Mazda is a company who is always known for fun to drive cars, garnering the label “the poor man’s BMW”, and why wouldn’t they? Mazda is the only mainstream car company we know that has an entire line-up of fun-to-drive, sporty cars. Maybe except for their black sheep, the BT-50 pick-up truck which shares the same construction with the Ford Ranger. Now, they want to showcase 人馬一体 jinba ittai which is horse and rider as one, or in this case, car and driver as one, through a test drive event open to the public.
This is not your ordinary test drive, though. The Jinba Ittai academy is more than a drive around a measly road around a perimeter of a mall. The open parking lot at 9th Avenue, corner 38th Street, is a mini autocross course, designed for customers to fully exploit the entire Mazda line-up except for the MX-5.
The media day last night highlighted the Mazda philosophy of Jinba Ittai clearly. Their cars were never meant as appliances. These are more than that. The Jinba Ittai philosophy brings a relationship, a bond between the car and the driver, that you wouldn’t find in a boring to drive car. Mazdas are for those who enjoy driving, and clearly, their cars are not appliances that you simply just set and forget. It is an instrument that you control in harmony, with every stroke you make forming a bond between the artist and the instrument. You simply have to read our reviews as proof of that.
The jinba ittai experience begins with the driving position, since this is where drivers communicate all their intents to the car. We at Go Flat Out like Mazda’s driving positions. They’re always spot on, and provide a low, cockpit-like environment where everything is focused towards the driver in a user friendly and ergonomic manner.
Mazda Japan-trained Jinba Ittai instructors have thorough knowledge about each vehicle’s characteristics, meaning customers, even those who are novice drivers, are sure to be in good hands. On site is ten-time Philippine National Rally Champion, Vip Isada, and his crew of driving instructors.
“The Jinba Ittai Academy is designed to educate the customers to the philosophy behind all of Mazda’s development.” Says Steven Tan, CEO of Berjaya Auto Philippines. “We’ve done the Zoom-Zoom Academy before, but the Jinba Ittai Academy is the first of its kind.”
The Jinba Ittai Academy was also an opportunity for Mazda Philippines to low key launch their 2018 CX-3, and what’s new you may ask? Well, Mazda’s new steering wheel design that debuted in the all-new, second generation CX-5 is now in the CX-3, and the most important aspect is the addition of G-Vectoring Control, Mazda’s latest torque vectoring technology for more driving thrills and safer car control. Prices for the CX-3 are unchanged.
If you want to experience this yourself, visit the open parking lot at 9th Avenue, corner 38th Street at Bonifacio Global City, which is near The Palace and Uptown BGC. The even is open today until November 26, 2017, and is operational from 9 am to 10 pm.