Toyota Corolla (E70)

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Toyota Corolla (E70)
1983 Toyota Corolla (KE70) CS sedan (2015-07-03) 01.jpg
Also calledDaihatsu Charmant
Toyota Sprinter
Toyota T-18 [1]
ProductionMarch 1979–June 1987
AssemblyToyota City, Japan
Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Thames, New Zealand
Samut Prakan, Thailand
North Jakarta, Indonesia
Body and chassis
Body style2-door sedan
4-door sedan
2-door hardtop coupé
3-door liftback
3-door station wagon
5-door station wagon
3-door van [2]
5-door van
LayoutFR layout
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length4,050–4,105 mm (159.4–161.6 in)
Width1,610 mm (63.4 in)
Height1,385 mm (54.5 in)
Curb weight957 kg (2,110 lb)
PredecessorCorolla E30
SuccessorCorolla E80

The Corolla E70 was the fourth generation of cars sold by Toyota under the Corolla nameplate.

The fourth-generation model was released in March 1979 in Japan, and was the last generation to have the entire lineup in rear-wheel-drive configuration. Export sales commenced in August 1979.[3] Although most of the fourth generation was replaced by 1984, the station wagon and van versions were offered into late 1987. In 1980 Corolla daily production reached an all-time high, averaging 2,346 units. The one-millionth Corolla was a 70-series, built in February 1983. A limited "One Million Edition" was released in Japan at this time.[4]


This generation (apart from the wagon) got a new rear coil spring five-link rear end with a panhard rod, and the wheelbase was longer at 94.5 in (2,400 mm). A new 1.8 L (1,770 cc/108 in³) 3T engine was optional to some markets, while parts of the world retained the old 4K. The most notable inline-four engine advancement came in 1983, however, as Toyota began offering the 1.6 L (1,587 cc/96 in³) 4A-C. The aluminum head, SOHC engine, although bulkier in size and weight than the K and T engines it was offered alongside, was a grand step up in performance. This would be the last generation of Corollas to use any pushrod or iron cylinder head engines, as Toyota made the decision to focus exclusively on aluminium head, OHC engine design from this point forward. This was the first generation to have power steering. In the US market, this was introduced in 1981 for the 1982 model year.

Corolla wagon following the 1982 facelift

Various facelifts were made during production. In 1979–1980, a four-round headlamp setup was used in most markets. A restyle for 1981 involved two rectangular headlamps. A more extensive facelift was given for 1982, involving a new sloping nose with wraparound headlights, remodeled taillights and new bumpers, which on some models were rubber moulded. From August 1983 (subsequent to the changeover to front-wheel drive for the rest of the range) the Corolla Van received a new 1.5-litre 5K-J engine as well as a light restyling, and also a roof raised by 45 mm (1.8 in).[5] The Wagon/Van underwent a final light facelift in August 1985, including an upgraded 1C-II engine for the diesels.[6] It also received seats that could be folded nearly flat to make the car beddable, and continued in production until being replaced by the 90-series Corolla Van/Wagon in August 1987.


Design work was started in 1974 by Fumio Agetsuma. The goals he told his team were:[7]

  • Quiet cars will have a definite edge. Conservation of both resources and fuel will be very important. Economy and value will also carry considerable weight.
  • Our new Corolla must be as aerodynamically perfect as the parameters allow. It must be comfortable, with enough interior room to move about in. It will need all the modern features that future customers will want as well.
  • Corolla must change. But we should never destroy the popular base upon which Corolla sales are built. Our new car must reflect the wishes of the consumer, the ordinary people who drive Corollas.
  • There should be no generation gap with Corolla. It should appeal to young and old alike. Corolla must also transcend national boundaries. It must perform as well in sub-zero temperatures as it does in the tropics or in the heat of the deserts of the world. Above all, Corolla must be a car that pleases.
  • Corolla has an illustrious tradition. Now, let us build our new Corolla on that tradition, the kind of new Corolla we know the drivers of the world will expect.


