Published on April 2nd, 2024 | by Subhash Nair


Toyota Shimoyama Technical Centre With Extreme Test Tracks Launched

The Toyota Shimoyama Technical Centre has been opened after 6 years of construction.

Toyota has officially opened its latest research and development facility called the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. Located in a mountainous area between Toyota City and Okazaki, this huge 650-hectare site is home to some of the most demanding test tracks in the world.

Construction of the Shimoyama Technical Center began back in April 2018, with the central country road test course opening first in April 2019. This was followed by the eastern area with a high-speed circuit and specialized surfaces replicating roads from around the globe in October 2021.

The new facility has already played a role in developing vehicles like the latest Lexus IS. But it has now become fully operational with the completion of the western area housing a new vehicle development building and visitor centre.

The development building is a hub for Toyota’s Lexus and Gazoo Racing divisions. Inspired by the pit buildings at the Nürburgring, it brings personnel from planning, design, engineering and testing under one roof for comprehensive, efficient vehicle development.

With test tracks just outside, cars can undergo rapid iteration thanks to digital technology enabling a blend of real-world and virtual development. Testing on the extreme courses with huge elevation changes and tight corners will ensure Toyota’s future performance models are utterly sorted.

The visitor building allows Toyota to collaborate with partners and suppliers in an open innovation environment. It facilitates interaction with prototype vehicles in a way not possible elsewhere.

As extreme as the Toyota Shimoyama Technical Center is, Toyota has still placed an emphasis on environmental conservation. Around 60% of the total area consists of preserved greenery, with newly developed forests and green spaces as well.

Toyota Shimoyama Research

An Environmental Learning Center opened last year educates the local community on preserving the area’s Satoyama landscape – the forests and rice fields surrounding villages. Toyota will work with experts and residents to maintain this precious ecosystem even as it uses the tech center to develop new performance cars.

So while Toyota will use the awesome Shimoyama facility to ensure its next-gen Lexus F, GR and TRD models are utterly honed for the track, it will also be doing its part to stay green. The ultimate win-win!

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