We all know that the Nurburgring is the favourite testing ground of a long list of car makers, both because of its 170 corners and long straights, but also because it’s genuinely hard on a car. If your new model has weak spots, this track should find them.
But what if your factory, and the prototypes it produces, are all the way over in Japan? That’s a lot of shipping costs, not to mention the time wasted getting the cars to and from the circuit or the necessary secrecy you have to employ.
When you have as much spare cash as Toyota, there’s a simple solution. Buy some land (2.5 square miles of it) and build your own comprehensive test complex on it. Yup, including a 3.3-mile ‘Nurburgring section’ modelled on an unconfirmed section of the famous German track, including 250 feet of elevation change.
There will be 10 other tracks at the Aichi prefecture site, Toyota’s first new testing site in Japan since 1984. Some will be modelled on other existing race circuits and famous roads around the world. Toyota won’t go into detail yet. The site should be partially open as of next year, but full completion won’t arrive until 2023.