The new Toyota GR Corolla is sick as hell, and just like every other enthusiast out there, I cannot wait to get my hands on one. There’s only one problem – and it isn’t the car’s fault: greedy dealers.
We saw what happened with other vehicles of the ilk. The Ford Focus RS, Honda Civic Type-R and VW Golf R all suffered from massive markups – and two of them still do. These cars have been put in an entirely different and mostly unattainable price bracket for most enthusiasts.
So – to that I say – if Toyota really cares about the enthusiast community – they need to nip the dealer markup problem in the bud before it can ruin the GR Corolla.
Obviously, pricing hasn’t been officially announced yet. The smart money says the car will slot in right around the $37-40,000 dollar mark like a lot of its competitors I mentioned above. There’s also the Circuit edition which will be available only during the launch year and comes with all sorts of goodies. That one will cost more – probably closer to $50,000, and that’s okay for a car that is destined to be a collector’s item.
The real issue is that – unless Toyota does something – you won’t see any sort of reasonable deals on these cars anytime soon – or ever, honestly. In an age where Honda CR-V’s are going for above sticker, there is little hope that the GR Corolla won’t be priced out of the reach of most car enthusiasts who don’t also own an island.
This whole argument doesn’t even take into account the fact flippers will be rampant. We’re going to see GR Corollas on Bring A Trailer for truly astronomical prices, and I don’t know how much we (or Toyota) can do about that. Unless they use some sort of Ford GT-esq model where it’s hard to flip the car in the first few years, I don’t think there is too much hope to be had, and that is a real shame.
The GR Corolla shouldn’t be a vehicle owned only by the rich. At its essence it is a hot hatch – the type of car meant to democratize performance vehicles for all. We can only hope Toyota realizes this fact too, and takes care of the issue before it can even start.