The GR Corolla has gone on sale today in Japan, but you can’t just head to your local dealer and buy one like it was originally announced in June when the hot hatch was revealed. Instead, you’ll have to apply to order the performance machine by entering a lottery. The first batch of production cars is limited to 500 units for the regular version and just 70 for the more extreme Morizo Edition with two seats and an extra 30 Nm (22 lb-ft) of torque.
The applications can be registered until December 18 for the spicier derivative at GR Garage locations nationwide. Should you stick to the standard GR Corolla, purchasing lottery applications can be done online until December 19. On January 6, the 70 people lucky enough to be given the opportunity to buy the Morizo Edition will be announced. The list of the other 500 customers who will be able to claim the standard car will be published a day later. Deliveries for both flavors are scheduled to commence in spring 2023.
As to why Toyota is adopting this fairly unusual procedure, the issue stems from supply bottlenecks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and semiconductor shortages. The Japanese automaker has no other way but to limit production, at least initially. The company is aware the GR Corolla will be in high demand at home and knows it won’t be able to fulfill all orders. In addition, the model is also sold in North America, thus putting more pressure on supply.
Speaking of North America, Toyota Canada had a contest to determine nine winners that were given chance to purchase the GR Corolla. In the United States, pricing starts at $35,900 for the Core Edition, followed by the $42,900 Circuit Edition, and the $49,900 Morizo Edition. Japanese pricing is also out, showing a sticker price of 5,250,000 yen for the GR Corolla RZ and 7,150,000 yen for the Morizo Edition. At current exchange rates, that works out to about $39,200 and $53,400, respectively.
Toyota mentions it will consider extending sales of the GR Corolla provided supply constraints will be less of an issue after the first batch of production cars. In the US, the entry-level Core Edition is capped at 5,000 units for the first year during which the midlevel Circuit Edition will be limited to 1,500 units. The range topper will be a 200-car affair for the 2023MY.