Most performance carmakers use the famous Nürburgring Nordschleife (northern loop) or Green Hell in Nurburg, Germany to test cars to its maximum physical limits. It’s also the spiritual home for several manufacturers who check out their cars, components, mules or prototypes for road-worthiness, reliability among others. Japan’s Toyota Motor Corporation is active among these Nürburgring Nordschleife patrons.
Till now, Toyota was using this facility for its automotive projects while developing a similar one in Japan in secrecy. The Japanese brand has commenced partial operation of the Toyota Technical Center in Shimoyama that is a new research and development facility located at the heart of Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture.
The news was officially announced by Toyota on their website, two months after reports of its construction began.
The other parts of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama – the specialized and high-speed test courses, will open by 2023.
This facility is spread out on a 1,608-acre facility that houses specialized test courses, high-speed test courses, vehicle development facilities, and a country road test course. 11 separate test tracks will be created on the site. Toyota says it has committed more than $2.8 billion to developing the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. Scientifically designed, the country road test course is a 5.3-km track that’s similar to the Nürburgring, albeit, with a 75m change in elevation. It takes advantage of the local topography and features a wide range of curves and corners. As per the webiste, 50 people are working on the new test track, mostly test drivers.
“With the aim of making ever-better cars, we have continued to make various efforts in “feeling the road” and “conversing with cars” through driving tests around the world, including our Five Continent Drive Project and the Nürburgring 24 Hours endurance race. Based on such experiences, we have replicated a variety of roads in the world at the new test course. In addition to conducting driving tests all over the world, and with the replication of severe driving conditions at the new test course, we intend to thoroughly hone every one of our models and develop the types of cars that epitomize the true joy of driving,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda.
The Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama is expected to be completed by 2023.