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Toyota building mini Nurburgring in Japan

Briefly the world's largest car company during Volkswagen's dieselgate emissions scandal revelations, Toyota is working harder than ever to reclaim the top spot it covets so greatly, and the latest news from Japan indicates that it is investing heavily to do so. According to Nikkei Asian Review, Toyota spent $21.7 billion on R&D in the last financial year, up 40% on five years ago.
Toyota is building a miniature replica of parts of the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Japan (Credit: AutoMedienportal.Net/Nürburgring)

The Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in the Eifel forests of Germany is generally regarded as the most demanding circuit in the world, with any car's lap time of the 20.832-km (12.94-mi) circuit inversely proportional to its sporting prowess.

Essentially, a car's Nurburgring lap time is the ultimate benchmark for a performance car, with much more credibility with sporting drivers than dyno power, 0-100 km/h times, standing quarter miles or top speed, because it encompasses all sporting aspects into one convenient figure. You cannot fudge a lap time of the Nurbugring's potent mix of corners, elevation changes and challenges of every automotive ilk.

Car companies recognise the high regard with which performance on the track is held and Toyota has traditionally tested all its sports cars there and it built one of its major European performance centres near the track more than a decade ago.

Despite still testing all its cars there, however, it is now recreating 5.3km (3.9 mi) of identical sections of the Nurburgring track into a circuit it is building in the mountains in Japan...

Continue reading the full article on New Atlas.
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New Atlas
New Atlas is about the amazing potential of human endeavour. From DNA-scanning smartphones to the latest advances in autonomous transport, New Atlas examines how new discoveries, products and technological innovations affect our ability to interact with and understand the people around us and the world we share.
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About the author

Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding New Atlas in 2002. Now he writes and thinks.