Toyota celebrates 50 years of U.S. sales

click the pic above to see a gallery of 50 shots of past Toyotas

When Toyota's Toyopet Crown arrived in the United States in 1957, it was met with snickers from Detroit. General Motors was king, and Ford and Chrysler weren't in the dire straights they face today. Fifty years later, nobody's laughing. That first Toyopet Crown wasn't well regarded, but in 2007, Toyota is giving General Motors a noogie. In 1957, Japan was very much thought of like China is today. That first Toyopet Crown wasn't a great deal, and Toyota had to surmount a mountain of real and perceived shortcomings before it would be taken seriously. In fewer than ten years, though, the Japanese automaker had refined the Toyopet into the Corona, a far more luxurious and modern car than the import-icon VW Beetle. Toyota was gaining fast on other import makes, and aggressively improving its products.

The Corolla debuted in 1968, and the compact offering became the marque's best selling model. The basic recipe of inexpensive small cars and pickups with reliable, well-engineered running gear carried Toyota through the 1970s and into the 80s. Along with its cohorts from other Japanese brands and tightened emissions and safety regulations, the dominance of the VW Beetle was crushed by the time 1979 ended. The 1980s were banner years for Toyota. It'd taken thirty years of Corona, Corolla, Celica, Celica Supra, Tercel and HiLux for Toyota to get its due, but things really shifted in the 1980s. The Camry debuted in 1983, and it now occupies more garages nationwide than any other vehicle. The Lexus luxury division launched in 1989 for the 1990 model year and made the Germans rethink their luxury cars, too. Technological innovation has created Hybrid Synergy Drive, and the Truck-cum-HiLux went on to become the Tacoma. Toyota continues to push for world dominance, and they're not just nipping at GMs heels, they're a proverbial tiger on the back of a wounded gazelle at this point. Quite a trick for a company that opened its US branch on Halloween back in 1957. We'll see what treats the global auto wars have in store for us in the next 50 years.

hit the jump for Toyota's official passenger car chronology

[Source: CNN Money via Motor Authority]

Passenger Car Chronologies

[Source: Toyota]

**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year".**


Series Chronology

1995 - Introduced as top-of-line replacement for Cressida.
1995 - Named "Best Buy in the Luxury Car Segment" - Consumer's Digest
1997 - Receives new alloy wheel design, additional options.
1997 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1998 - Facelifted front and rear fascia, addition of side airbags.
1998 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1998 - "Best Overall Value in Large Class" - IntelliChoice, Inc. Complete Car Cost Guide
1999 - "Best Overall Value in Large Class" - IntelliChoice, Inc. Complete Car Cost Guide
1999 - "Top Three Vehicles in APEAL, Premium Midsize" - J.D. Power
2000 - Second generation Avalon introduced
2000 - Rated "Best of 2000" by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
2000 - "Best Buy" - Consumer's Digest
2000 - "Best Large Car Value" - IntelliChoice
2001 - EPA rated "Most Fuel Efficient"
2001 - Consumer Reports names Avalon "Best Large Sedan"
2001 - AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for Premium Mid-Size Car
2001 - CY 2001 -'s Reader's Choice Awards - First Place for Full-Size Sedan
2002 - CY 2002 - AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for Luxury/Large Car
2002 - CY 2002 - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names Avalon "Best Pick."
2002 - Intellichoice Best Overall Value Large Class
2002 - CY 2001 - Reader's Choice Awards - First Place for Full-Size Sedan
2003 - Minor changes to exterior front grille and taillamps, new standard features.
2004 - "Women's Automotive Satisfaction" for Full-Size Cars - Good Housekeeping
2004 - "Best Bet" - The Car Book 2004

When the Cressida was dropped from the Toyota lineup in 1991, the Camry XLE V6 took its place as Toyota's flagship sedan. When the Avalon debuted in Fall, 1995, it introduced an all-new class of car for Toyota, representing the next level of quality, comfort and refinement. Avalon was the most sophisticated, spacious and best-equipped sedan ever offered by the manufacturer. In fact, when equipped with the optional 50/50 power-operated split bench front seat, Avalon is capable of seating six (grown) adults.
Built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing (TMM) in Georgetown, Ky., Avalon was produced with the needs and desires of the American public in mind. Much of the design of both the interior and exterior was performed by the Toyota Technical Centers (TTC) in Michigan, Arizona and California.

