Aug. 03, 1978


First Toyota Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) Vehicle


TOKYO―Toyota Motor Company and Toyota Motor Sales Company announced the nationwide sale today of two new popular-size passenger cars, the Tercel and the Corsa, the first Toyota front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles.

The Tercel and the Corsa are scheduled to be marketed through two Toyota sales channels―the Tercel through Corolla Dealers and the Corsa through Toyopet Dealers.

The market aim of the two new models is to respond to the latest demand trends in the popular-size passenger car market. Both cars are designed to meet Japan's 1978 emissions control standards, carry on high safety standards and are developed for maximum resource and energy conservation in pursuit of top automotive function to satisfy driver demands of the future. Special attention was paid to the following three areas as key design concepts
  1. Preservation of a spacious and comfortable interior within a compact body.
  2. Resource and energy conservation, such as weight reduction and solid fuel efficiency.
  3. Improvements in handling, ride and quietness.

Both the Tercel and the Corsa are mounted with the newly developed 1A-U type 1452cc engine, and utilize the Toyota TGP combustion method to clear Japan's 1978 emissions control standards. The cars are designed with the same basic styling and capacity, although different concepts were applied in the front and rear design, as well as that of the interior.

Concerning the vehicle names, Tercel means falcon, and was chosen to conjure up images of such a bird soaring through the sky on strong wings. Corsa, meanwhile, comes from Italian, and means to run, or dash along.

The main features of the Tercel and Corsa are as follows
  • Style.
    With the theme of preserving roomy interior space within a compact body, a stable-feeling pedestal style has been adopted. Both cars come in 2 box and 3-box models. The 2-box type is a modernistic 3-door fastback, with the rear door designed as a glass hatch; while the 3-box type comes in 2-door and 4-door versions of the traditional notch back style
  • Engine.
    Both cars are mounted with the newly developed 1A-U type (1452cc, 4-cylinder in-line, OHC), a powerful engine with superior and dependable acceleration from low to high speeds.
  • Front-Wheel Drive.
    Both models are designed as the first Toyota front-wheel drive (FWD) vehicles, and also utilize aerodynamic styling to provide a marked difference in running performance.
  • Comfort.
    Adoption of FWD Method, extending the wheelbase 2,500mm and eliminating back seat bulge due to tire wells have preserved a spacious interior and improved riding comfort.
  • Conservation of materials and resources.
    Rationalized design of all parts, including the body structure, has resulted in lighter vehicle weight, and combined with the newly developed 1 A-U engine has succeeded in improving fuel economy.

The Tercel and the Corsa come in 4 and 5-speed manual floorshift transmissions. Both cars are available in five grades, and through combinations with different body styles, 16 versions of each model will be on the market―three 2-door types, seven 3-door types and six 4-door types.

Tentative monthly sales targets on the Japanese domestic market are 7,000 vehicles for the Tercel and 5,000 for the Corsa.

Attached are information sheets on emissions data, fuel efficiency and performance and dimensions for both the Tercel and Corsa

Emissions Data (Ave. Target Values for Testing Complete Vehicles―Mode 10)

Unit g/km
Emissions Data (Ave. Target Values for Testing Complete Vehicles―Mode 10)

Fuel Efficiency

Unit g/km
Fuel Efficiency

Performance and Dimensions

  1. Engine Performance
1. Engine Performance
  1. Dimensions
2. Dimensions

Downloads (Images)

  • Tercel 3 door S (E-AL 10-ZGMSS)
    Tercel 3 door S
    (E-AL 10-ZGMSS)
  • Tercel 4 door SE (E-AL 10-ZEMGS)
    Tercel 4 door SE
    (E-AL 10-ZEMGS)
  • Corsa 4 door GSL (E-AL 10-LEMGS)
    Corsa 4 door GSL
    (E-AL 10-LEMGS)
  • Corsa 3 door S (E-AL 10-LGMSS)
    Corsa 3 door S
    (E-AL 10-LGMSS)
  • LA-U Engine, 1,452c.c.
    LA-U Engine, 1,452c.c.