1.6-liter 16-valve 4A-GEU engine. From the vehicle code "AE86," this vehicle became known as the "86 (Hachi-roku) Levin," and even today is cherished by many fans. The proof of this is this model's continued service even today after 20 years since its release, the holding of one-make races by its fans, and its appearance in the popular TV animation, "Initial D" in Japan, the United States and Asia.

Secret of Corolla