Toyota dealers will prioritise amateur racing drivers, active car club members and loyal customers when deciding who gets to take delivery of the new Toyota GR Corolla hot hatch.
Initial demand for the turbocharged hot hatch exceeded supply by about 10 to one, with almost 5000 Australians registering interest for 500 cars on their way to showrooms this year.
Striving to avoid a situation where people profiteer by getting hold of an in-demand model before re-selling it for a significantly higher price, Toyota Australia vice president Sean Hanley says the brand is doing everything “within the laws of this country” to make sure that the cars reach people who want to keep them.
“It’s a really difficult proposition for us,” he said.
“We truly want these vehicles to get into the right hands.”
Toyota has asked dealers to ask potential customers to justify why they should be allowed to purchase the car, filling out forms that ask about motorsport history and car club affiliations.
The manufacturer will let dealers decide who gets the cars based on information provided by customers.
Initially in line to receive 500 cars this year, Toyota Australia will deliver 700 examples of the GR Corolla to customers in its first 12 months on sale.
The 700 models will be known as GR Corolla “GTS” models powered by a 221kW and 370Nm version of the 1.6-litre, three-cylinder engine found in the GR Yaris. More powerful than the two-door Yaris, the Corolla’s extra 190 kilos of weight returns a slightly inferior power-to-weight ratio.
It has the same six-speed manual transmission and driver-adjustable all-wheel-drive system as the Yaris, which sold out in short order.
Australian examples have limited-slip front and rear differentials fitted as standard, along with four-piston front brake calipers and 18-inch wheels with Yokohama sports rubber.
The car has a comprehensive array of driver assistance features, along with luxuries such as a digital dash, head-up display, wireless phone charging pad and eight-speaker JBL stereo.
Priced from $62,300 plus on-road costs (more than $65,000 drive-away), the GR Corolla GTS is about $8000 upstream from the smaller GR Yaris Rallye.
Customers who want an even more focused version of the Corolla can beg their dealers for a chance to buy the two-seat Toyota GR Corolla Morizo priced from $77,800 plus on-road costs in Australia.
The stripped-out trackday model deletes the back seat and unnecessary features such as sat nav, parking sensors and even the rear windscreen wiper in a frenzied bid to reduce weight.
A carbon fibre roof and forged BBS alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 semi-slick tyres are part of the deal, as are firmer shock absorbers and a reinforced gearbox with tighter ratios.
Just 25 examples of the ultra-focused Morizo are on the way to Australia in the second half of this year. That’s less than one car for every 10 Toyota dealerships to fight over, suggesting the brand will have a tricky time deciding who gets to buy its rarest model.
TOYOTA GR COROLLA GTS
PRICE From $62,300 plus on-road costs
ENGINE 1.6-litre 3-cyl turbo, 221kW and 370Nm
WARRANTY/SAFETY 5-yr/u’ltd km, $1800 for 3 yrs
SAFETY 7 airbags, auto emergency braking, active cruise control, lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alerts
CARGO 213 litres
SPARE Repair kit