Testing a new vehicle on a private course or in a simulation can have totally different results from testing it in real road conditions. This is why Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) sent a group of experts to drive across five different continents to simulate and understand the daily experiences of customers around the world. The project is called 5 Continents Drive.
The 5 Continents Drive under Toyota Gazoo Racing started in Australia back in 2014. Since then, the group of experts has driven across North and Latin America, Europe, and Africa. This year, the team started its Asia drive in February in the Middle East and is expected to end in Japan in time for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Included in one of those stops is the Philippines.
Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) sent off the 5 Continents Drive team on November 19 at their Santa Rosa, Laguna plant. The project included 27 Toyota engineers and technical experts from TMC, TMP, Toyota Daihatsu Engineering and Manufacturing (TDEM), and Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP).
The 5 Continents 9-vehicle convoy for the Philippine drive is composed of the locally-assembled Vios and Innova, together with the Hilux, Corolla Altis Hybrid, Rush, Fortuner, and the RAV4. The convoy drove through the roads of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Tarlac, La Union, Baguio, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, and concluded at Toyota Manila Bay.
“Toyota Motor Philippines is honored to be a part of the historic 5 Continents Drive, with our very own Team Members guiding the group as local experts. They will help the 5 Continents Drive team understand not only the local road conditions, but also the country’s transportation situation, and culture,” said TMP president Satoru Suzuki during the send-off ceremony.
The results gathered from the Philippine leg of the 5 Continents Drive will be used by Toyota to build “ever-better cars”. However, don’t expect to see the results from the Philippine leg immediately with the brand’s upcoming models. Nonetheless, it’s good to know that TMC wants to improve the cars they sell locally.