Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced today that it commenced full operation of its research and development facility, Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama, located in a mountainous area straddling the cities of Toyota and Okazaki, on March 25, 2024.

The facility will aid in Toyota's pursuit of building ever-better cars by refining vehicle development. It will serve as a testing ground where cars can be thoroughly tested on exacting courses with numerous elevation differences and curves that take advantage of Shimoyama's natural terrain. 

Construction of the facility began in April 2018 following site development work. The central area, which features a country road test course, began operation in April 2019, followed by the eastern area, which features a high-speed test course and a specialized test course reproducing particular road conditions around the world, in October 2021. The development of new models has been carried out at the facility, such as the Lexus IS announced in 2020, enabling the delivery of vehicles that have been refined on test courses to customers around the world.

The western area, which features a new vehicle development building and a visitor building, has now been completed and commenced full operation.

The vehicle development building serves as a business and development center for Lexus and GR companies. Emulating the look and feel of a pit at the Nürburgring, members from all functions, including planning and design, development and engineering, and prototyping and evaluation, will gather in one place and develop cars together to find issues by driving them on the test courses and repeatedly making improvements. Cutting-edge digital equipment will also be used to promote agile development by integrating real car manufacturing with digital technology.

The visitor building will be a place for co-creation beyond boundaries with business partners and suppliers. It will serve as an open environment for innovation, encouraging new ideas through close interaction with cars in a way that is only possible at a development center.

Environmental conservation was a foremost consideration in the construction of the Toyota Technical Center Shimoyama. Around 60 percent of the total site area (approx. 650 hectares) consists of preserved original trees and greenery, in addition to newly developed green spaces. Full consideration was given to maintaining and managing the natural environment.

In March 2023, the Environmental Learning Center was completed in the eastern area. It is being used as a place to interact with the local community for environmental conservation, including satoyama―a Japanese term referring to maintained hills and forests near communities that form a vital part of their sustainable ecosystem―experience events.

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda stated: "Although it is not a production plant, Shimoyama-made cars will drive on every road in the world and bring smiles to many people's faces."

Source: Toyota

Tags: Toyota
Евгений Ушаков
Evgenii Ushakov
14 years driving