It's like the 3.3-mile version of the Green Hell.
The Nürburgring Nordschleife in Nurburg, Germany isn't just a track for anyone who wants to push his or her car to its physical limits. It's also a home for several manufacturers that assess their cars, test mules or not, for road-worthiness. Toyota Motor Corporation is one of these manufacturers.
However, it looks like Toyota won't be hitting the Green Hell anytime soon from this day forward. The Japanese marque has commenced partial operation of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama – a new research and development facility located at the heart of Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
Gallery: Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama
The report was officially announced by Toyota on their website, two months after reports of its construction broke out.
The Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama is 650.8-hectare (1,608-acre) facility that houses specialized test courses, high-speed test courses, vehicle development facilities, and a country road test course. The latter is a 5.3-kilometer (3.3-mile) track that's similar to the Nürburgring, albeit, with a 75-meter (246-foot) change in elevation. It takes advantage of the local topography and features a wide range of curves and corners. Of note, 50 people have started working on the new test track, consisting mostly of 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 other parts of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama – the specialized and high-speed test courses, will open by 2023.