Avalon was powered by a version of the 3.0-liter, 24-valve, all-aluminum V6 engine that was in the Camry. With its 192-horsepower engine (more than the Camry due to different intake and exhaust plumbing), four-speed automatic transmission and superior aerodynamics, Avalon's fuel economy was on par with Camry.
All Avalons were equipped with standard dual airbags, and offered ABS as an option.
The 1997 Avalon continued on essentially unchanged, but revised intake and exhaust plumbing resulted in a horsepower increase to 200, up seven. Available for the first time is traction control and standard ABS on all models.
For 1998, Avalon saw its first minor change with the introduction of chrome front and rear fascia trim, bodyside molding and license plate bezel. The grille was revised and multi-reflector headlights provided better illumination. The trunk lid incorporated a spoiler-like design, and the jeweled taillights were also new. On the inside, side airbags were made standard, as were pretensioner seatbelts with force-limiters. Optionally available were heated seats with two-position memory. The chassis also underwent extensive reinforcement, resulting in less torsional flex, lower NVH and improved crash worthiness.
For 2000, Avalon entered its second-generation roomier, more powerful and more technically advanced than its predecessor.
The Avalon has always been a vehicle of firsts for Toyota. It was the first Toyota vehicle built exclusively in America. It was the first true joint venture between Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) of Japan and Toyota Technical Center (TTC) of America. And, it was the first Toyota product to be classified as a "domestic" vehicle according to CAFÉ standards. Now the all-new Avalon is the first Toyota vehicle with both a Japanese and an American chief engineer. Furthermore, the all-new Avalon styling was designed at Toyota California design studio in Newport Beach, Calif.
The 2000 Avalon was powered by an improved 3.0-liter V6 engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT-i) that generated more horsepower and torque, higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions. The engine produced 210 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 220 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. Estimated city/highway fuel economy was 21/29 mpg.
All Avalons featured dual front- and side-airbag systems as standard equipment and offer vehicle skid control, traction control and Brake assist as options.
For the next two model years (2001 and 2002) Avalon carried over unchanged with the exception of a new color, Stratosphere Mica in 2002.
The Avalon entered the 2003 model year with minor changes to the exterior and upgrades to the interior. It featured a new grille, wider lower air intake with a new design for fog lamps, revised tail lamp configuration. The XLS was upgraded with numerous standard features including driver's side electrochromic mirror, leather-wrapped steering wheel with wood grain-style trim, available remote controlled DVD navigation system, rain-sensing windshield wipers and new 16" alloy wheels. The XL grade featured a newly designed multi-information display and perforated leather trim is available.
The Avalon carries over unchanged for the remainder of the 2004 model year, with the exception of Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) now available as an option on XL models.
What does it mean?
Avalon: Named for an island paradise from Celtic mythology. Portrays images of comfort, spaciousness and sophistication.
Where is it built?
All Avalons are built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown, KY.
**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1983 - Introduced as replacement for Corona.
1983-1994 - Among "Best Buys" by Consumers Digest.
1985 - Rated "Most Trouble-Free Car in America" by Consumer's Digest.
1987 - Second generation introduced.
1987 - All Camrys powered by 2.0L DOHC engines.
1987 - Introduction of All-Trac to Camry line.
1987 - Introduction of Camry Wagon.
1987 - During CY 1987 - Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (TMM) announced.
1988 - First year of U.S.-built Camrys.
1988 - V-6 added to Camry line.
1988-1990 - Rated "Most Trouble-Free Compact Car" by Consumer's Digest.
1990 - CY 1990 - Wins Family Circle "Family Car of the Year".
1990 - CY 1990 - TMM receives J.D. Power Gold Plant Award.
1990 - Named "Best in Class" in Initial Quality by J.D. Power & Associates.
1990 - Among "Top Ten Models in Initial Quality" - J.D. Power & Associates.
1991 - CY 1991 - TMM receives J.D. Power Silver Plant Award.
1991 - Among "Top Ten Models in Initial Quality" - J.D. Power & Associates.
1992 - Third generation introduced.
1992 - CY 1992 - Wins Family Circle "Family Car of the Year".
1992 - New Camry moves to "mid-size" classification.
1992 - Among "Top Ten Models in Initial Quality" - J.D. Power & Associates.
1992 - Among "Ten Best Cars" by Car and Driver.
1992 - "Import Car of the Year" by Automundo Magazine.
1992-1993 - CY 1992-1993 - Camry ranks in Top-10 in Initial Quality, J.D. Power.
1993 - Coupe model introduced.
1993 - CY 1993 - TMM receives J.D. Power Gold Plant Award.
1993 - CY 1993 - Named "Best in Price-Class", J.D. Power.
1993 - Among "Ten Best Cars" by Car and Driver.
1993 - Named "All Star" by Automobile Magazine.
1993-1994 - "Family Car of the Year" Sedan Finalist - Family Circle.
1994 - All-aluminum V-6 engine introduced.
1994 - CY 1994 - TMM receives J.D. Power Gold Plant Award.
1994 - "Top Ten Models in Initial Quality" by J.D. Power & Associates.
1994 - "Best Overall Value" - Subcompact/Wagon over $15,000 - Intellichoice
1994 - "Best Overall Value" - Compact Class over $16,500 - Intellichoice
1995 - Minor front and rear fascia changes.
1996 - "Best Buy in Family Car Segment" - Consumer's Digest.
1996 - "Best of What's New" - Popular Science
1997 - Coupe and Wagon discontinued.
1997 - Fourth generation introduced.
1997 - Camry is best-selling-car in America for both '97 model and calendar year
1997 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1997 - "Best Family Sedan" - Consumer Reports
1997 - Among "Most Reliable Used Vehicles, MY'89-95" - Consumer Reports
1997 - Among "Ten Best Cars" - Car and Driver
1997 - Named "Automobile All Star" by Automobile Magazine
1997 - "Golden Wheel Award Vehicle of the Year" - African Americans on Wheels
1997 - "Total Quality Award - Compact Car" - Strategic Vision, Inc.
1998 - Camry Solara sport coupe is introduced for '99 Model Year.
1998 - Camry is best-selling car in America for second consecutive year
1998 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1999 - "Best Passenger Car in Initial Quality" - J.D. Power
1999 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1999 - Rated "A Best Overall Value in Midsize Class" - IntelliChoice, Inc. Complete Car Cost Guide
1999 - Camry is best-selling car in America for third consecutive year
2000 - "Best Buy" - Consumer's Digest
2000 - Among "Best Picks for Safety" - Money Magazine
2000 - "Best Family Car" - Consumer Reports
2000 - Camry is best-selling car in America for fourth consecutive year
2001 - Special "Gallery Series" edition available on the Camry LE
2001 - AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for Mid-Size Car
2001 - AutoWeek's America's Best Award
2002 - Fifth generation Camry introduced
2002 - "Best Family Sedan" in Money Magazine's Car Guide 2002 (March 2002 Issue)
2002 - Received the International Carwash Association Most Washable Car award
2002 - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) - "Best Pick" rating for 40-mile per hour front offset crash test
2002 - CY 2002 - Detroit News names Camry "Car of the Year."
2002 - CY 2002 - Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) names Camry "Best Pick."
2002 - CY 2002 - International Car Wash Association award for "Most Washable Car."
2002 - CY 2002 - Camry is best-selling car in America for fith time in the last six years
2003 - Beginning in January 2003, Camry receives a PZEV engine for models with four-cylinder engines and automatic transmissions sold in California.
2004 - Changes to engine and drivetrain for XLE and SE models; Limited Edition Camry
2004 - "Best Bet" - The Car Book 2004
2004 - Camry listed as "Best Sedan" and Camry LE named "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less," car - Consumer Reports
2004 - "Best Cars for Families" sedans category - AAA and Parents magazine
2005 - 5-speed automatic transmission and VSC available for 4-cylinder models; ABS standard for all; minor style freshening.

