Toyota Motor Europe expands R&D operations at new proving ground in Belgium

Toyota Motor Europe last Friday inaugurated its own proving ground in Zaventem, Belgium.

Suzanne Ashe
Suzanne Ashe has been covering technology, gadgets, video games, and cars for several years. In addition to writing features and reviews for magazines and Web sites, she has contributed to daily newspapers.
Suzanne Ashe

Toyota Motor Europe's technical center, in Zaventem, Belgium now has a new state-of-the-art proving ground. Toyota Motor Europe

Toyota Motor Europe (TME) is one step closer to strengthening commitment to the European market by opening a new proving ground, in Zaventem, Belgium, the company said in a press release.

The new Zaventem Proving Ground features a 0.8-mile banked oval, a 300-foot skidpad, and test roads to evaluate and fine-tune comfort and performance of new models. The proving ground allows Toyota's engineers to perform a wide variety of tests, such as ride comfort, road noise and vibration, vehicle durability, cornering, engine performance, and brake performance, TME said.

"The European automotive market is one of the most competitive in the world and our technical center is already a key facility in Toyota's global R&D organization," said Didier Leroy, TME President and CEO. "Thanks to the new proving ground, we will make use of our unique positioning and our facilities as a laboratory for innovations in a faster and more efficient way, so that we can develop the right car for our European customers, right here, in the heart of Europe."

According to Toyota, the 700,000-square-foot proving ground cost $67 million to construct and took two-and-a-half years to complete.