It was not just long drive and spec sheet reading: it was more of immersion.
Mazda Philippines invited selected members of the media to showcase their latest offering, the all-new Mazda 3 — on and off the track.
A relatively small fleet of Mazda3 models — variants of the Sportback and Sedan — went on up north to see how these pocket-rockets can be enjoyed either being driven or even just standing still.
The program, which known professional race car drivers Georges, Louie and Stefan Ramirez of Ramirez and Cutter have devised, made every participant appreciate the capabilities of the all-new Mazda 3.
The first stop of the three-day, two-night trip was at Clark International Speedway (CIS). Before the run at the tracks, Mazda Motor Corporation program manager Koichiro Yamaguchi and Chungkeat Khoo, Mazda ASEAN business office brand and sales promotion, discussed the intricate details that has vastly helped the all-new Mazda 3 achieve its evolved form. The two discussed the interior and exterior design of both the Sportback and sedan body designs for the Mazda 3.
After the classroom part of the program, media participants took turns on the exercises on the track to better understand its capabilities. Part of the exercises was to see how the Mazda 3 takes up the twists and turns on the track and how the overall engineering of the vehicle makes it a perfect weapon of choice, even at controlled environments like the CIS.
George made everyone realize that the all-new Mazda 3 refused to go with the centripetal and centrifugal force of nature when taking turns. Thanks to its G-vectoring plus system. The vehicle on showcase does not dive down, even when hard braking was made, unlike the Japanese competitor that organizers used in the program. Curves were easier to attack and split-second mistakes were easily corrected to the overall drive which helps keep the revs at a constant range. Talking about range, day two was about taking the mountain ranges of Baguio-Benguet to see how it stands to some of the toughest challenges on Philippine roads.
Media participants drove some 185 kilometers more going to Baguio to further experience the Jinba Ittai (Japanese term for horse and rider as one).
During our transit to the next venue via Asin Road, scorching heat as well as heavy rains and strong winds pummeled the convoy, but the Mazda 3 still stood proud.
After the five-hour trip en-route to The Manor at Camp John Hay, Yamaguchi and Khoo further explained other concerns to the media participants.
All in all, the three-day road trip proved that the premium pricing for the Mazda3 would still be worth it — after learning all the capabilities and packaging that it entails.