Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., announced today that it would begin construction of an 8.1-kilometer high-speed circuit at its Hokkaido Proving Ground in Rikubetsu, Hokkaido. The addition of the new high-speed circuit will create Nissan's longest test-track facility in the world.

The new circuit, which is modeled after a normal expressway consisting of continuous variable slopes and curves, will be completed in August 2006. It will enable Nissan to conduct comprehensive product testing, ranging from ordinary road driving to ultra high-speed driving.

The circuit will also be used to conduct research on driving behaviour, driver support systems and ITS (intelligent transport systems) technology.

The Hokkaido proving ground opened in 1991 and already possesses a 7.2-km track that emulates driving conditions on suburban roads and circuit courses in Europe. Combined with the new high-speed circuit, the proving ground will total approximately 16 km.

Nissan's two other proving grounds in Japan are located on the main island of Honshu. The Tochigi Proving Ground in Tochigi Prefecture is 6.5 km long, while the Oppama Proving Ground in Kanagawa Prefecture is 2.4 km long. Nissan's Arizona Testing Center in the U.S., its only overseas proving ground, is 9.2 km long.

Rikubetsu in Hokkaido, Japan's northern most island, is the coldest municipality in Japan. In winter, temperatures drop to minus 15 degrees centigrade, making it ideal for cold-weather vehicle testing.