Mazda3 steel tested with extreme 9,300mile Japan-to-Germany endurance challenge
By Kyle Linsay
Monday, July 22, 2013 - 11:00
TREK: Mazda3 will travel 9,300miles
Mazda are sending eight new Mazda3 hatchbacks on an unconventional test drive – travelling more than 9,300miles from their Hiroshima manufacturing plant to Frankfurt.
Traversing Russia, Belarus and Poland, the ‘Mazda Route3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger Tour 2013’ will see the convoy arrive in Germany on Saturday, September 7.
The destination will be reached three days before the Frankfurt Motor Show opens its doors.
Across nine time zones, five countries and two continents, the journey will see members of British media and UK Mazda dealers drive three legs.
After taking a ferry across the Sea of Japan, the main overland portion of the endurance test drive begins in Vladivostok, Russia, on August 3.
British media and UK Mazda dealers will be among the first to pilot the Mazda3 fleet when travelling the three legs from Vladivostok to Krasnoyars, via Blagoveshensk and Ulan-Ude.
Averaging just over 1,300 miles, the seven ensuing legs of the tour will take between three and six days each to cover.
All the Mazda3 hatchback test cars will be powered by a 120ps SKYACTIV-G petrol engine mated to a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission.
This will be the third time that Mazda models have taken 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, when four Mazda 626s crossed the former Soviet Union.