NEWS: Mazda gets naming rights to Hakone Turnpike

Mazda Hakone Turnpike

Mazda sure knows how to pick ’em. In the US, Mazda PR reps never let us forget that the full name for the famous corkscrew-having NorCal circuit is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. On August 1 in Japan, they’ll be the official sponsors of the Hakone Turnpike, a road leading to one of the birthplaces of drifting. 

Hino Contessa Hakone Turnpike 1975Groundbreaking for the road began in 1962 and for most of its life it was known simply as the Hakone Turnpike. It took the pioneers of drifting from the hubbub of civilization to remote mountain passes along Lake Ashi, the legendary winding touge where drifting began.

It’s known for its breathtaking views of Mt Fuji and Sagami Bay, but just google 箱根ターンパイク and you’ll find as many images of tricked out Japanese sports cars as you will of the road itself.

Nissan Skyline Hakone TurnpikeIn 2007, Toyo Tires got the naming rights and even built an observation deck rest area at the top. That partnership has run out, leaving Mazda to fill the void.

Mazda’s always been known as the sporty marque, so next time you’re driving your Miata or RX-7, you can imagine yourself heading to Hakone.

Images: Mazda, Nissan, HinoSamurai

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6 Responses to NEWS: Mazda gets naming rights to Hakone Turnpike

  1. cesariojpn says:

    So does this affect the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune Game Series?

    • Angelo says:

      I think it will still be the same… As Mazda is also in the game…

      Now, let’s see what this combination will be…

  2. Nigel says:

    Rx-8 Hakone edition.

    (All my Wangan Midnight play cards are too old).

  3. Michael McDonald says:

    I remember driving the old Hakone road in 1962 in my 1955 Chevy Bel Air 2 door sedan with 3 speed manual transmission! What an improvement this highway is! The alternative was to go to the Kamakura station and switch to the “local” narrow gauge train. It made several switchbacks, changing the overhead electric pickup at the halfway point to accomodate differeng current/voltages. It was areally unique voyage 50 years ago!

  4. Randy says:

    So what is it that I google? The article text is just boxes there, and clicking on it just gives me g’s default page…

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