Every vehicle undergoes countless hours of testing before it goes on sale to the public. If the vehicle is one that puts the focus on performance, there’s a good chance it spent some of that test time running the Nürburgring track in Germany. Toyota decided it was tired of making that trip and built a similar version of the famous track right in its own backyard.
The new proving ground includes a mini version of the Nürburgring and is located in a mountainous area about 30 minutes from the Toyota City head office. That’s a heck of a lot easier than getting a car all the way to Germany.
The course runs for roughly 3.2 miles with the cost of the entire facility coming in at around $2.68 billion. It’s not an exact replica of the Nürburgring, but instead aims to recreate the same challenging driving conditions. The whole facility isn’t yet open, but Toyota expects it to be fully up and running by 2023 and employ around 3,300 people. Right now, about 50 people who are mainly test drivers are already at work.
The recently opened track includes a nearly 250-ft change in elevation between its highest and lowest points along with a grueling assortment of corners and curves. Toyota designed the course to be a challenge that will push their engineers to develop continually better vehicles.
In addition to the Nürburgring test track, the proving grounds will include a high-speed test course and variety of other courses that will help hone Toyota’s vehicles. There will also be a range of road surfaces from around the world to help ensure a smooth ride when the finished product hits the streets whether those streets are in the United States or elsewhere.
Despite being a facility designed to test vehicles, this isn’t just a cleared area of pavement and concrete. Instead, Toyota focused on environmental conservation and kept around 70 percent of the trees and vegetation that were originally found in the area. Additional green spaces are being incorporated into the design as construction continues.