Japanese automaker Mazda will send eight of its all-new Mazda 3 sedan in a 15,000-kilometer test drive that will cover the distance from Hiroshima, Japan to Frankfurt, Germany. Named “Mazda Route3 – Hiroshima to Frankfurt Challenger Tour 2013,” the tour will pass nine time zones, five countries in two continents. The cars will be driven by journalists, bloggers, and Mazda dealers. They aim to arrive in Frankfurt on September 7, three days before the German motor show begins.

The tour will be divided into seven legs, each taking between three to six days to cover. This challenge should test the capabilities of the new car while allowing the drivers to become familiar with its features under a variety of conditions.

The Mazda 3 hatchback test cars will be powered by a 120ps SKYACTIV-G petrol engine with a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission. Vehicle aesthetic and comfort is also improved: “KODO – Soul of Motion” exterior design, advanced lightweight SKYACTIV technology, and a redesigned cabin space.

This will be the third time that Mazda participates in such test drive following those in 1977 and 1990. Mazda fans can follow the milestones of the tour at www.mazda.co.uk/mazdaroute3.