2017 Toyota Corolla unveiled, receives 50th Anniversary Special Edition

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 3, 2016

Fifty years ago in November 1966, Toyota rolled out and started selling the first Corolla in Japan. Two years after in 1968, Toyota commenced sales of the Corolla in the United States. Ever since that fateful year, Toyota has sold over 43 million Corolla cars around the world.

With that figure under its name, the Toyota Corolla has fully cemented its status as the number one car in terms of worldwide sales throughout history. During the 50-year period, the Corolla has been touching lives. For instance, actress Gina Rodriguez drove her Corolla from New York to Hollywood to pursue her acting dreams.

Actress Hannah Simone, meanwhile, had her driving skills learned and honed using her father’s Toyota Corolla. In celebration of this half-a-century milestone and as a tribute to the car that played a vital role in the life of millions of drivers and customers, Toyota has launched the Corolla 50th Anniversary campaign. This campaign is a year-long drive that aims to show how the Corolla was behind more milestones, memories and moments than any car in the world.

For half a century, the Toyota Corolla has been considered a success. Right from its introduction, the Corolla managed to capture the interest of the world, thereby playing a vital role in Toyota’s transformation into a global powerhouse. In just 10 years, annual production of the Toyota Corolla more than doubled from 480,000 units in 1965 to 1.1 million vehicles in 1968.

2017 Toyota Corolla

For this momentous and historic year, Toyota is introducing an iteration of the Toyota Corolla (2017 model year) with a refreshed look and new features, including a standard back-up camera and available Toyota Safety Sense-P technology.

Likewise, the Japanese carmaker has unveiled the 2017 Toyota Corolla XSE and 50th Anniversary Special Edition at the 2016 New York International Auto Show. For analysts and number-keepers, the Corolla is the all-time best-selling car in the world.

But for a myriad of Corolla owners and drivers -- including Rodriguez and Simone -- the Corolla signifies their memories and their adventures. Both actresses shared their stories via a partnership with BuzzFeed, and are encouraging other Corolla drivers to share theirs with the hashtag #Corolla50. Their videos as well as other Corolla 50th anniversary content could be accessed at corolla50.toyota.com, a Web site dedicated to celebrating the Corolla's 50-year history.

The Web site – also containing driver stories and user-generated content tagged #Corolla50 -- features a raffle that would see a lucky winner own a new 2017 Toyota Corolla. Rodriguez remarked that she always has a special place in her heart for the Corolla she drove from New York to Los Angeles. She added that her Corolla was special to her since it held all memories of her struggle and at the same time taught her strength early on.

Toyota Motor Corp. president and chief executive Akio Toyoda also had his fair share of memories with his own Corolla. After graduating from college in the 1980s, Toyoda drove a used four-door 4th generation Corolla 1600 GT, even describing it as his “best friend.” He said this used Corolla represented freedom and fun as well as his first forays in the business world. He noted that the Corolla influenced not only him and his path, but also Toyota’s transformation as a global company.

At the start in 1966, Toyota intended to produce just 30,000 Corollas a month when its total monthly production was only 50,000 vehicles. But the Corolla’s sales grew like a wildfire. Just after four years, Corolla’s success in the US helped the car reach 1 million in global sales in just four years.

By 1970, the Corolla has clawed its way up as the second best-selling import in the US. Now, annual global sales of the Corolla have already reached around 1.5 million, with production undertaken in 16 manufacturing sites around the world, including in Blue Springs, Miss. and in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. One main factor in the Corolla's resounding global success is its ongoing revolution and evolution.

In fact, the first Corolla was credited for ushering in new technologies like the MacPherson strut suspension, back-up lights, two-speed wipers and even a compact engine with a five-bearing crankshaft. Throughout the decades, Corolla has been available in several versions like family-friendly sedans, the iconic AE86, the E51 sports coupé and the E50 three-door "liftback." Now in its 11th generation, the latest iteration of the Corolla is receiving thrilling updates to meet the ever-changing needs and wants of drivers.

The L, LE and LE Eco grades come with bi-LED headlamps while the SE, XSE and XLE grades are fitted with complex-LED standard headlights. All versions, as standard, feature a back-up camera as well as a redesigned interior with audio enhancements.

Featured as standard is Entune Audio. However, customers could opt for the available Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation (Scout GPS Link App) or the available Entune Premium Audio with Integrated Navigation and App Suite. Both the Entune Audio Plus and Entune Premium Audio systems are now supported by a 7-inch screen for 2017.

The 2017 Toyota Corolla now features a more aggressive front grille and its exterior could be wrapped with any of the two new exterior colors. All its grades could be specified with the available Toyota Safety Sense-P, which is basically an array of safety features like dynamic radar cruise control, pre-collision system with pedestrian detection function, automatic high beams and lane departure alert with steering assist function. Moreover, the 2017 Corolla features spacious rear seats and standard Bluetooth.

2017 Toyota Corolla 50th Anniversary Special Edition

In celebration of five decades of Corolla’s existence, Toyota is introducing the 50th Anniversary Special Edition, which is derived from the sporty 2017 Corolla SE. This special edition model has complex-LED headlamps, 17-inch alloy wheels with dark gray inserts and machine finish and 50th Anniversary Edition exterior badge as well as an available moonroof.

It also features a seven-inch high-resolution touch-screen, color 4.2-inch TFT multi-information display, Entune Audio Plus with Connected Navigation (Scout GPS Link App) and Smart Key system with push button start. Other interior elements include black mixed media seats with Black Cherry contrast stitching; black interior with Black Cherry contrast stitching on steering wheel, center armrest and shift boot; and Black cherry accented dash panel and door trim.

Moreover, the floor of the special edition is covered with 50th Anniversary Edition floor mats. Customers may choose from three available exterior colors: Black Cherry, Classic Silver, and Blizzard Pearl.

Toyota will commence sales of the special edition in Fall 2016 with only around 8,000 units to be sold in the U.S. Toyota is using the 2016 New York International Auto Show as the kickoff event to a year-long continuing Corolla celebration. In June, Toyota plans for a restored 1970 Corolla to crisscross the US from San Rafael, California to Moline, Illinois in the Great Race.

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