Today we have another chance to document the ordinary but now rare E80 Corolla.
To be precise it’s the EE80 three door hatchback, 1985 to 1987.
We’ve documented the saloon here and I argued that it’s a collection of near-neutralities. The hatch has the same basic simplicity (the surfaces have the least possible curvature) yet there is a hint more expression noticeable. It’s in the rake of
the rear screen, I think. Yet the EE80 manages to be fussy and brittle whereas the equivalent Golf looks robustly simple.
The 1984-1991 Kadett (above) gets the best mix: a strong theme, efficient but nuanced.
For the E80 Toyota went front drive and provided considerable local variation. The engine range didn’t have the same variety, two units under 1.5 litres.
The styling fussiness comes from the lines on the bodyside, the black plastic bumpers and the body-colour door frame. These distract from the main theme of a slanted bonnet, a thicker c-pillar and a deep side-glass. The designers didn’t eliminate the small amount of noise that stood between a stark form and an
indeterminate one. Again, as per the Carina we featured here a while back, you need to gaze at the whole car to get close to seeing it as it was intended to be seen.
I can imagine the clay model looked better and that the styling sketches looked flashy with a hint more character in the proportions and profile. I haven’t any evidence to back that up: perhaps Car Styling has some images.
The lesson here is that a minimal theme sketch must be translated very faithfully or else it becomes quite a different car.