All-new Mazda3 is bound for a 15,000km test drive through Russia and Europe

 2013 Mazda3 hatchback_5 The recently announced all-new Mazda3 is slated for a fairly long test run from Mazda Japan headquarters in Hiroshima to the Frankfurt International Motor show in early August.

Eight new Mazda3 hatchbacks were allocated for the rather unconventional test drive – 15,000km direct from Hiroshima to the 2013 IAA (International Motor Show) in Frankfurt, slated for 7 September onwards.

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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 opens its doors.

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.

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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 to become acquainted with the new Mazda3 under a variety of conditions.

2013 Mazda3 hatchback

All test cars will have a 120 PS SKYACTIV-G 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 trade fair premiere of Mazda’s new compact.

Stay tuned to for the Mazda3 EU route progress report…

Edited/Images: Mazda Europe

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