During testing, Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda crashed a GR Yaris rally car

Chairman Akio Toyoda of Toyota recently opened a new R&D facility, the Shimoyama center, with a destroyed GR Yaris rally car behind him. Despite the crash, Toyoda decided to use it as a symbol of how the new facility can improve Toyota’s carmaking process.

**1. The Shimoyama R&D Center**
The Shimoyama R&D Center serves as the new base for GR and Lexus vehicles, covering 1,600 acres and housing 3,000 employees. It is located in a mountainous region about 30 minutes away from Toyota’s headquarters in Toyota City.

**2. The Nürburgring-Inspired Road Course**
One of the key features of the Shimoyama facility is a 3.3-mile road course inspired by the Nürburgring, complete with elevation changes and various types of corners. This course allows Toyota to test its performance cars in-house, eliminating the need to rent time at the distant Nürburgring.

**3. Accelerating Car Development**
With a 40-bay garage and full-time mechanics, engineers, and designers on-site, the Shimoyama proving grounds enable Toyota to conduct testing in-house, speeding up the car development process significantly. This facility allows for more efficient testing and development of new vehicles.

**4. Akio Toyoda’s Motorsports Background**
As the president of Toyota, Akio Toyoda has participated in various motorsport events, including the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and Rally Japan. He has been trained as a “Master Driver,” undergoing the same program as Toyota’s top test drivers.

**5. Toyoda’s Crash and Leadership**
Despite his extensive experience, even Toyoda had a crash during a rally event with the GR Yaris. He believes in the motto “Drive, break, fix,” setting an example for the employees at the Shimoyama facility to follow. This incident showcases Toyoda’s hands-on approach and commitment to excellence in carmaking.

In conclusion, the new Shimoyama R&D Center represents a significant step forward for Toyota in improving its carmaking processes and accelerating car development. Under the leadership of Chairman Akio Toyoda, the facility is poised to drive innovation and excellence in the world of automotive manufacturing.

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