Toyota’s popular Corolla has just turned 40, making the car one of the world’s oldest nameplates. The original Corolla was launched in Japan in October 1966, and today is a genuine global car with production in 16 different countries. The Corolla is so popular in its homeland that it has remained Japan’s top seller for 36 out of its 40 years of sale, with worldwide sales topping 1.36 million units for 2005 alone.

Despite this popularity, Toyota is likely to drop the famous name when the Corolla’s replacement is launched in Europe later this month. The new car’s name could possibly be Auris or Orius, but this is yet to be confirmed. The move to a new name is to position the Corolla’s replacement towards a younger demographic where it would compete against cars like the hot new Civic and the Euro hot hatches.

The car will be continued to be labelled the Corolla in other regions and will be powered by a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, which develops 136hp (100kW). The European version will be manufactured in the UK but the choice of powerplant hasn’t been confirmed.