Mazda conducted an orientation for the press in Hiroshima on September 19, prior to the Miyoshi Proving Ground 50th Anniversary Mazda Fan Meeting that will be held in Miyoshi Proving Ground in Hiroshima on September 20. A presentation regarding Mazda’s history and an overview of the Mazda Proving Ground was conducted in this event.
Mazda has four proving grounds all over Japan. Those proving grounds are located in Mine, Yamaguchi; Nakasatsunai, Hokkaido; Kenbuchi; and Miyoshi, Hiroshima.
The Miyoshi Proving Ground was established in 1965 for the manufacturing and development of the Cosmo Sport. Inside its rice ball-shaped test course (4.3km wide), it comprises special testing roads and sloping roads (about 33 to 12% of it), and it also has 14 facilities such as the steering test road, endurance test road, a large building for wind tunnel testing, a large building for electromagnetic wave testing and the like.
The high speed road that they used for the Cosmo Sport and even the Roadster was designed with a 45 degree high slope, and the highest speed may be around 200km/h. By 1985, the proving ground was made more complex as it was added with road surfaces resembling 19 main roads from all over the world such as Belgian block roads, European motorways and the All American Freeway and the like.
“We really had to make those roads similar to that of other countries using local stones, so we gathered stones from the local area and built a course out of them,” said Mazda Vehicle Development Headquarters General Manager Tomohiro Tomita during the orientation. “Drivers train at the ‘top gun’ test course in Miyoshi where you can drive for over 200km/h,” he added.
On this day, the press crew was supposed to travel from Hiroshima Airport passing through the Sanyo Expressway route by bus. However, due to the traffic congestion caused by an accident, they had to pass through the seaward side of Kure as an alternate route. When we were on the way to Hiroshima Highway Route 3, we got to see the Mazda Factory and the new cars for shipment. One Mazda staff stated, “This may also mean something.”
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)