Introduced in 1983 to replace the Corona, the Camry soon took its place as Toyota's value- and volume-leader.
Camry was introduced as a front-wheel drive vehicle available in either four-door sedan or five-door hatchback configuration. It won acclaim from Consumer's Digest in 1986 as a "Best Buy", and has remained on the list since then.
In 1986, Toyota broke ground on an all-new production facility in Georgetown, Ky., Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (TMM), with the first U.S.-built Camry rolling out of the plant in 1988.
The 1987 model year saw the introduction of the second generation Camry. With it, Toyota also introduced a new 2.0L 16-valve four-cylinder engine, followed in 1988 by a new 2.5L 24-valve V-6. The 1987 model year also saw the release of a station wagon to replace the hatchback, and the option of All-Trac, Toyota's full-time all-wheel-drive system, on all models.
Camry grew up for 1992. The third generation model was larger in every dimension than the previous model, and Camry became classified as "midsize". Engines were now 2.2L four-cylinder units (producing almost as much power as the previous V-6, but with four-cylinder economy), and 3.0L V-6s. Due to dwindling sales and high engineering costs, Toyota dropped the All-Trac model. Domestic production soared and TMM became the sole production facility world-wide for the Camry station-wagon.
Safety had always been an important consideration for the Camry, and in 1994, it was available with dual front airbags as standard equipment. The vehicle also met 1997 side-impact standards three years before it was required to.
1994 also saw the addition of the U.S.-built Camry coupe to the lineup. Available with both four- and six-cylinder engines and in DX, LE and SE trim levels, it brought a new audience to Camry.
All-new for 1997, the new Camry was quieter, lighter and more powerful with better ride quality and improved handling.
Both of Camry's engines received horsepower and torque increases. The new CE base-grade (replacing DX nomenclature) reintroduced the five-speed manual V6.
With an additional two inches in wheelbase, a lowered beltline and swept-back windshield, the 1997 Camry's cabin was more spacious and inviting. NVH was reduced and new convenience features included separate rear headrests, dual rear cupholders, front overhead storage console, a glove box volume increase of 29% and a second power port for cellular phones and other electronic equipment. The power mast antenna was eliminated on the LE and XLE models and replaced with an on-glass antenna.
The 1997 Camry was the safest Camry yet, meeting or exceeding all current and foreseeable crash test criteria for North America, Europe and Asia. New safety features included enhanced impact protection, a three-point seatbelt to the center rear seat, and an optional Child Restraint System (CRS) with fabric seats. Traction control, offered for the first time on a front-engine front-wheel drive Toyota, was an available option for 1997. ABS was now standard on all models except the four-cylinder CE, in which it could be ordered as a low-cost option.
For 1998, both four- and six-cylinder engines (with the exception of the five-speed/V6 combination) were rated as Low Emission Vehicles with the EPA. Other changes to the line were the introduction of the redesigned sound system head units found in all 1998 Toyotas and two new colors.
For 2000, the Camry sedan received exterior styling enhancements with a new front fascia that features a new grille and bumper design and multi-reflector headlamps. Camry's great styling featured new rear combination taillights with wider horizontal reflectors and a new bumper design for a smoother appearance. Camry's side protection molding was also redesigned, with XLE models adding a chrome accent. The exterior enhancements were capped off with new 15-inch wheel covers for the LE grade and 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels for the XLE V6.
The interior received convenience upgrades in the area of audio systems, new fabric seats and value packages that include leather-trimmed interiors and power seats. The interior also received simulated wood trim as standard equipment.
For 2001, the Camry offered a special "Gallery Series" edition on the Camry LE grade. It featured a two-tone exterior paint, upgraded two-tone seat fabric, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, carbon fiber trimmed center stack and shift plate, chrome accent door lock levers and HVAC vents, chrome-tipped exhaust, "Gallery Series" badging, five-spoke aluminum wheels and chrome painted LE wheel covers.
The 2002 Camry was completely redesigned. It featured the first all-new platform in 10 years, making it roomier, quieter and more powerful. A new SE model grade was available with a sportier style. An all-new 2.4-liter four-cylinder with variable valve timing (VVT-i) powered the Camry. It generated 157 horsepower and achieved 23/32 mpg city/highway fuel economy. Camry also offered a 3.0-liter V6 that generated 192 horsepower. The V6 achieved 20/28 mpg city/highway. Both engines were EPA-certified Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV). Three model grades were offered - LE, SE and XLE. A DVD-based navigation system was newly available. This GPS system had a faster calculating time than all of its competitors in the U.S. market.
The 2003 Camry entered the new model year unchanged, with the exception of standard fog lamps on the XLE grade and available power adjustable pedals on all trim levels with automatic transmission.
The 2004 Camry received a few upgrades to select models. The SE V6 model received a new 3.3-liter V6 engine with VVT-i that produces 225 horsepower and 222 ft.-lb. of torque. XLE and SE models became available with a five-speed super electronically-controlled automatic transmission with intelligence (SECT-i). A Limited Edition Camry LE model featured a unique exterior and interior enhancements.
The 2005 Camry features freshened exterior styling with redesigned headlights, taillights, grille and wheels. The interior receives several enhancements, including optitron instrument gauge meters, and, for the LE model, chrome interior door handles and gearshift base. The LE and XLE grades features new seat fabric, while leather seating surfaces are now standard on the XLE V6 model.
On four-cylinder models, a five-speed automatic transmission replaces the four-speed automatic as an option. Anti-lock Brakes (ABS) are now standard on all models, and four-cylinder models can for the first time be equipped with the optional Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system.

What does it mean?
Camry: From the JapaneseKan-Muri, meaning "crown".

Where is it built?
Camrys are built at the Tsutsumi Plant in Toyota City, Japan, and at TMMK in Georgetown, Ky.
**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1999 - Introduced during CY 1998
1999 - "Best Car in Vehicle Satisfaction, Sporty Car" - AutoPacific, Inc.
1999 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1999 - "Total Quality Award" - Strategic Vision, Inc.
2000 - "Best Buy" - Consumer's Digest
2000 - Introduced all-new Camry Solara convertible
2002- Front and rear fascias are updated, along with other interior minor refinements. A new four-cylinder engine is available.
2004 - All-new second-generation Camry Solara is introduced
2005 - Second-generation Convertible arrived in the spring of 2004.

The 1999 model year brought the introduction of the all-new Camry Solara sport coupe. It became Toyota's newest entry in the sport specialty segment.
Solara was aimed at consumers entering their peak earning years, who are nostalgic for the sports cars of their youth, but need more room and comfort than a sports car can provide.
Camry Solara became the first Toyota Division vehicle to take full advantage of Toyota's North American engineering, styling and manufacturing facilities. It was jointly engineered by Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan and the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It was styled at Toyota's CALTY Design Center in Newport Beach, Calif. and built exclusively at Toyota's award-winning production facility in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.
For 2000, the Solara was powered by either a four-cylinder or V6 engine, equipped with either five-speed manual or four-speed electronically controlled transmissions. Solara rode on four-wheel independent MacPherson strut suspension including front and rear stabilizer bars with anti-vibration sub-frames and gas-filled shocks. Solara offered an Upgrade Package that included 16-inch alloy wheels and tires, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a tighter, more controlled level of suspension tune, and a rear spoiler. The package was offered on the SE model with the V6 engine.
On the inside, all Solaras were equipped with an assortment of high-level feature content such as power windows, doors and locks, cruise control, fog lamps and dual-illuminated vanity mirrors. On the outside, Solara was available in ten exterior colors and all colors were complimented by coordinating interiors in either Ivory or Charcoal. Standard safety features included a driver- and front-passenger airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS), driver- and front-passenger seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, three-point seatbelts in all seating positions and four-wheel Anti-Lock brakes.
For 2000, the Camry Solara added a convertible to its lineup.
The 2001 Camry Solara carried over with no new changes. The Solara Convertible was unchanged as well, with the exception of one new exterior color, Indigo Ink.
For 2002 the Camry Solara received slight cosmetic changes. It received more aggressive front bumpers and headlight assemblies. The rear had new attractive taillights. The Solara received an all-new 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generated 157 horsepower.
The 2003 Camry Solara coupe and convertible were both unchanged.
The 2004 Camry Solara was completely redesigned and was introduced in August, 2003. Camry Solara production was shifted from Cambridge, Ontario Canada to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown.
The 2004 model was distinguished by a sleek, new exterior design, a roomier, more luxurious interior, enhanced safety technology and a higher level of sporty performance.
Solara became available in three distinctive model grades: SE, highlighted by sporty metallic-finish interior trim, SE Sport with an aggressive body kit and a unique interior, and the SLE with greater content and a woodgrain-style interior trim.
The new SE Sport grade combines an exclusive body styling kit with suspension and interior enhancements to give this model a sharply defined performance image and feel.
As before, Solara offers both four-cylinder and V6 engines. However, the 2004 model gained a significant performance boost thanks to a new 3.3-liter VVT-i V6 engine available in all models. The all-aluminum V6 produces 225 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 240 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,600 RPM, compared to 198 horsepower and 212 lb.-ft. of torque from the previous 3.0-liter V6. The V6 is teamed exclusively to a new five-speed sequential automatic transmission.
A convertible model with power top arrived in the spring of 2004. The Solara Convertible is available in SE and SLE grades, both powered by a 225-horsepower 3.3-liter V6 engine that is optional for coupe models. To ensure passenger comfort, the convertible top features a headliner and a glass rear window. An available windscreen can be installed when the top is down to further suppress wind turbulence. The all-window control system allows the driver to open and close all door- and quarter-windows by pressing one button on the instrument panel.

