2019 Toyota Avalon
Toyota plans for an expansive research and development center settled in Aichi, Japan, and included in the sprawling site will be 11 separate test tracks. And one of the tracks will mimic the famed Nürburgring, Nikkei Asian Review reported on Tuesday.
The 1,600-acre site's 11 tracks will reproduce various driving conditions to ensure future vehicles meet regulations and requirements globally. The pseudo-Nürburgring will test steering and braking stability along with other essential driving functions in rigorous conditions. It will hardly match the circuit in length, however. Toyota's track will encompass 5.3 kilometers (roughly 3.3 miles), while the 'Ring spans 12.9 miles total. Perhaps it will be the world's first baby Nürburgring.
Still, the track will feature similar corners along with rapid elevation changes dropped in for good measure. Altitude gaps will reach 246 feet, which should prove quite demanding for vehicles subjected to the test course.
Toyota's investment of $2.8 billion for the new R&D center comes as its current facilities maximize their space and capabilities. As the automaker works to diversify its portfolio with hybrids, electric cars, and fuel cell vehicles, more space is needed. Many of the other test tracks will focus on electrified vehicles as well as accommodating the needs of consumers in staple markets, such as North America and Japan and Europe, but also in emerging economies such as India.
The new facility should be fully operational by 2023 with a staff of 3,300 employees. The automaker plans to expand the employee count to 3,850 in the future.