Improved over almost two decades, the Corolla saw a huge shift in the 1980s. I am referring to the switch to front-wheel drive as well as the New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. joint venture between Toyota and General Motors. The first U.S.-built models were made in California at the NUMMI production facility that’s currently owned and operated by Tesla.
The fifth-generation Corolla wasn’t only front-wheel drive, though. Remember the AE86 from the Initial D anime? The Hachiroku is a legend in its own right, mostly thanks to its rev-happy engine and tail-happy driving characteristics. For the sixth-generation Corolla, the compact econobox gained all-wheel drive and a 16-valve DOHC layout for every single motor.
Moving on to the 12th generation, the U.S. market has finally received a hybrid option that costs less than a brand-new Prius. Capable of more than 50 miles to the gallon (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers) on the combined testing cycle, the fuel-sipping powertrain will be complemented by a hotter option under the Gazoo Racing umbrella. The “GR Corolla” is likely to feature the 1.6-liter engine of the GR Yaris, which isn’t available in the United States.
It’s also worth mentioning that a compact crossover by the name of Corolla Cross has entered the lineup for the 2022 model year. Made in Alabama and offered with front- and all-wheel drive, the high-riding body style is certain to help Toyota reach the 51,000,000 milestone very soon.