The track is part of a $2.8 billion R&D investment
The days of easily capturing spy shots of the latest Toyota sports car lapping the Nurburgring might be coming to an end. The Japanese automaker is reportedly developing a massive 11-track testing complex in Aichi prefecture, Japan, part of a larger investment of $2.8 billion to create a research and development hub in the country. According to Nikkei Asian Review, one of the tracks will "be in part modeled after the well-known Nurburgring race course in Germany" to test vehicle dynamics in extreme conditions.
The supposed mini-Nurburgring will be 3.29 miles long with almost 250 feet of elevation change. It and the other 10 tracks will be part of a development and testing center—or what we'd call a gearhead playground—spread over 1600 acres of land and staffed by between 3,200 and 3,300 employees when it goes into full operation. Nikkei Asian Review reports it is the first test track being developed in Japan by Toyota since 1984—nearly 35 years ago. The site's main purpose will be to test vehicles primed to "debut in the near future," said the business site. Autonomous vehicle testing will continue in Michigan as part of Toyota's Silicon Valley unit.
In Europe, Toyota has significant research and development operations just outside Brussels, Belgium. The company's motorsports division, Toyota Motorsport GmbH, is based in Cologne, Germany, and has an on-site windtunnel. It's in Germany where Toyota housed its Formula 1 team when it competed in the series. Recently, the Toyota Supra was spotted lapping the 'Ring as it underwent testing. Is this the last Toyota sports car we will see lap The Green Hell wearing camo?