The Corolla changed to front wheel drive except for the AE85, AE86, wagons and vans.
An advantage of FWD is better use of space (no driveshaft or axle to intrude into the passenger space). If an inexperienced driver judges a corner wrongly then his natural reactions tend to be safer with FWD (turn the wheel more in the desired direction). For RWD turning the wheel too far by an inexperienced driver may cause the car to spin but allows an experienced driver much greater control.
Even today the AE86 is a popular car because the 4A-GEU is easily replaced by the supercharged 4A-GZE (or converted to turbocharging) and the rear wheel drive allows better control in controlled drifts (spinning the wheels in corners so that the rear of the car goes sideways without losing control). FWD cars can not be used for drifting because when the front wheels spin they also lose steering capability.
As well as remaining rear wheel drive, the Levins and Sprinters had different front styling and a longer rear end after the wheels.
Previously the Levin was only for the twincam models in the Corolla range and the Trueno was the twincam model in the Sprinter range. Now the Levin name is used for fixed headlight RWD models, the Sprinter name is used for the popup headlight RWD models and the Trueno is the twincam version of the Sprinter. However, the Sprinter name was also used in Australia for the fixed headlight RWD model (Australia didn't have the popup headlight RWD models).
Both the Levin and Trueno variants were offered with either a 2-door coupe or 3-door liftback (sometimes called hatchback) body style. Both the Levin and Trueno were generally identical, apart from fixed, rectangular headlights on the Levin and pop-up headlights on the Trueno. Minor bodywork changes were made in 1986 which resulted in different tail lights for both Levin and Trueno models, along with the coupe and hatchback styles. The models sold between 1983-1985 are commonly referred to as "Zenki" and the models sold from 1986-1987 are referred to as "Kouki". Quoted power output was 122 bhp.
- from Wayne Stephenson's Corolla Production page
Zenki and Kouki
When reading about the AE86 you may come across the terms "Zenki" and "Kouki". Zenki is Japanese for "the first half" and Kouki is Japanese for "the last half". There were minor changes between the earlier and later models but they are almost completely cosmetic.
Zenki = 1985 (Aug. 1984 to Jul. 1985)
Kouki = 1986 and 1987 (Aug. 1985 to Jul. 1987)
(1986 Corolla Levin Coupe GT AE86)
(1986 Corolla Levin Coupe GT Apex AE86)
(1986 Corolla Levin Liftback GTV AE86)
(1986 Corolla Levin Liftback GT Apex AE86)
(1986 Sprinter Trueno Coupe GT AE86)
(1986 Sprinter Trueno Coupe GT Apex AE86)
(1986 Sprinter Trueno Liftback GTV AE86)
(1986 Sprinter Trueno Liftback GT Apex AE86)
Name: Corolla Levin, Sprinter Trueno
Chassis Code: AE86
Style: Hardtop, Liftback
Production Start Date: 1985
Production End Date: 1987
In North America the Sprinter Trueno was sold as the Corolla "GT-S".
1ST Gen | 2ND Gen | 3RD Gen | 4TH Gen | 5TH Gen