What if they’d all been called Dino? For reasons that will become apparent in a feature in this rag over the next couple of months, we’ve been thinking about long-lasting nameplates on cars. And apologies in advance, but at the end of this column, I’m not going to reach a single conclusion. 

There’s a new Toyota Corolla ahoy – a car that has been called the Auris in Europe for a while, for reasons I’ve never quite understood – but globally, Corolla remains the best-selling vehicle nameplate of all time. Toyota has sold more than 45 million Corollas since 1966. (Probably more than 46 or 47 million by now, and increasing by the second, but it has kinda got to the stage where one only measures the output in multiples of five million.) 

Which adds, one way or another, a certain significance of feel to the arrival of a new Corolla, doesn’t it? One could make the argument, although I’m not sure I would, that it’s the most important car in the world and, in a similar vein, there’s an extra frisson about the arrival of a new Volkswagen Golf, what with it being a new Golf! 

Meanwhile, it’s extremely easy to make a case that the Porsche 911 is the greatest sports car of all time (and I probably would do that) because the 911 has always been, and presumably always will be, the 911.