Toyota is a massive company with a lot of money to throw around, and as such, it has the ability to do things that most other car companies couldn't dream of, like building its own miniature Nürburgring in Japan.
To be clear, Toyota isn't doing this for fun. Instead, it's running into a problem with having enough available existing development facilities in Japan. To counter this, it bought a 2.5-square-mile tract of land in the Aichi prefecture, on which it will build 11 different test tracks, its first in Japan since 1984, on which it can test and refine its upcoming vehicles, all at a cost of approximately $2.8 billion, according to Nikkei Asian Review.
The facility will partially open in 2019 and is slated for completion in 2023 and will employ upward of 3,000 people. It will exist alongside Toyota's first dedicated, private test facility on the Northern Japanese island of Hokkaido which will be used primarily for cold weather driving experiments.
The Nürburgring portion of the Aichi compound will be approximately 3.3 miles long and feature almost 250 feet of elevation change. Toyota hasn't gone into details about the other real-world roads and tracks that it will model in its new facility, but we expect that it would more than give the US and European proving grounds a run for their money when it comes to terrain diversity.
This new facility is part of a huge uptick in spending on research and development by Toyota. Nikkei Asian Review pegs Toyota's capital spending and R&D to increase by 40 percent over the next five years to a total of $21.8 billion. That's not chump change.