Mazda has always been known for the reliable, robust quality of its vehicles. The all-new Mazda 3 is no exception. To prove just how good it is, Mazda is supplying eight of its new compact hatchbacks for a rather unconventional test drive – 15,000km direct from the factory in Hiroshima all the way to the 2013 International Motor Show in Frankfurt.
The ‘Mazda Route3 – Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger Tour 2013’ spans nine time zones, traversing Russia, the world’s largest country, before crossing Belarus and Poland. The cars will arrive in Frankfurt on 7 September, right before the IAA motor show opens its doors. A website dedicated to the tour is available at www.mazdaroute3.eu, following its progress in a trip diary with images and videos.
This is the third time Mazda models are taking part in such an extreme test drive. In 1977, German reporters drove two predecessors of the Mazda3 – Mazda 323 hatchbacks – from Japan to Frankfurt. The expedition was followed up successfully in 1990, this time in four Mazda 626s crossing the Former Soviet Union. Now the stage is set for the most advanced Mazda compact ever to follow in their tracks.
After crossing the Sea of Japan by ship, the main overland portion of the Mazda Route3 endurance test drive begins in Vladivostok, Russia’s main Pacific port, in early August. Averaging just over 2,100km, the seven ensuing legs of the tour will take between three and six days each to cover. Needless to say, they should provide ample opportunity for those behind the wheel – journalists, bloggers and Mazda enthusiasts from various parts of the world – to become acquainted with the new Mazda 3 under a variety of conditions. There will also be several chances along the way to experience different cultures and customs.
All test cars will have a 120 PS SKYACTIV-G petrol engine under the bonnet together with a smooth, crisp six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission. And the fun won’t stop after arrival in Frankfurt, where a variety of activities will be offered for IAA visitors at a special outdoor exhibition area during the motor show’s premiere of Mazda’s new compact.