Odyssey Passing through Siberia


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

FRANKFURT – Aug 13, 2013: The convoy of Mazda3s crossing the breadth of Russia on route to Frankfurt are successfully navigating the ever changing landscape of Siberia.

Participating in the 2013 Mazda3 Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger tour – an event modelled on long-distance drives held in 1977 and 1990 - it will take 30 days for the eight All-New Mazda3s to complete the seven stages across two continents, five countries and through over 30 cities. The goal is to test the All-New Mazda3’s reliability, durability and the outstanding performance of SKYACTIV Technology in some of the world’s toughest driving conditions.

Having departed Blagoveshensk, the international media contingent - involved in the event’s second stage - enjoyed the beautifully crafted All-New Mazda3s on the improving Russian roads parallel with the Chinese/Mongolian border to Skovorodino then onto Chita.

Skovorodino is a small town that the Trans-Siberian Railway passes through. With the Mazda3 convoy tracing this famous train line, the Trans-Siberian Railway is 9,289 kilometres in length, is one of the longest railway lines in the world and connects Moscow with Russia’s far east.

Experiencing terrain that was similar to that of Middle Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the weather made conditions challenging. In winter, temperatures plummet to minus 20 degrees but at this time of the year they hover in the low to mid 20s. What the convoy wasn’t expecting was driving rain that flooded roads and made the view ahead look like a wall of water.

Despite this, the All-New Mazda3’s impressive vehicle dynamics and traction control made this tough section of road almost enjoyable for the team, helping everyone get through to Chita unscathed.

After 2,324 kilometres travelled, the second stage finished in Ulan-Ude, near Lake Baikal. The All-New Mazda3s, with SKYACTIV-G 2.0 litre petrol engines, handled everything thrown at them with ease, only a single puncture in almost 4,000 kilometres of driving since leaving Vladivostok prevented (what can still be called) the perfect run.

The four day, third stage departs from Ulan-Ude, heads north-north west to Krasnoyarsk, a mere 9,541 kilometres from the end destination at the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

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