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Anglesea Testing Facility Press Kit



Toyota has opened Australia's most advanced passenger car testing facility.

The $2 million facility at Anglesea, Victoria was officially opened today by local member of parliament for Polwarth, Terry Mulder, MLA, accompanied by Toyota Motor Corporation director, Mr Kazuo Okamoto.

The Toyota Australia testing facility is part of the Linfox Transport Group-owned track.

Toyota will test its vehicles at several purpose-built Toyota-only areas including a specialised noise and vibrations track.

It will also exclusively use a separate ride and handling track, purpose-built to replicate inner city and country Australian road surfaces.

Toyota Australia has traditionally developed its cars in Australia on public roads, at motor racing circuits and on suburban streets.

The continual upgrading of roads means it has became difficult to find a repeatable environment in which to conduct ride and handling testing. Toyota executive vice-president and director of engineering Ray Brown said the facility was part of Toyota's planned Australian investment in R&D facilities, plant expansion and new model development.

Both locally manufactured and imported vehicles will be tested at the Anglesea testing facility to fine tune them for the Australian environment.

Toyota Motor Corporation internationally regards the Australian outback as the ultimate testing ground for many vehicle criteria.

~Due to conditions here the dust ingress testing in Australia for instance carries solutions across to the world market,~ Mr Brown said.

The Toyota noise and vibration testing facility at Anglesea consists of over a kilometre of straight, two-lane roadway.

Each lane consists of different surface finishes of rough and smooth asphalt.

The track will be used to pinpoint wind noise, road noise, engine noise and road input noise in vehicles.

The Ride and Handling track incorporates a number of different typical sections of road from around Victoria and New South Wales in a circuit track nearly four kilometres in length.

~Suspension development and tuning, steering system tuning and tyre testing will all be carried out in this facility,~ Mr Brown said.

~The evaluation of locally supplied parts - from mirrors, door seals and insulation through to internal componentry and tyres - is vital for both locally manufactured and completely built-up Toyota vehicles,~ he said.

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Toyota Australia called for innovative construction techniques to build pavements designed to deliver poor ride quality at its new Anglesea vehicle road testing course.

~We have deliberately created roads with poor ride quality to target phenomena such as rough road stability, transient and steady state cornering stability,~ said Toyota vehicle evaluation and engineering manager Robert Allen.

~Steering feel, general ride comfort, ride harshness and compliance will all be put under the microscope at Anglesea,~ he said.

~All our vehicles will be analysed for chassis directness, vehicle movement and flat ride.~

~We began preliminary data collection two years before the construction of the track to create an environment that would provide the most accurate and economical way to test for each of these phenomena,~ Mr Allen said.

The main straight has many features that duplicate typical road conditions, including a pot hole and pit lid (subsided sealing over drains) section.

Potholes of specific shapes and sizes duplicate the state of a deteriorating road.

A concrete roadway section with standard construction joints duplicates a section of road constructed in concrete near the older suburbs of Melbourne.

The main track provides two rail crossing simulations and a 20-metre length of tram track.

A 100 metre section of bluestone paving was recreated using a ~stamped~ section of concrete pavement.

Contractors created a detailed concrete mould to give the accurate texture to ensure the pavement had the correct impact effect on vehicle suspension systems.

An exact replica of a section of road currently used for testing by Toyota was copied exactly to provide a 200m length of road for evaluation as part of the facility.

Concrete panels were poured over the existing trafficked road and were then used as moulds to create useable panels for construction at Anglesea.

These structurally self-supporting panels were then placed in a specific order as a road pavement.

The track also includes two lanes designed to duplicate two different sections of deteriorated and rough sealed road, replicating typical roads in outer Melbourne.

One of the major features of the ride and handling track is the banked turn which is almost 240 metres long and over seven metres high.

The banked turn has an extremely steep batter of about 1:1.8 with a 48 metre radius to let the test vehicles cross at speed onto the three-lane main straight.

The noise and vibrations test track facility is over one kilometre of straight two-lane roadway.

One lane has a smooth hotmix bitumen surface, the other a 14mm coarse chip bitumen surface.