What does it mean?
Coined name portraying the radiance of the sun.

Where is it built?
Camry Solara's are built exclusively at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) in Georgetown, Kentucky.

**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1966 - Introduced during CY 1966 in Japan.
1968 - Introduced in U.S. as sub-compact replacement for Crown.
1968 - Originally equipped with 1.1L 4-cylinder SOHC engine.
1970 - Roomier second generation introduced, avail 1.2L engine.
1970 - CY 1970 - Became #2 best-selling import.
1971 - 1.6L engine introduced.
1974 - Third generation introduced.
1976 (June) - 5-millionth Corolla produced.
1979 - Fourth generation introduced.
1983 (March) - 10-millionth Corolla produced.
1984 - Fifth generation, front-wheel drive introduced.
1984 - CY 1984 - Joint venture with General Motors (NUMMI).
1984-90 - Among "Best Buys" by Consumer's Digest.
1987 - FX introduced.
1988 - Corolla's 20th Anniversary in U.S., sixth generation.
1988 - CY 1988 - Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada opened.
1988 - Named "Best in Class in Initial Quality" by J.D. Power & Associates.
1988-1994 - Included in J.D. Power Top 10 Quality Survey.
1990 (June) - 15-millionth Corolla produced.
1990 - Named "Best in Class in Initial Quality" by J.D. Power & Associates.
1992 - Named "Best in Class in Initial Quality" by J.D. Power & Associates.
1993 - Seventh generation introduced, moves to compact size.
1993 - Among "Best Buys" by Consumer's Digest.
1993 - Received Popular Mechanics "Design and Engineering Award."
1993 - Named "Family Car of the Year" Sedan Finalist by Family Circle.
1994 - CY 1994 - NUMMI receives J.D. Power Silver Plant Award.
1994 - Named "Family Car of the Year" Sedan Finalist by Family Circle.
1994 - Named "Best Overall Value" in its class by Intellichoice
1995 - CY 1995 - NUMMI receives J.D. Power Bronze Plant Award.
1995 - CY 1995 - TMM Canada receives J.D. Power Gold Plant Award.
1996 - Minor front and rear styling update.
1997 - Among "Most Reliable Used Vehicles," MY 89-95 by Consumer Reports
1997 - Wagon discontinued.
1997 - Production for all U.S. units moved to North America.
1998 - Eighth generation introduced, new 1.8L engine developed.
1998 - Corolla wins MotorWeek "Drivers' Choice" award as "Best Small Car"
1998 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1998 - "Best New Car" - Kiplinger Buyer's Guide to New Cars and Trucks
1999 - Among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1999 - Named "Best Compact Car in Initial Quality" - J.D. Power
1999 - "Best in Compact Car Segment" - J.D. Power Initial Quality Ranking
2000 - Added Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i)
2000 - Named "Best Buy" - Consumer's Digest
2001 - Features new exterior styling, also available in CE, LE and sporty S grade
2002 - CY 2002 - Named with Prius "Best Bets" by The Ultimate Car Book
2003 - Ninth generation Corolla is introduced, available in CE, LE and S grades.
2004 - Corolla LE named "10 Best Cars for Your Buck," compact sedan - Smart Money
2004 - Corolla LE named "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less," car - Consumer Reports
2004 - Corolla named "Most Dependable Compact Car" by J.D. Power & Associates
2005 - New high-performance XRS model with 170-hp engine; minor style freshening.

Originally introduced in Japan in 1966, and the U.S. in 1968, the Corolla was intended to mix quality, style and economy into one package. The result was an instant U.S. success, and Corolla became the second best-selling imported vehicle in the U.S. in 1970.
The 1970 update came about as the U.S. market required a vehicle withmore room and power than the original 1.1-liter Corolla could deliver. Powered by new 1.2- and 1.6-liter engines, the Corolla continued its best-selling ways in the U.S. From 1974-1977, Corolla was the best-selling vehicle in the world.
June, 1976 saw the five millionth Corolla roll off the production line. By 1982, with worldwide production at almost ten million units, Corolla was being exported from Japan to 116 countries worldwide.
Toyota joined with General Motors to re-open an older plant in Fremont, Calif., in 1984, creating New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), where U.S. production of the Corolla would take place. Sharing production space with the Corolla was G.M.'s Chevrolet Nova (later replaced by the Geo Prizm.) Both were basically re-skinned Corollas.
1984 also saw the introduction of the Corolla Coupe equipped with a four cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine. Dubbed the GT-S, it offered the highest performance of any Corolla model, and remained in production until 1991.
In 1987, NUMMI's labor came to fruition with the introduction of the FX line of front-wheel drive vehicles.
In 1988, with the introduction of the fifth generation, all Corollas, except three-door hatchbacks, were front- or four-wheel drive. The model mix was now comprised of three-door hatchbacks and FXs, four-door sedans and five-door wagons, and available in either front- or four-wheel drive (All-Trac).
The 1993 Corolla, the sixth generation, was an all-new creation and drew heavily upon Camry and Lexus styling and engineering. Corolla came standard with a driver's side airbag, and was available with 1.6- and 1.8-liter engines. It had also moved to occupy the EPA classification of "compact", recently vacated by Camry's 1992 move to "mid-size." A passenger-side airbag was added for 1994.
By the end of 1993, Corolla worldwide production had exceeded 17-million units. Corolla is truly Toyota's "world car!"
1996 saw minor updates to Corolla's styling with a revised front fascia and one-piece faired-in tail lamp assembly. This year also saw the deletion of the LE grade to better delineate the difference between Corolla and Camry. Other changes involved new wheel covers and the addition and deletion of certain colors.
The 1997 model year saw the addition of enhanced side-impact protection to meet the strict Federal standard, and the discontinuation of the Wagon model. In order to continue to enhance Corolla's family value, a new Classic Edition model was introduced.

