JDM Nürburgring: Toyota Opens State of the Art Test Course
Over the last few years, thanks in large part to the efforts of its CEO Akio Toyoda, Toyota has taken a big charge at making all of its cars more exciting and more fun to drive. Naturally, testing and development at Germany's famed Nürburgring Nordschleife has been a big part of this movement, and the company has decided to take things even further by opening a scaled down test track in Japan that's heavily based on the 'Ring.
Located in Toyota's home base of Aichi, Japan, the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama is a massive new testing and development facility that will be fully completed in 2023. It will eventually include a high speed test course, road surfaces that replicate areas around the world and a huge R&D center, and its scaled down version of the Nürburgring is already operational.
The "mini Nürburgring" has a total length of 5.3 kilometers and was heavily inspired by the original. It cuts through the forested Japanese countryside and features a wide variety of corners and 75 meters worth of elevation change between its highest and lowest points.
In terms of "cool job rankings," factory test driver is certainly high on the list, and Toyota says the majority of the 50 employees who have gone to work at the new facility are test drivers. When completed, the facility will have about 3,300 employees on site.
Unlike the real Nürburgring in Germany, it's not likely Toyota's scaled down version in Japan will ever be open to the general public, but it is important because it signifies Toyota's commitment to building cars that are more exciting to drive.
As part of his speech at the opening ceremony for the new facility, Toyoda-san said, "We intend to thoroughly hone every one of our models and develop the types of cars that epitomize the true joy of driving." Here's hoping we see some awesome new Toyotas being fine-tuned here in the coming years.