These represent the two most typical highway surfaces used on Australian roads.

~Due to the dry conditions and vast expanse of Australia's highways it is one of the only places in the world where coarse chip bitumen is used to permanently surface highways,~ Robert Allen said.

~Such surfaces produce a high level of cabin noise and vibrations for which we use an accelerometer or a sound level meter to measure frequencies in order to fine tune the vehicles for these local conditions.~

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Toyota Australia's environmentally-friendly Anglesea vehicle testing facility has won the Victorian award at the 1999 Case Earth Awards.

JA Dodd (Contractors) Pty Ltd used carefully devised environmental site procedures to promote waste minimisation, water recycling and dust suppression.

The company won the coveted construction award category for projects between $1 million and $10 million.

The Case Earth Awards focus on civil construction projects that alleviate existing environmental problems, and on projects that have been managed in a unique way because of the environment in which they have been undertaken.

JA Dodd (Contractors) director Phil Gardiner said protecting the existing environment at Anglesea was a priority during the almost seven month construction period.

~Our project team was required to work within a strict set of regulations and safety instructions that apply to the Anglesea Complex Proving ground,~ he said.

~We implemented a waste minimisation procedure to ensure that minimal amounts of imported pavement products were left on the site.

~We placed all construction and general waste in bins for recycling where possible,~ Mr Gardiner said.

All fill material was sourced on site.

Where extra fill was required, a new dam was created and stocked with native fish.

All plant equipment had fire-fighting equipment attached in the event of sparks igniting a flame and rapidly spreading through the undergrowth.

The site had to be self-sufficient in power and fuel and comply with strict regulations for generators and fuel storage.

Dust created by the construction was strictly controlled to protect local flora and fauna.

Vehicle speeds were restricted and construction vehicles allowed to operate only on defined routes to protect native wildlife.

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Toyota Australia has selected the best elements of purpose-built test tracks and public roads around Australia to create a compressed state-of-the-art road testing facility at Anglesea.

~We have deliberately designed a condensed testing facility where the focus is on quick laps and repeatable results,~ said Toyota Australia vehicle evaluation and engineering manager Robert Allen.

~Testing in a condensed environment means our time on the track is significantly reduced,~ he said. ~When localising materials for a vehicle, we match and then change the flavour of a part to suit Australian conditions.

~Ten differently calibrated shock absorbers can be narrowed down to two or three in much less time on a compressed test circuit that would otherwise be the case.

~This means we are moving the vehicles through to the next stage of confirmation and public road testing much faster,~ Mr Allen said.

Mr Allen said Toyota Australia's vehicle evaluators and engineers required only a small portion of certain surfaces for road testing because they knew exactly the road conditions they required.

Toyota Australia's Vehicle Evaluation and Engineering department is part of a global network.

Its worldwide vehicle evaluation and engineering sister departments share testing facilities.

~In the middle of winter in America they may have a requirement to test a vehicle for a hot climate, and we can supply that, ~ Mr Allen said.

Toyota Australia's top gun test drivers play an integral part in its world testing regime.

Graeme Gambold from Toyota Australia's Vehicle Evaluation and Engineering department forms part of the corporation's globally-accredited test driver team.

He recently undertook advanced vehicle dynamics training at Nurburgring test track in Germany.

Mr Gambold topped his class against European and American colleagues contesting the Toyota-accredited test driver course on the 22km Nordschliefe course.

Mr Gambold gained the highest rating (100 per cent) at the Toyota-accredited test driver course on the 22km Nordschleife test course.

Toyota is a member of the Nurburgring Industry Pool and regularly uses the Nordschleife for prototype and product testing.

In Japan Toyota tests its vehicles at many courses including its own Shibetsu and Higashi Proving Ground.

Shibetsu replicates roads from around the world and features a high speed braking testing, cornering and Autobahn simulation.

The Honsha test track in Japan is used for initial evaluation of prototypes and the Higashi Fuji track for ride and handling, braking and exhaust emissions testing.

The Australian test track complements the other Toyota world facilities by providing special Australian road conditions.

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