In the thirty years since its introduction, Corolla had sold more cars worldwide than any other nameplate!
For 1998, the all-new Corolla was powered by a new 120-horsepower 1.8-liter engine dubbed the 1ZZ-FE. All-new exterior styling brought Corolla back to sportier roots with the body registering a lower drag coefficient than a Supra Turbo.
Continuing Corolla's safety history (the first Toyota with passive seatbelts, first front-wheel drive Toyota sold in the US), the 1998 model went one step further. Standard equipment dual airbags and front seatbelts with pretensioners and force-limiters worked in concert with Toyota's Passive Safety Body to meet or exceed all current and foreseeable safety standards worldwide.
An optional Sports Package became available that added a front sway bar, color-keyed mudguards, rocker panel extensions and white-faced gauges.
The 1999 model year saw option packages modified to further enhance Corolla's exceptional value.
For 2000, Corolla's power was improved by adding VVT-i variable-valve technology that increased engine horsepower from 120 to 125 without sacrificing fuel economy. The use of VVT-i also lowered emissions, enabling Corolla to become EPA-certified as a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV).
The 2001 model year received new styling to the exterior and was equipped with a standard five-speed manual transmission. The new S grade provided a sporty image with front grille and protective body side moldings and bucket seats. The S and LE grades were available with a four-speed ECT automatic transmission. The CE trim level was available with a three-speed automatic transmission. The 2001 Corolla was the first Toyota model to offer a safety inside-trunk release.
In 2002 the Corolla moved ahead unchanged. It still offered affordable and reliable transportation in three trim levels (CE, S and LE) to suit the individual customer.
The 2003 Corolla was completely redesigned and launched in February 2002. Visually and functionally, the new Corolla was longer, taller and wider. The new Corolla continued to be available in three grades, the value-driven CE, the upscale LE, and the sporty S grade. Even though the new Corolla was larger and heavier, it was both quicker and faster. Powered by a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder twin-cam engine with variable valve timing (VVT-i), Corolla produced 130 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, an improvement of five horsepower over the previous generation, and 125 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,200 rpm.
The Corolla carried over unchanged for the 2004 model year, with one exception to exterior color - Desert Sand Mica replaces Sandrift Metallic.
The big news for Corolla for 2005 is the addition of a new high-performance XRS model, packing a retuned 170-hp version of the Celica GT-S engine, a 6-speed manual transmission and specially tuned suspension. Visually, the XRS is similar to the Corolla S. The Corolla XRS offers enthusiasts a factory "tuned" and customized model at an affordable price and with a full factory warranty.
All Corolla models for 2005 feature a redesigned front grille, bumper and headlights, plus redesigned taillights. For the first time, the VSC system is available in Corolla S and LE models equipped with the automatic transmission. Various upgrades include an engine immobilizer, low tire pressure warning system with the optional ABS and shift-linked locks (automatic transmission only). The CE grade gains a height-adjustable driver's seat, and the LE offers an optional 6-disc in-dash CD changer.

What does it mean?
Corolla: The outer envelope or crowning portion of a flower.

Where is it built?
Corolla Standard, DX and LE four-door models were built at NUMMI, Fremont, Calif.; TMMC, Ontario, Canada; and Japan, with station-wagons built exclusively in Japan. Beginning in 1997, all Corollas were built at NUMMI and TMMC.
**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

2003 - All-new Corolla Matrix introduced in January 2002 as a 2003 model.
2004 - "Best Bet" - The Car Book 2004
2004 - Matrix XR named "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less," wagons - Consumer Reports
2005 - Redesigned front fascia, optional curtain airbags, and dynamic handling upgrades.

The 2003 Toyota Matrix, introduced in February 2002, was a crossover utility vehicle (CUV) that combined the style and fun of a sports coupe with the room and utility of a small SUV for the price of a compact sedan.
Toyota designed the Matrix at its Calty Design Studio in Newport Beach, Calif. Designers call the theme "street performance utility." Unique "edge-web" detailing blended sharply creased surfaces with rounded web-like contours to create strong, flowing character lines. The three-window side profile gave the Matrix driver excellent outward visibility. The interior was as sporty as the exterior, with Optitron gauges set in cylindrical, chrome-rimmed instrument housings.
There were three model grades - standard, XR and XRS. A front spoiler with integrated fog lamps, rear underbody spoiler, side rocker panels, and 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels gave the XRS an even bolder street performance look to go with its high-power muscle.
Both the standard Matrix and the Matrix XR were powered by a 130-horsepower 1.8-liter engine and came in front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive (4WD) configurations. The 4WD drive system added all-weather versatility, using a viscous coupling to send power to the rear wheels in response to slippage at the front wheels. The XRS was front-drive only.
The standard Matrix and Matrix XR were powered by a double overhead-cam 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with VVT-i that produced 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 125 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,200 rpm.
The Matrix XRS provided a high-performance driving experience with its 1.8-liter, four-cylinder DOHC engine that came from the Celica GT-S, along with that model's six-speed manual transmission. The engine produced 180 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 130 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 6,800 rpm.
The 2004 Matrix carried over with minor enhancements. Two new exterior colors, Phantom Gray and Super Yellow were added, while Desert Sand is discontinued. The 115-volt and two 12-volt power outlets were discontinued on the base grade model. 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels with all-season tires became available and the XRS model is available only with a six-speed manual transmission.
For 2005, Matrix features freshened front styling with a redesigned grille, bumper and fog lights, as well as new tail lamps. VSC is now available on base and XR models with the automatic transmission. Various upgrades include an engine immobilizer system, a low tire pressure warning light (with the optional ABS), shift-linked door locks (4x2 automatic only) and optional curtain airbags. The base grade gains a height-adjustable driver's seat, and a 6-disc in-dash CD changer has been added to the XRS option list.

What does it mean?
Corolla: The outer envelope or crowning portion of a flower. Matrix: The name fits the cross functional nature of the vehicle as this crossover utility vehicle effectively combines features of an SUV and passenger car in a versatile manner. "Matrix" has an edgy, urban sound.

Where is it built?
Corolla Matrix is built exclusively at TMMC, Ontario, Canada.
**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1971 - First generation introduced in U.S. as 'ST' model.
1974 - Celica GT introduced.
1976 - CY 1976 - Celica wins Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year".
1977 - Celica introduced in liftback form.
1977 (June) - 1-millionth Celica produced.
1978 - Second generation Celica introduced.
1978 - CY 1978 - Wins Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year".
1982 - Third generation introduced.
1984 - Celica GT-S among "Best Buys" - Consumer's Digest
1984 - "Ten Best Cars" - Car and Driver
1985 - First generation convertible produced.
1986 - Fourth generation, front-wheel-drive introduced.
1987 - Second generation convertible produced.
1987 - 89 - Among "Best Buys" by Consumer's Digest.
1988 - All-trac introduced.
1990 - Fifth generation introduced.
1991 - Among "Best Buys" by Consumer's Digest.
1993 - Last year of GT-S, All-Trac Turbo.
1994 - Sixth generation introduced.
1995 - Third generation convertible produced.
1996 - Minor change to front fascia.
1997 - "Most Reliable Used Vehicles, MY's '89-'95" - J.D. Power & Associates
1999 - Coupe grade is discontinued.
2000 -The all-new seventh Celica is introduced
2001- Consumer Reports rates Celica GT-S "Best Sports Coupe"
2001 - CY 2001 - "Most Wanted Sport Coupe Under $30,000" -
2002 - CY 2002 - Consumer Reports "Most Reliable Sporty Car."
2002 - "Most Wanted Sport Coupe - - Under $30,000."
2003 - Receives minor changes.
2004 - "Women's Automotive Satisfaction" for Compact/Sporty Cars - Good Housekeeping
2004 - Celica GT named "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less," car - Consumer Reports
2005 - Action Package now an option package -- no longer a separate model.

