Toyota plans to invest “approximately 300 billion yen” in Shimoyama, and employees total “around 50” for the time being. When the facility will be completed in 2023, approximately 3,300 people will work at the site.
“Environmental conservation was a foremost consideration in the construction of this new research and development facility,” according to Toyota, and around 70 percent of the area consists of trees and greenery that were preserved. The Japanese have a thing for preserving nature as much as possible, and the term you’re looking for is “satoyama.”
Sato stands for village and yama means hill or mountain. Satoyama has multiple definitions, but cohabitation with the existing ecosystem is the easiest way to understand the concept.
“We have replicated a variety of roads in the world at the new test course,” said Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota. “In addition to conducting driving tests all over the world, and with the replication of severe driving conditions at the new test course, we intend to thoroughly hone every one of our models and develop the types of cars that epitomize the true joy of driving.”
At the opening ceremony, Toyota brought the Supra sports car, Prius hybrid, and Prius plug-in hybrid, driving the media on the track to get a feel for the corners and straights. These days, the Japanese automaker combines the eco-friendly image with exciting models developed with the help of Gazoo Racing and TRD.
Known as Prius Prime in the United States, the plug-in hybrid is priced at $27,350 excluding destination charge. The GR Supra retails at $49,990 while the 3.0 Premium levels up to $53,990.