With Nurburgring industry pool testing as popular as ever, Toyota has decided to build its very own Nordschleife in a more convenient location.
The company has announced that the “central section” of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama has now been finished, and a big part of this new R&D facility is a 3.3-mile test track.
“Based on long experience of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is famous throughout the world for its grueling driving conditions, Toyota has designed an exacting test course,” the company says. Built in a mountainous region around 30 minutes drive from its HQ in Toyota City, it has a 75-meter elevation change between the highest and lowest bits, plus “a wide range of curves and corners.”
Currently, there are 50 people employed at the site, almost all of them being test drivers. Eventually, though, the whole facility will have 3300 people working there, and it’ll cover an area of around four square miles.
Conserving the environment of the site was a high priority, and Toyota says it’s managed to keep around 70 per cent of the existing greenery, as well as creating new “green spaces”.
The completed R&D base will open in 2023, at a total cost of around 300 billion yen, which is just over £2 billion. Along with the ‘Ring-like ‘country road’ course, there’ll be a high-speed loop and a series of test tracks designed to replicate road conditions from around the world. Presumably, this will include a liberally pot-holed stretch of tarmac to mirror the UK’s highways…