Celica was originally designed for motorists who were young at heart and wanted more than simple transportation. Planning for the Celica was begun in 1967, and the vehicle was released to the public in 1971. Based on the EX-1 "Car of the Future" prototype, its styling was quite revolutionary for the day and it was influential in the establishment of the sporty subcompact market segment.

The original Celica was equipped with a carbureted four-cylinder engine displacing 1.6 liters. Available only in ST form and as a two-door sport-coupe, the Celica was Toyota's version of the Mustang - an image car rather than a high-volume car. The Celica sold well from the outset, its first major change or addition taking place in 1974 with the addition of the GT model. Introduction of the GT brought with it a two-liter engine that would, in various versions, power Celicas for the next 11 years.
In 1976, the Celica line was enlarged with the addition of the liftback model, available only in GT trim. The GT package included the larger engine, offered sportier handling, higher-grade trim, etc. The liftback model was marketed as a sport-touring type vehicle, offering greater comfort and luggage capacity than the notch-back models.
The second generation Celica was released in 1978, and was again available in both ST and GT trim levels. Power was provided by 2.2-liter engines for both models. This new generation offered more safety, power and economy than previous models, and was awarded Motor Trend's "Import Car of the Year" for 1978.
1982 saw the introduction of the third generation Celica. Styling was changed considerably from previous models and power was now provided by 2.4-liter engines. In 1983, Toyota added the GT-S model to the Celica line to re-inject the sports image that Celica had lost as it grew larger and heavier with each subsequent model. The GT-S included larger wheels and tires, fender flares, sports suspension, and a sports interior including special seats and a leather-wrapped steering-wheel and gearshift knob.
For 1986, Celica changed completely. It was an all-new vehicle with front-wheel-drive, a rounded, flowing body and new 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-cam engines. Celica was now available in ST, GT and GT-S trim, all available as either coupe or liftback models. STs and GTs came with a 116-horsepower engine, while the GT-S was given a 135-horsepower version of the same 2.0-liter engine. Front-wheel-drive and four-wheel independent suspension made the Celica the perfect all-around sports car.
In 1988, Toyota introduced the "ultimate Celica", the All-Trac Turbo. With full-time all-wheel-drive and a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, it immediately took its place as the flagship of the Celica range.
The next generation Celicas, the fifth, were introduced in 1990. They received revised styling, upgraded wheels and tires, and more power. The GT and GT-S engines grew to 2.2-liters, while the ST sported a 1.6-liter -- all were DOHC 16-valve. Anti-lock brakes were available on all models, as were numerous luxury items -- all were standard on the All-Trac model though. With its leather interior, ten-speaker sound system and power-operated driver's seat and sunroof included as standard equipment, the All-Trac was the most expensive Celica yet. With its 200-horsepower turbocharged engine, it was also the most powerful Celica yet.
For 1994, Toyota pulled out all the stops. The sixth-generation Celicas bore very little resemblance to their previous brethren. Celica was only available in ST and GT configuration for the 1994 model year, but the addition of the optional "sports package" to the GT produced GT-S-like handling. The All-Trac model was dropped, and for 1994 there was no convertible. Styling of the new Celicas was acclaimed by most publications as "Supra-esque" with four exposed headlights. Celicas were available in either coupe or liftback form, with the GT sports package available only on the liftback.
New safety equipment in the form of driver- and passenger-side airbags was standard, and anti-lock brakes were available on all models. Celicas also sported CFC-free air-conditioning.
1995 saw the introduction of the third generation convertible. Built off of the GT Coupe model, the conversion takes place in the ASC facility in Rancho Dominguez, Calif. The vehicle arrives in the U.S. as a partially assembled vehicle. At ASC, the roof is removed and a three-layer insulated and power-operated top is installed, producing a vehicle that is virtually water and wind proof.
The 1996 Celica received optional side skirts to improve its aerodynamic efficiency, as well as a redesigned rear spoiler. Also available were optional driving lights in the redesigned grille area (standard on GT models).
For 1997, the only change in the Celica was the discontinuation of the GT Coupe model.
In 1998, the ST model was discontinued to simplify the Celica ordering process. All Celicas (Coupe, Liftback and Convertible) were now GT model's. All '98 Celicas included additional standard equipment, making Celica a better value.
In 1999, the Celica ordering process was simplified even further with the elimination of the Coupe grade. Celica was now available in GT Liftback and GT Convertible.
For 2000, Celica went back to its performance car roots by entering its seventh generation with all-new cutting edge styling, powerful performance and an aggressive attitude.
The new Celica was styled at Calty Design Research, Inc., in Newport Beach, Calif. The cab-forward design featured a high-fashion look with Indy-car design elements. Sharp-edged panels, dramatic plunging curves, a tall tail and a radically lowered front fascia were stark contrasts compared to past models. The new Celica was shorter in length, but longer in wheelbase with greatly reduced front- and rear-overhangs.
The Celica GT-S grade was powered by an all-new 1.8 liter, four-cylinder DOHC all-aluminum engine that generated 180 horsepower at 7,600 rpm and 133 lbs./ft. of torque at 6,800 rpm. The GT-S powerplant, co-developed with Yamaha, utilized variable valve timing and lift, with intelligence control (VVTL-i) that increased the intake/exhaust lift when the engine speed was high to improve output and fuel efficiency.
The GT model's 1.8-liter, four cylinder came equipped with VVT-i and produced 140 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 125 lbs./ft. of torque at 4,200 rpm.
The GT-S model came with either a six-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic with sport-shift. The GT version was available in five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
The 2001 model carried over with no newchanges.
For model year 2002 the Celica carried over unchanged, with the exception of a black mesh cover for the front grille. A Celica Action Package was offered and provided a more aggressive look that added an aggressive front-bumper, rocker panels and rear aero bumper, which were constructed of durable polyurethane, and an adjustable rear wing.
For 2003 model year Celica underwent a minor refreshening with an updated front fascia that included a lower air intake and wider upper intake, and available high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps for GT-S models. The rear also received a minor change with revised tail lamps.
Interior convenience was enhanced as a JBL audio system replaced the previous premium audio. The interior also received new instrument meter faces, a darker gray I/P dash color with a brighter metallic center I/P cluster, and revised fuel gauge graphics. The audio illumination was changed to amber to match the instrument illumination.
Celica also received interior seat upgrades that included a choice of red, silver, or black seat bolsters on the GT grade, and rear seat center inserts became fabric-covered to match the front seats. Finally, remote keyless entry system became a stand-alone option.
For 2004, Celica carried over unchanged with high intensity discharge headlamps no longer available on the GT grade.
Celica enters into the 2005 model year mainly unchanged. The Action Package is now an option package rather than a separate model. Optitron gauges have been added to the GT model.

