How did a developing global corporation come up with the idea of offering a small car with front engine and rear wheel drive (standard drive) in Europe in 1978? The justification is quite simple: A predecessor of the
Starlet is the ToyotaPublica from 1960. It is initiated by the almighty Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, but with front-wheel drive is not in time to realize. And the Starlet
practically takes over this arrangement as its successor.
But later the air-cooled two-cylinder boxer engine of the Publica (picture above) will be replaced by a four-cylinder in-line Toyota 1000, which will be taken over by the Starlet. There was also a station wagon already. 1979 it
was introduced as a Starlet. Only the versions with five doors are new. Also in 1979 the limousine got the engine with 1200 cm3 and five-speed gearbox.
1980 a facelift took place, where the headlights become rectangular and the engine got 1.3 litres capacity. 1982 then the second facelift, which included plastic bumpers. A three-speed automatic was from now on
available. In 1985 the production time of the first Toyota Starlet ended. The successor was adapted to the front-wheel drive technology that had long been common in this class.
A special variant was the station wagon. With the technology of the first series, it had a smaller engine, but still a brake booster. With 1.48 m loading length, 1.24 m width and 0.76 m height it was a little space miracle. The
rear seats could be folded down individually. Due to the significantly higher axle load at the rear, it could load 410 kg, and it had a rear windscreen wiper with washing system.
Special equiped are Starlet, Starlet DeLuxe and Starlet S