Classic Cars Wiki
Classic Cars Wiki
10 Japanese Sports Cars

The Toyota Sprinter was a compact car manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota as a variation of the Toyota Corolla. Each generation of the Corolla had a corresponding version of the Sprinter.

he Sprinter was sold in the United States as the Chevrolet Nova and the Geo Prizm. The Nova and Prizm were manufactured in Fremont, California, USA by NUMMI, a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors. The Nova was also manufactured in Australia as a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors - Holden.

First generation-E10 series[]

Toyota sprinter E10

The first generation Sprinter was introduced in March 1968 as a fastback version of the first generation Corolla, and sold at Japanese dealership sales channel called Toyota Auto Store. This was the only version to include the word "Corolla" in its name. Like the rest of the Corolla range, the 1077 cc K engine was upgraded to the 1166 cc 3K engine in September 1969. The Corolla was sold at a different dealership in Japan called Toyota Corolla Store.

Second generation-E20 series[]


In May 1970, the Sprinter was released as a variation of the second generation Corolla coupe. Toyota had promised its Corolla dealers in Japan that they would receive exclusive rights to sell the Corolla. In order to sell through a second dealer network, the Sprinter was no longer called a Corolla, even though the differences were mostly cosmetic.

In Japan, the 3K engine was supplemented by a 1407 cc T engine in September 1970. Some markets received the 1588 cc 2T engine in March 1972. With the twincam 2T-G engine the vehicle was known as the Sprinter Trueno. As special model called the Sprinter Trueno J had everything the Trueno had except it used the single cam, twin carburettor 2T-B engine.

Third generation- E40,E60 series[]

Toyota Sprinter (E40) -
Toyota Sprinter

1974 brought the third-generation Sprinter based on the third-generation Corolla coupe, 2 door sedan, 4 door sedan, and liftback. Once again, the differences between the Corolla and Sprinter were mostly cosmetic. Sedans received a more formal upright grill, while the coupe and liftback received a sleeker, aerodynamic looking frontal treatment.

The Corolla's were given E30-38 codes while the Sprinter's were given corresponding E41-47 codes. When the Corolla range received a minor update in March 1974 to become the E50-55 series, the Sprinter received a corresponding update to become the E60 series.

Fourth generation-E70 series[]

Toyota sprinter sedan

The 1979 fourth generation Sprinter was based on the fourth-generation Corolla coupe, 2 door sedan, 4-door sedan and liftback. As before, the differences were cosmetic - the Corollas had a simpler treatment of the grill, headlights, and tail lights while the Sprinter used a slightly more complex, sculptured treatment.

Fifth generation-E80 series[]

E80 sedan

The fifth generation Sprinter was based on the 1983 fifth-generation Corolla range. Like the Corolla, the model line was split into FWD and RWD models. This was the last generation of Sprinters to have RWD, so it remains a favourite of sports car enthusiasts - particularly in drifting. Fame was brought to this model by its appearance in the Initial D Japanese animation.

The AE82 Sprinter sedan had slightly different headlamps compared to the AE82 Corolla, 4 side windows, inclined c-pillar, different tail lamps the boot was placed a little higher and front aero grills were like the AE86 Levin. It had an overall similarity with the AE86 Levin coupe. The RWD Sprinter came with pop-up headlamps (the Corolla had fixed headlamps) and the front bumper was raised a little to accommodate them. The US Corolla GTS shared the head lamps with the Japanese market AE86 Sprinter but with small differences such as lower lift height and US globe fittings. The Sprinter sold in Australia was actually identical to a Japanese market Corolla in all of its specifications (e.g. no pop-up hea lamps, Japanese market tail lamps).

FWD grades:

  • ZX, SX
  • DX,Special DX
  • XL, Super XL, XL Lisse
  • SE, SE Saloon, Riviere
  • SR, GT

RWD grades:

  • XL, SE, SR, GT, GTV, GT Apex, Black Limited

Sixth generation-E90 series[]

Toyota Sprinter E90 sedan

The sixth generation Sprinter was based on the sixth generation Corolla range, introduced in May 1987. They were offered as FWD & full-time 4WD. The Sprinter was offered as a sedan, coupe, 5-door liftback called Sprinter Cielo, and station wagon named Sprinter Carib.

The sedan and liftback had the same front ends but different rear ends. The JDM market Sprinter coupe had retractable head lamps, but in this generation the RWD model was discontinued and all coupes were FWD.

Out of all these engines the 4age 20v Silver Top was a revolutionary engine when it was offered in 1991, with features like VVT, individual throttle bodies (ITB's), a compression ratio of 10.8:1 and 5-valve per cylinder. This helped the car to accelerate from 0–100 km/h in approximately 6 seconds and reach a top speed of over 200 km/h. A 5-valve per cylinder engine was unusual for the time, although, Mitsubishi also offered a 5-valve vehicle in the Minica Dangan ZZ-4 in 1989.


The E90 models started production in 1988 and ended in mid previous models it got mid life face lifts called (ZENKI) 1st face & (KOUKI) 2nd face. the GT versions as usually got a front lip and a spoiler at the back.