What does it mean?
Celica: The name is derived from the Spanish word for "heavenly" or "celestial".

Where is it built?
Celicas are built at the Tahara Plant in Tahara, Japan.
**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

2000 - Introduced as a new entry-level sedan
2000 - Among "12 Greenest Vehicles" - American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy's
2000 - Named "Best Buy" - Consumer's Digest
2000 - Received "Design and Engineering Award" - Popular Mechanics
2000 - "Best of What's New" - Popular Science
2001 - Available in new color, Brilliant Blue Pearl
2001 - EPA rated "Most Fuel Efficient"
2002 - Named Consumer Reports "Most Reliable Small Car."
2003 - Major exterior and interior changes
2004 - ECHO named "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less," car - Consumer Reports

Introduced in the fall of 1999, the 2000 MY ECHO brought a new name and a fresh concept to the Toyota lineup, as well as a dynamic approach to designing, developing and marketing an entry-level sedan to meet the unique demands of young new-car buyers.
ECHO was offered in both two- and four-door models. It was price positioned substantially below the Corolla, yet it offered nearly identical passenger volume.
Power was supplied by an all-new 1.5-liter twin cam four-cylinder engine featuring Toyota's VVT-I variable-valve timing technology that delivered an exceptional blend of power and fuel economy and was EPA-certified as a low-emission vehicle (LEV). Power output was 108 horsepower at 6,000 rpm with city/highway fuel economy of 34/41 mpg.
All ECHOs were equipped with standard SRS dual front airbags, occupant head impact protection and seatbelt pretentioners and force limiters.
The 2001 ECHO carried over unchanged with the exception of one new color, Brilliant Blue Pearl.
The 2002 ECHO continued on with no changes. Indigo Ink and Polar White are two colors that were made available mid-model year 2001. Super White and Brilliant Blue Pearl had been discontinued.
2003 model year saw the first major changes to the ECHO styling. The overall length of the vehicle was increased 1.6 inches, split equally between front and rear, and featured redesigned front and rear fascias that affected the bumpers, grille, trunk lid, front quarter panels, and head and tail lamps. New fog lamps were made available in January 2003.
Additional exterior features included available 15-inch steel wheels and a new Appearance Package. A new Power Package included power windows and locks. ECHO also introduced five new colors including Phantom Gray Pearl, Silver Streak Mica, Impulse Red Pearl, Sand Castle Metallic, and Aqua Ice Opalescent.
New interior enhancements included new seat fabric patterns in either Beige or Dark Gray. Additional new options included a Chrome Package, tachometer, and a center armrest for the 60/40 rear seat.
The ECHO carried over unchanged for 2004 and 2005.

What does it mean?
ECHO: Vast, wide-open spaces; adventuresome; a youthful voice.

Where is it built?
All ECHO's are built at the Takaoka plant in Toyota City, Japan.

**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1985 - MR2 introduced to U.S. with 1.6L DOHC.
1985 - CY 1985 - Earns Motor Trend "Import Car of the Year".
1988 - Supercharged engine introduced.
1991 - Second generation introduced.
1991 - CY 1991 - Wins Motor Trend's "Bang for the Buck" test.
1995 - CY 1995 - Production ceases in June.
2000 - All-new MR2 Spyder introduced
2002 - MR2 Spyder is the first U.S.-market Toyota model to feature a new clutchless sequential manual transmission.
2003 - Minor exterior, interior, and mechanical changes
2004 - Named "Most Dependable Sporty Car" by J.D. Power & Associates.
2005 - Carry-over model with minor audio system changes.

The MR2 was introduced to America in 1985 and was intended to offer Americans exotic-car looks and excitement without the exotic-car price. With it, Toyota proved they knew how to build sports cars. With its mid-engine/rear-wheel drive and two seats, there was no doubt this was a true sports car.
Powered by Toyota's wonderful "Sweet Sixteen" engine, the MR2 was as much fun to drive as it was to look at. It displaced just 1.6 liters, but the 16-valve DOHC electronically fuel-injected engine produced 112 horsepower, and was enough to propel the MR2 to 60 mph in a little over eight seconds, and on to a top speed of over 120 mph. The original MR2 featured four wheel independent suspension (of course) and disc brakes all around, the fronts being vented.
The motoring press was so taken with Toyota's MR2 that year that it was given the honor of "Import Car of the Year" in 1985 by the editors of Motor Trend.
1986 saw few changes, save the addition of body-colored bumpers (rather than black) and the removal of the rear anti-roll bar. MR2 was also available with an automatic transmission for 1986.
1988 was the next milestone for MR2, seeing the introduction of a new supercharged engine. The belt-driven Roots-type supercharger added 30 percent more horsepower to MR2, boosting the raw number to 145, and lowering 0-60 mph times by over a second. All models of the MR2 were available with either a four-speed electronically-controlled automatic transmission or a five-speed manual transmission. There was officially no 1990 MR2, but in Spring of 1990, the 1991s made their appearance. The second generation MR2 was an all new car. It retained the mid-engine, two-seat layout, but it was longer, wider, heavier, and more powerful. Now powered by a 2.2 liter four-cylinder engine, it retained its 16-valves, but produced 135 horsepower. Also brought to market in 1991 was a turbocharged version of the MR2. With 200 horsepower available from its 2.0 liter intercooled engine, it was capable of 0-60 mph times in the mid-six-second range.
Car and Driver proclaimed the 1991 MR2 Turbo as "an exotic for the rest of us." In testing by Motor Trend, MR2 Turbo won the "Bang for the Buck" award in 1991, and finished a close second in 1992.
The 1993 MR2, as introduced in Spring 1992, received minor front and rear suspension upgrades for superior handling, 15 inch wheels, and a minor face-lift resulting in new front and rear fascias.
For 1994, MR2 was again updated with revised rear styling and further refinements to the suspension. CFC-free air-conditioning and dual airbags round out the changes.
Setting out to build the ultimate affordable sports car, Toyota engineers obviously succeeded with the MR2. While it has always sold in quite small numbers due to its niche status, it has always had a strong and loyal following.
After a number of years of lackluster sales, though, Toyota finally decided to end U.S. sales of the MR2 after the 1995 model year. Sales were to continue in Japan and other markets for at least one further year.
The all-new 2000 MR2 Spyder two-seat roadster was capable of delivering a level of acceleration, braking and maneuverability that came very close to vehicles pegged at nearly twice its price. Weighing in at approximately 2,200 pounds, the MR2 Spyder rode on a wide, low-slung platform, supported by MacPherson struts at all four corners. It had a wheelbase of 96.5 inches and an overall length of 153 inches. The Spyder was powered by a 1.8-liter twin-cam 16-valve four-cylinder engine which featured VVT-i cylinder head technology. Rated at 138-hp at 6,400 rpmand 125 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, the Spyder's favorable power-to-weight ratio contributed to a zero-to-60 acceleration time of 6.95 seconds. Power was applied to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission.
The Spyder's coachwork features steel panels that are bolted onto a high-rigidity unit-body, making repairs and customization easier and less expensive. There were storage compartments under the front hood and behind the seatbacks. The center cluster console was designed to accommodate audio equipment, or could be removed completely. The manually operated convertible soft-top folded completely out of sight.
The MR2 offered six exterior color choices and three interior color combinations. The list of standard features was extensive and the only options were dealer-installed accessories.
For 2001, the MR2 Spyder carried over with no new changes.
The 2002 MR2 Spyder became available with a clutchless sequential manual transmission (SMT). The MR2 Spyder is the first U.S.-market Toyota model to feature this new, sophisticated transmission. The clutch pedal and gear selector were replaced with a single shifter. The SMT clutch and gear selector operations performed by ECU computer controlled actuators and the engine was also equipped with electronic throttle control to allow the ECU to reduce torque during shifts. Spyders equipped with this new transmission also came with cruise control.
The 2003 Spyder received changes in all three major areas, mechanical, exterior and interior. The Sequential Manual Transmission, introduced in 2002 model year, was enhanced from a five- to a six-speed and is paired with cruise control. The exterior received new front and rear fascias, and rear tires were enlarged from 15- to 16-inches. The front wheels remained 15-inch due to the size of the front wheel housing.
Inside, Spyder received revised I/P meter graphics and metallic-appearance temperature controls. Black leather seats were made available with black top and tan leather was available with tan tops on specific exterior colors. The seat structure was also revised to provide an opening in the head rest for a child restraint seat tether strap.

