You'll have to pass a questionnaire if you want Toyota's new hypercar
Only the most serious of buyers will be allowed the road-going version of its new LMH machinery
It's not unusual these days for car manufacturers to want to make it a bit more difficult to get their top-level products than just being able to stump up enough money to buy them. It does make a lot of sense. To only have serious car enthusiasts and serious enthusiasts of the brand be able to buy these top of the line pieces of machinery is actually beneficial to the company's brand. Exclusivity holds a lot of value and it doesn't create a lot of good press when a C-list celebrity ends up crashing out in their brand new multi-million dollar megacar because they don't know how to handle it properly.
Ferrari has been doing this kind of strategy for years and it's now filtering down into more mainstream manufacturers such as Ford (with the GT). Now Toyota seems to be adopting this strategy, as if you want a chance of owning the road-going version of its LMH hypercar (reportedly called the GR 010 rather than the GR Super Sport name that's been floating around for a few years now) you'll have to fill in a form that's been posted on Toyota Japan's website.
The form (which you can go to here if you fancy your chances), requires you to list how many "high performance sports cars" you currently own and to rank them by order of your most favourite to your least favourite. It also asks how many miles you drive your sports cars per year and what sports cars you're planning to purchase in the future. It also, unsurprisingly, asks you if you've ever owned a Toyota 2000GT or a Lexus LFA. Toyota also wants to know how many times per year you drive on a circuit, something which you'd think would definitely be important considering the car's racing car origins.
The questionnaire then goes on to ask about how much the potential owner is interested in motorsports. It asks which racing series you're interested in, how much you participate in motorsports from just being a fan who watches it on TV to actually being a racing driver, a team owner or a corporate sponsor of a racing team and even whether you have a racing licence and what grade that licence is.
In the final part of the form, you're asked about your interest and expectations of the new hypercar. It asks what aspect of the car you like the most and, perhaps most importantly when it comes to this process, how keen you are to get your hands on one. Once you've done all that, there are all the typical receiving updates by e-mail process that all forms like this on the internet have and then that's it. You've potentially got a ticket into owning one of the world's most anticipated new cars!
Is it the right thing for Toyota to do this? I'd say it is. Because of the car's special pedigree as a road-going version of a Le Mans racer, Toyota doesn't want any old Tom, Dick or Harry owning one of these. Toyota wants these cars to go to proper performance car enthusiasts, people who like to take their cars to track days and people who are heavily involved with racing whether they're drivers, team owners or corporate sponsors of racing teams. There's also the exclusivity factor, as keeping this car as exclusive as possible will only help it to retain its value in the future both for the manufacturer and for the lucky few who get to own one from new. It's a big gamble for Toyota, but one that I think will honestly pay off.