The Toyota Corolla might not be the most exciting automobile in the world, but let's be brutally honest and admit enthusiasts only represent a tiny fraction of the new car market. The vast majority of buyers are looking for a reliable, fuel-efficient, and practical vehicle easy on the wallet, and the Corolla fits that bill perfectly. It's been around for 55 years, spanning twelve generations, and is now celebrating an important milestone.
Vehicle number 50,000,000 has been sold, reinforcing the model's status as the best-selling car ever. It's way ahead of the Volkswagen Golf, which is eight years younger than the Corolla, and has yet to reach the 40M mark. It's worth noting Toyota is referring to all cars that have used this moniker, and that includes a multitude of body styles: hatchback, sedan, wagon, coupe, and minivan.
The recently announced high-riding Corolla Cross will undoubtedly fuel demand for the moniker even more, which is insanely popular as Toyota says it's selling a Corolla-badged car once every 28 seconds in more than 150 countries around the globe. Cars carrying this nameplate are being produced at no fewer than 12 factories across the world. Fun fact – Australia was its first export market, with 15 examples of a two-door sedan equipped with the 1.1-liter engine shipped from Japan in November 1966.
The latest-generation model has been around since 2018 and Toyota has added a bit of excitement to the lineup with an Apex Edition. However, a true sporty version is expected to arrive sooner rather than later, taking the shape of a Gazoo Racing-badged hatchback. There are rumors it will use a turbocharged 1.6-liter three-cylinder engine adapted from the GR Yaris hot hatch.
We're hearing the GR Corolla will offer a manual gearbox and all-wheel drive, with Toyota planning a more practical wagon version equipped with a different 2.0-liter electrified gasoline engine. The five-door hatch is expected to debut first, either towards the end of the year or early 2022. If it is coming to the United States, our money is on a 2023 model year.