Lexus has completed its JPY300bn technical centre in central Japan.

The facility at Shimoyama in Aichi Prefecture is now fully functional following the opening of a new vehicle development building which be the new home for Toyota’s luxury brand, including business operations and vehicle planning and evaluation.

The facility includes a new visitor complex to support collaboration with business partners and suppliers.

It has three “exacting” test tracks that take advantage of the numerous elevation differences and curves of natural terrain.

“The challenging topography is ideal for testing and developing vehicles as engineers pursue the faithful handling and confidence inspiring dynamic responses that define the Lexus Driving Signature,” the automaker said.

Construction began in April 2018 with a country road test course commencing operations in April 2019. A high speed track and a section dedicated to simulating unique road conditions from countries around the world opened in October 2021.

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Lexus said the new development building was designed to impart its planners, designers, developers and engineers “with the feeling of being in the pits at the famous Nuerburgring racetrack”.

Instead of air hoses and rattle guns, engineers have access to digital technology integrated with proven vehicle manufacturing processes to quicken development.

The visitor building 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 centre, Lexus said.

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said it had been almost 30 years since the Shimoyama concept was born.

“We have been committed to making this facility a place that would bring smiles to the faces of everyone living in the community,” Mr Toyoda said.

“‘Everyone includes not only the humans here today but also the plants and animals who have lived here even longer,” he said.

The Shimoyama facility will employ around 3,000 people, including development members and test drivers who will “drive, break and improve cars” from Lexus and other business units.

“The more we drive and break cars, the ever-better they become. As a master driver myself, I’m looking forward to spending a lot of time driving around the roads of Shimoyama.”