The Kenbuchi Proving Ground is one of Mazda’s four proving grounds in Japan. They conduct various test driving sessions in Kenbuchi, Hokkaido, a place that has heavy snowfall during winter, such as for AWD performance, DSC performance, ABS performance, snow damage, cooling performance, heating performance and the like, mainly to test responsiveness in cold regions and season.
The winter test driving sessions in Kenbuchi began in 1985, but it was not available for the press before. This is the first time for the press to enter the Kenbuchi Proving Ground.
There are various courses in the proving ground, and they can also experience various test driving sessions in snowy conditions, such as high speed slopes, mountain roads, turning area, melted snow area and the like.
Only a part of the proving ground is owned by Mazda, as they can only rent a greater area of Kenbuchi during winter in order to conduct test driving sessions. They can rent the area from November up to March every year. The actual test driving sessions will start in January and they have to finish the test driving session by the end of February.
When it is not used for test driving sessions, a part of the test course can be used as a public woodland path and any vehicle can pass through that path.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)