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Ferrari Heads To India



22nd February, 2008

Ferrari Heads To India

Ferrari has announced the start of a new Prancing Horse adventure, the Magic India Discovery Tour, which gets underway from Mumbai on 25th February and returns to the same city on 8th May having covered a route stretching more than 11,000 kilometres. The car involved in this tour is the 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari’s flagship GT model. Two of these berlinettas will embark on the drive which comes in the wake of the China 15,000 Red Miles tour completed in 2005 and the Panamerican 20,000 tour of 2006.

Ferrari will have a number of journalists from across the world take turns behind the wheel of a V12-powered 612 Scaglietti in the course of the 12-stage 72-day drive of discovery of the delights and richness of India. The journalists will explore this fascinating country which combines modernity and tradition. India is currently enjoying an exciting period of rapid economic growth and a boom in its advanced technologies sector yet remains rooted in the traditions of its ancient culture. This is a nation in which innovative infrastructure exists side by side with areas of completely unspoilt natural beauty.

Of course, Ferrari isn’t new to this kind of marathon drive. Its last such adventure was the Panamerican 20,000 tour during which two 599 GTB Fioranos travelled from the beaches of Brazil to the East Coast of the US, taking in tropical rain forests, arid deserts and snowy peaks as they traversed an entire continent. In 2005, Ferrari staged the spectacular Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles tour when two standard 612 Scagliettis covered a 24,000 km route through China. To mark their 50th Anniversary in 1997, a F355 completed a round the world tour that took in the five continents with no less than 147 journalists from the various nations taking turns behind the wheel.

The route and main stages

The so-called Magic India Discovery is divided into 12 stages and runs over 72 days. It starts in Mumbai at the Gateway of India, a monument celebrating the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the country. The two 612 Scagliettis will immediately head south along the stunning eight-lane motorway that is the jewel in the crown of Indian’s infrastructure. The first stage ends in the city of Goa, now a popular tourist destination once ruled by the Portuguese.

The tour continues still further south to Mysore and then Trivandrum, the southern most point of the Indian peninsula, before turning north towards Bangalore, the capital of India’s innovative technologies industry. Hyderabad and Ramosi, home to the Bollywood film industry, provide the backdrop to a stage that ends in Vizak on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The 612 Scagliettis will then drive along the east coast to the city of Kolkata (Calcutta), once the headquarters of the legendary British East India Company.

The cars’ journey along the river Ganges begins from Calcutta and runs via Varanasi, a sacred city to Hindus, and Khajuraho, a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its Hindu and Jain temples. From here, the tour makes its way to Lucknow also known as the Golden City of the East. The next stage takes the Ferraris through the Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve named in honour of the former hunter Jim Corbett.

The tour then continues on towards New Delhi, following a northerly route to the Dharamsala, home of the exiled Dalai Lama, and Amritsar, the centre of the Sikh religion. The next stage runs from the Indian capital to the city of Jaipur, taking in Agra where the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Taj Mahal, as a monument to his dead wife in 1632.

The final two legs of the tour take the cars through all of the most famous areas of Rajasthan which is home to endless palaces built by the Maharajas and also calls to Jodhpur, the final stop-off before the cars make a return to India’s industrial capital.

The Magic India Discovery will enjoy the invaluable support of the Tata Group, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services and Fiat India Pvt Ltd., amongst others.

Tata is likely to be named by Ford Motor Company, within weeks, as the buyer of the famous British marques of Jaguar and Land Rover. Fiat, majority owners of Ferrari, are keen to form a closer bond with their Indian joint venture partner, Tata, in an effort to gain knowledge from Land Rover to assist them (Fiat) gain some 4x4 knowledge.

The cars

The 612 Scaglietti is Ferrari’s top of the range model and in line with its exclusive image, Ferrari's guest drivers will be wearing colonial-style khakis and, to protect them from the blazing sun of this particularly hot season, a contemporary Pith helmet look-alike.

The two 612 Scagliettis (one red, the other white, both sporting a specially designed livery) will feature a few modifications to allow them to negotiate the more difficult tracts of the tour.

Ferrari Heads To India

The modifications involve the fitting of an underbody protector made from 4 mm duraluminium rather than plastic and a slightly higher suspension setting to deal with the tougher road surfaces. Otherwise, however, they will be straightforward production cars powered by a 540 hp 65° V12 engine. Both cars will be fitted with a six-speed F1 gearbox and transaxle transmission.

The 612 Scaglietti continues Ferrari’s tradition in the 2+2 segment. This car offers a combination of thoroughbred Ferrari berlinetta performance and comfort for four occupants. The 612 Scaglietti is the first all-aluminium 12-cylinder to be built by Ferrari. The use of aluminium for the chassis and bodywork combined with production and assembly technologies have cut overall body weight by a massive 40% and improved torsional rigidity. The 612 Scaglietti’s weight distribution (46% front and 54% rear) mean that it offers the performance of a rear-engined car yet the comfort and roominess of a front-engined model. The 612 Scaglietti is also a dynamic car to drive thanks to its CST traction and stability control system which guarantees performance in complete safety. Its 65° V12 engine represents the pinnacle of Ferrari’s engine technology too and punches out 540 hp at 7,250 rpm. Although clothed by Pininfarina, the 612 is named in honour of Sergio Scaglietti, the Modenese coachbuilder who, in the early years of Enzo Ferrari’s career, bodied some of the most beautiful cars ever to emerge from Maranello.

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