The Toyota GR Corolla Morizo Edition is so exclusive, you have to enter the draw just to be able to buy one in Canada.
Only nine examples are heading to the Great White North out of a global production run of 200 vehicles, and Toyota wants to make sure they go to the people that’ll make the most of the hot hatch.
The questionnaire quizzes applicants on their social media presence, including how frequently they post, as well as their past experience with Toyotas, performance cars, and vehicles with manual transmissions.
Additionally, it asks applicants to describe their past experiences with tuner clubs and associations, to answer how many times they take to the track each year and to name their favourite Canadian road and race track to drive on.
It also asks applicants how they’ll use their Morizo Edition, whether it be as a commuter, a secondary vehicle with some track usage, a collector’s item, or as a regular track vehicle.
All that’s missing is a question like “What is your greatest weakness?”, although it comes close with an open-ended “Tell us why you would make a great candidate for owning this vehicle”.
In all, it’s a process more akin to ordering a supercar than a hot hatch.
Toyota says the criteria is weighted, with 40 per cent assigned to performance driving experience, 20 per cent to the applicant’s ability to promote the vehicle, 20 per cent to automotive enthusiast qualifications, and 20 per cent to “appreciation for GR Corolla Morizo Edition qualities”.
Toyota Australia hasn’t confirmed how many Morizo Editions will be included as part of the first-year GR Corolla allocation of 500 vehicles, arriving in 2023.
The company has said it will do what it can to make sure all GR Corollas end up in the hands of enthusiasts rather than speculators out to turn a quick buck.
However, it’s unclear how it plans to accomplish this, with a Supra-style randomised online ballot looking unlikely and centralised online sales also off the agenda.
“Competition for the car within the Toyota world is enthusiastic to say the least,” said Sean Hanley, Toyota Australia’s vice-president of sales, marketing and franchise operations, earlier this year.
“Now what we have got to do is manage that 500 very carefully.”
Asked if he was concerned that such limited supply would simply rub fans the wrong way by leaving too many without a car from the first batches, Mr Hanley said: “we’ll only upset people if we don’t tell them upfront exactly the circumstances of the order”.
“The dealerships know right now that they’re going to get a finite number,” he said, suggesting Toyota would like to work with its franchisees to ensure “true” enthusiasts get priority.
“… We want to make sure that these cars get in the hands of true enthusiasts, the people that want to keep these cars, that want to drive these cars.
“So we are looking at different ways within the legalities of Australian Consumer and Competition law that may enable us to ensure that these get in the right hands,” he said.
When quizzed on whether Toyota could direct staff at its franchise dealers away from buying a GR Corolla for themselves, Mr Hanley stopped short. Furthermore, there will not be any Toyota HQ employees ticking off each customer, or doing any vetting of their intentions, he added.
“In terms of our dealer network, of course we have dealer staff that are enthusiasts, and of course we don’t want to discount those opportunities,” Mr Hanley said.
“But we will qualify everyone to be enthusiasts… and we want to discourage any sort of reselling [or] short cycling… We’ll certainly be asking our dealers to qualify each customer as being a person who wants this car for the right reasons,” he added.
“Now we have to look at that process within the legalities of the Australian consumer law and competition law, but we really want this car to get to the right people.”
None of these responses really make it clear what Toyota Australia has up its sleeve.
The Morizo Edition enhances the ‘regular’ GR Corolla through both addition and subtraction, adding 30Nm more torque but subtracting the rear seats as part of a weight saving of 30kg.
The two-seater is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre three-cylinder engine with 224kW of power at 6500rpm and 400Nm of torque between 3250 and 4600rpm.
Power is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.
There’s additional body bracing, tweaked gear ratios, an extra 3.3m of structural adhesive, and a revised suspension setup.
This sees the front McPherson struts fitted with inverted monotube shock absorbers, while monotube shocks accompany the rear double-wishbones.
The two-seat GR Corolla rides on 10mm wider rubber, with 245/40 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres replacing the standard vehicle’s Yokohama Advan Apex V601 units.
Inside the cabin the two-seater features cast-black trim, faux suede elements for the steering wheel and centre console, and exclusive semi-bucket seats.
Metallic matte grey paint is an option only available to those who stump up for the two-seat GR Corolla.
The Morizo Edition will be alone in its segment in offering a two-seat configuration, but the GR Corolla will face a bevy of rivals when it arrives here next year.