1998 Impreza Wagon > 2004 WRX Wagon > 2015 Focus ST, all in red. And the FWD was a mistake.
There's huge demand for Toyota's new hot hatch, and that's making it hard to get in certain parts of the country.
Demand for the Toyota GR Corolla is strong. So strong, in fact, that Toyota is asking some dealers to stop taking orders because not all can be fulfilled.
"We have places right now, and parts of the country where there are so many orders being taken, we have to stop," said Jack Hollis, senior vice president of automotive operations at Toyota Motor North America, in an interview with Road & Track. A spokesperson further explained that Toyota doesn't want dealers taking customer deposits when there aren't enough allocations. Production of the GR Corolla will be fairly limited, as the car is largely hand-built at Toyota's GR factory in Motomachi, Japan. For the 2023 model year, there will be 6500 built, and production won't exceed 8000 units annually in future years.
There was some enthusiast outcry—including from the staff of Road & Track—over the fact that the rally-homologation GR Yaris wouldn't be sold in North America. We asked Hollis if the GR Corolla was greenlit in response to the positive reception of the GR Yaris here, but he said that the car was already in progress before the Yaris was revealed.
"Every product, whether it be Yaris, Corolla, 86, Supra comes from this family of GR, or this GR company. So when you say ‘Did we consider [the GR Yaris]?’ we consider anything," Hollis said. "It was just that we knew that GR Corolla fit our market... Doesn’t mean the GR Yaris couldn’t come here either, it's just that GR Corolla is what we made a commitment to."
The initial demand certainly indicates that Toyota made a good choice in bringing the GR Corolla here. (There's also the fact that homologating the GR Yaris for North America would've been expensive, as the regular Yaris isn't sold here.)
A Toyota spokesperson said that demand for the GR Corolla is likely higher on the coasts. The car isn't sold out for 2023, though. The consensus seems to be that if you want one at MSRP, the best tactic is to call dealers throughout the country.
Hollis is, unsurprisingly, very excited for the GR Corolla. "I think you gotta go to ‘What is GR?’ If you look at GR as being a personal passion point for Akio Toyoda, you have to sort of start from the genesis," Hollis said. "The fact that he himself is involved with the products that are being developed, the fact that GR86—starting back with Scion and FR-S—and moving on to Supra, you’re continuously seeing more and more what? Excitement, play, youthfulness, so the GR Corolla is just the next step in an evolution of the GR-ness in our company."