Toyota Corolla Levin series TE71 (Japan)
Corolla Sedan 1600 GT (TE71)

In Japan, where it was introduced in March 1979, the Corolla was offered in all body styles: two-door Sedan, four-door Sedan, two-door Hardtop, three-door Coupe, and three-door Liftback. The three- or five-door Van models were added to the lineup in August 1979, until then the old 30-series Van had continued to be available.[8] This was also when the 1.8-litre 13T engine first became available in the domestic Japanese market.[9] The Levin continued as a coupe, with a sporting four-door sedan called the Corolla GT also available.

February 1982 saw the introduction of the Toyota 1C diesel engine installed in the Corolla sedan.[4] This car was exclusive to the Toyota Diesel Store to encourage sales at the largely commercial truck retailer for Toyota in Japan, alongside the larger, diesel-engined Toyota Vista. At the same time, the Van was no longer available with the 1.6-litre gasoline engine, but the five-door KE73G wagon was introduced as the first Corolla Wagon to be sold in Japan (rather than the "van" commercial car).[5] The Van/Wagon continued to be offered until August 1987, skipping the first front-wheel-drive generation of Corollas. After the introduction of the front-wheel drive E80-series Corolla, the Van range received a facelift and a new set of chassis codes (KE72V, KE74V, CE71V).

Japanese market engines:

  • 4K-U — 1.3 L (1290 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod, carb, 74 PS (54 kW) (KE70, KE73G)
  • 4K-J — 1.3 L (1290 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod, carb, 69 PS (51 kW) (KE71V, KE72V, van only) 72 PS (53 kW) in later models[10]
  • 5K-J — 1.5 L (1496 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod, carb, (KE74V, van only)
  • 3A-U — 1.5 L (1,452 cc) I4, 8-valve SOHC, carb, 80 PS (59 kW) (AE70)
  • 12T-J — 1.6 L (1587 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod, carb, 86 PS (63 kW) (TE73V,[5] TE74V from August 1981)
  • 2T-GEU — 1.6 L (1587 cc) I4, 8-valve DOHC, EFI, 115 PS (85 kW) (TE71)
  • 13T-U — 1.8 L (1,770 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod, 95 PS (70 kW)[11] (TE70)
  • 3T-C — 1.8 L (1,770 cc) I4, 8-valve pushrod (TE72)
  • 1C – 1.8 L I4 diesel, 65 PS (48 kW)[11] (CE70, CE71V)

North America[edit]

The E70-series Corolla Hardtop and Liftback models were among the last true pillarless hardtops available in the United States. These models used the same 13-inch styled steel wheels and trim rings that graced the U.S-market 1974–75 Celica GT.

North American market engines:

  • 3T-C — 1.8 L (1,770 cc) I4, 8-valve Pushrod, carb, 75 hp (56 kW)
  • 4A-C — 1.6 L (1,587 cc) I4, 8-valve SOHC, carb, 90 hp (67 kW)

North American market VDS:

  • E71Sedan, 2-door/4-door (Std, DX)
  • E71Wagon, 5-door (Std, DX)
  • E71Hardtop, 2-door (SR5)
  • E71Coupé, 2-door (SR5)
  • E71Liftback, 3-door (Std, SR5)
  • E72Sedan, 5-door (Std, DX)
  • E72Wagon (Std, DLX)
  • E72Coupé 2-door (Std, SR5)
  • E72Liftback, 3-door (Std, SR5)
  • E72Hardtop, 2-door (Std, SR5)
  • E75Hardtop, 2-door (SR5)
  • E75Coupé, 2-door (SR5)
  • E75Liftback, 3-door (Std, SR5)


The TE72 Liftback was marketed in Australia as the Toyota T-18.[12] Introduced in October 1979, it was fitted with a 1.8-litre engine and a five-speed transmission.[13]

70 series sedan, wagon and panel van variants were introduced in October 1981 with a 1.3-litre engine.[14] Facelifted models were offered from October 1983, with a 1.6-litre engine now available as an option.[15] A special edition sedan called the "Corolla Spirit" arrived in early 1984; it received a boot spoiler, the 1.6-litre engine, chromed wheel trim, stripes, and some additional equipment.[16]