The 2004 MR2 Spyder featured two new available options. The tan leather interior became available with Absolutely Red exterior and a limited slip differential was a new option.
The only changes for the 2005 MR2 Spyder are the deletion of the cassette player and 6-disc changer becomes standard.

What does it mean?
MR2: Mid-engined, Rear-drive, 2 seats.

Where is it built?
MR2 Spyder is constructed at the Central Motor Plant in Tokyo, Japan.

**NOTE: All chronology dates are model year, unless noted otherwise. CY refers to "Calendar Year."**


Series Chronology

1997 - Prius goes on sale in Japan becoming the world's first mass-produced
gas/electric hybrid vehicle.
2001 - CY 2000 - Prius is launched in the U.S market as a 2001 model year
2001 - CY 2001 - American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (Named Prius "greenest gasoline-powered passenger sedan in the United States"
2001 - CY 2001 - Society of Automotive Engineers named it "Best Engineered Car of 2001"
2001 - CY 2001 - Ward's Auto World magazine named the Prius gas/electric hybrid system one of the "10 Best Engines for 2001"
2001 - CY 2001 - Named one of Environmental Protection Agency's "Best Compact Cars" in the 2001 Fuel Economy Guide
2001 -'s Reader's Choice Awards - First Place for Eco Cars
2001 - AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for Alternative Fuel Vehicle
2002 - Prius now has four factory options available.
2002 - AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Score (VSS) award for "Green" Car
2002 - Consumer Reports names Prius "Best Driving Green"
2002 - Reader's Choice Award in Eco Car segment.
2004 - All-new, second-generation Prius is introduced.
2004 - Motor Trend Magazine names Prius "Car of the Year"
2004 - "North American Car of the Year"; "Car of the Year" - Motor Trend Magazine
2004 - "10 Best Cars" - Car and Driver Magazine
2004 - "Ten Best Engines" - Ward's Auto World
2004 - "Design of the Year" -Automobile Magazine
2004 - "25 Best Products of the Year" - Fortune Magazine
2004 - "Best of What's New" - Popular Science Magazine
2004 - Driver's Choice Award "Best Eco-Friendly" - Motor Week
2004 - "Top Picks for 2004" Green Car - Consumer Reports
2004 - Best Engineered Vehicle for 2004 - Automotive Engineering International
2004 - Awarded a Gold in the 2004 Industrial Design Excellence Awards
2004 - "Consumers' Most Significant Vehicle of the Year for 2004" - Consumer Reports
2005 - Minor changes to standard equipment.

The Toyota Prius, the world's first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, was a breakthrough in combining an efficient, powerful gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine and a clean, quiet electric motor. Configured as a stylish, roomy, five-passenger family sedan, the Prius went on sale in the U.S. in August, 2000 with an MSRP of only $19,995.
Prius carries an EPA label fuel economy rating of 52 miles per gallon city, and 45 highway, and an SULEV (super ultra low emission vehicle) certification which is about 75 percent cleaner than ULEV and nearly 90 percent cleaner than LEV for smog forming exhaust gases. The technologically advanced Prius is so conscious of air quality that it doesn't even have an ashtray.

Offered initially in one trim level, standard equipment on the Prius includes ABS brakes, climate-control air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, an AM/FM/cassette stereo system, an eight-year/100,000-mile battery and hybrid system warranty. Prius also comes with complementary seven-day/24-hour roadside assistance and three-year basic maintenance programs.
The 2002 Prius carried over unchanged with the exception of four new factory options - cruise control, daytime running lights, SRS side-impact airbags for driver and front passenger and DVD-based navigation system. Two new exterior colors were added, Brilliant Blue Pearl and Blue Moon Pearl.
The Prius remained unchanged for the 2003 model year. For exterior colors, Blue Moon Pearl was discontinued and Black became available.
For 2004, the all-new second-generation Toyota Prius gas/electric hybrid vehicle featured significantly more power and performance than the previous model, as well as best-in-class fuel economy and best-in-market emissions performance.
Larger and better in every metric of comparison, Prius launched Toyota's second generation of gas/electric hybrid technology and is the first hybrid vehicle available to provide the room, comfort and features of a midsize sedan.
The 2004 Prius was the first Toyota product to employ Hybrid Synergy Drive, the latest in hybrid powertrain technology. The new system produces more power from both the gasoline engine and the electric motor, giving the new Prius acceleration comparable to a 4-cylinder midsize car.
Like the original Toyota Hybrid System (THS) employed in the previous model, Hybrid Synergy Drive is defined as a "full hybrid system." Unlike competitive systems currently on the market, the full hybrid system is capable of operating in gas or electric modes, as well as a mode that combines the power of the gas engine and electric motor.
The Prius entered 2005 with just minor changes to the standard and optional equipment.

What does it mean?
Prius is Latin for "to go before," suggesting it is a predecessor of cars to come.

Where is it built?
The first-generation Prius was built at the Motomachi Plant in Toyota City, Ja

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