Holy Moley Cannoli

Today we have another chance to document the ordinary but now rare E80 Corolla.

The grille is similar to the contemporary Carina.

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.

1985-1987 Toyota Corolla EE80

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.

1985-1987 Toyota Corolla 3-door hatch.

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

1985 Toyota Corolla interior

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.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

3 thoughts on “Holy Moley Cannoli”

  1. The example you found seems to be a rather basic one. An image search delivers better equipped variants with black door frames and b-pillars. So at least this point was cured on many of the sold cars.
    What strikes me in your first picture is the relatively short wheelbase, which is rather unusual for a compact steep hatchback. Comparable European cars often had longer wheelbases in these days than their Japanese counterparts.

  2. Some wheelbase / length numbers:

    1983 Corolla E80 (FX hatch): 2430/3985
    1983 Golf Mk.2: 2470/3970
    1980 Kadett D: 2514/3990

    Given the chronology, Toyota probably went by the Opel sizes for their (just) sub-4.0m hatchback. History suggests that their judgement was sound; the Golf Mk.1 and Escort Mk.3 were uncomfortably close to the next generation of superminis.

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