Australian market engines:

  • 4K-C — 1.3 L (1290 cc) I4, 8-valve Pushrod, carb, 65 hp (48 kW)
  • 4A-C — 1.6 L (1587 cc) I4, 8-valve SOHC, carb, 78 hp (58 kW)
  • 3T-C — 1.8 L (1770 cc) I4, 8-valve Pushrod, carb (E72, sold as the "Toyota T-18")


Most E70-series Corollas sold in Europe were fitted with the 1.3-litre 4K engine, producing 60 PS (44 kW).[17] All European market cars were rated according to DIN. There was also the 1.6-litre 2T engine with 75 PS (55 kW), which was also available in the wagon in some markets, as well as a twin-carburetted version of the same (the 2T-B) for the coupés and liftbacks. The 2T-B has 86 PS (63 kW). The twin-cam 2T-G was also listed in Europe (only with coupé/liftback bodywork), with 108 PS (79 kW) at 6,200 rpm.[18] The European twin-cam has twin carburettors rather than the fuel injection found in domestic Japanese cars. Due to their peculiar emissions regulations, the most powerful engine available to a Swiss and Swedish Liftback buyer was the 1,770 cc 3T unit, producing 80 PS (59 kW).[19]


This generation of Corolla was marketed in many Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.


Win Percy won the 1982 British Saloon Car Championship driving an E70 series Toyota Corolla GT.


  1. ^ David Boyce, What Car is That? in Australia & New Zealand, 1981, page 168
  2. ^ Australian market sales brochure for Toyota Corolla (KE70) sedan, station wagon and panel van, circa 1981
  3. ^ Toyota Vehicle Identification Manual. Japan: Toyota Motor Corporation – Overseas Parts Department. 1984. Catalog No.97913-84.
  4. ^ a b Car Graphic: '80s Car Archives, p. 16
  5. ^ a b c "5th Corolla Van". 75 years of history: Vehicle lineage. Toyota. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  6. ^ Car Graphic: '80s Car Archives, p. 18
  7. ^ "The Toyota Corolla story", Toyota publication KE-CS/E-8003/D/No.85527/23200, March 1980
  8. ^ "4th Corolla Van". 75 years of history: Vehicle lineage. Toyota. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
  9. ^ 自動車ガイドブック [Japanese Motor Vehicles Guide Book 1979/1980] (in Japanese). Japan: Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. 26: 116. 1979-11-01. 053-790026-3400. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Corolla Van (catalog) (in Japanese), Toyota Motor Corporation, February 1982, p. 16, 151087-5702
  11. ^ a b Car Graphic: '80s Car Archives, p. 17
  12. ^ Corolla 7# 4th generation, Stepho's Toyota Site Retrieved 6 April 2016
  13. ^ Gover, Paul (12 October 1979). "Two Toyota sporting sedans on show". The Canberra Times. Australia. p. 7. Retrieved 18 January 2015.
  14. ^ Toyota Corolla (KE70), Retrieved 6 April 2016
  15. ^ Toyota Corolla (KE70 Series II), Retrieved 6 April 2016
  16. ^ Robinson, Peter, ed. (June 1984). "News: Briefly...". Wheels. Sydney, Australia: Murray Publishers: 10.
  17. ^ Büschi, Hans-Ulrich, ed. (March 10, 1983). "Automobil Revue '83" (in German and French). 78. Berne, Switzerland: Hallwag, AG: 1. ISBN 3-444-06065-3. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  18. ^ Automobil Revue '83, p. 518
  19. ^ Automobil Revue '83, p. 157
Works cited
  • 別冊CG: 自動車アーカイヴ 80年代の日本 [Car Graphic: Car Archives Vol. 11, '80s Japanese Cars] (in Japanese). Tokyo: Nigensha. 2007. p. 1. ISBN 978-4-544-91018-6.