Exotic Odyssey: The Ferrari Panamerican 20,000

Spurred by the success of last year's Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles, which saw two 612 Scagliettis driven 15,000 miles through China by international journalists, Ferrari is gearing up for a new odyssey that kicks off on August 24th.

The Ferrari Panamerican 20,000 will once again put journalists behind the wheel as they drive a pair of 599 GTB Fioranos from Brazil through South and Central America, and then across the United States and Canada to New York City, where the road trip will finally come to an end on November 17th. The 84-day tour will be broken up into 15 stages, which will see the cars challenged by diverse conditions such as simple dirt roads, rain forests, salt plains, and high-altitude runs through the Andes.

The specially-liveried cars will be chased by a support team made up of 3 Fiats (Alfas in Mexico) and 3 Iveco trucks. As was the case with the 15,000 Red Miles, you'll be able to follow the tour's progress at the marque's official website, FerrariWorld.com.

(Additional photos, comprehensive press release after the jump)

[Source: Ferrari]

Ferrari Panamerican 20,000 Ferrari Panamerican 20,000 Ferrari Panamerican 20,000


The Ferrari Panamerican 20,000

A spectacular new challenge to complete the launch of the most powerful Ferrari ever, the 599 GTB Fiorano.

Maranello, July 20 th, 2006 – After the enormous success of last year's "Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles" tour of China by two 612 Scagliettis driven by a team of international journalists, Ferrari is delighted to announce another tough challenge for this year, the Panamerican 20,000.

On August 24th, two gleaming examples of the Prancing Horse's just launched 12-cylinder model, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, will begin a long journey from Brazil that will take them through 16 countries and across 20,000 miles (32,000 km) to New York where they are scheduled to arrive on November 17th. A total of 50 different international journalists, each one representing the most important publications from all over the world, will take turns behind the wheels of the two sports cars, during the 15-stage, 84-day tour.

Every Ferrari naturally conjures up images of the track and motor racing at its finest. As the most powerful production model ever to be built at Maranello, it is easy to imagine the 599 GTB Fiorano going through its paces on the world's circuits. Uniquely, however, not one but two of this stunning new model are about to embark on an adventure that will take them to the precarious mountain roads of the Andes and the dirt tracks of Central America, along a route so tough that they really will experience the same conditions as the very earliest racing cars.

A new challenge that really will put the cars and their reliability to the test in no uncertain terms.

This is far from Ferrari's first foray into this kind of adventure, however. To celebrate the marque's 50th anniversary in 1997, a F355 embarked on a massive world tour over five continents with 147 journalists taking turns at its wheel as it passed through their various nations. The "World Tour", as it was known, was designed not only to communicate how strong the company was but also the reliability of the F355, a model that would prove of enormous strategic value in Ferrari's development. The "World Tour" proved an extraordinary success and the car arrived back at the very spot in New York from where it had started on March 18th, after a massive 75 days on the road.

The latest and most spectacular Prancing Horse road trip was, of course, last year's "Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles" tour. This was a feat never before achieved by any other car manufacturer: a 24,000-kilometre dash right across China in two virtually unmodified production 612 Scagliettis. This time 51 Chinese and international journalists drove the cars from the start line in Beijing all the way to the finish in Shanghai over 45 days. En route the cars visited 37 different cities and climbed to an altitude of 5,231 metres in the mountain passes of Tibet.

The Panamerican 20,000 will be divided into 15 stages over 84 days and will take the two Ferrari 599 GTB Fioranos through 16 different countries. The route will also wind its way through the most famous areas of Pre-Columbian and Native American historical interest. They will visit the Foz do Iguazu falls on the Argentinean-Paraguayan border having first stopped off at the beaches of Rio de Janeiro and Saõ Paulo and then crossed the tropical rain forests around Curitiba. After the Falls, they will drive through the Argentinean pampas before powering up through salt plains of Chile and Bolivia. From there they will make their way along dirt roads to La Paz and through the spectacular countryside around Lake Titicaca, which, at 4,000 metres, is the world's highest lake. The 599 GTB Fiorano's entry into Peru will be the first contact with the Inca civilisation: the sacred valley of Cuzco, the peaks that guard Macchu Picchu and the mysterious lines of Nazca. But then it's on to Lima and back to sea level again. From there the Tour makes its way past the towering volcanoes and deserts of Ecuador to get to Colombia. Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala will make up the tropical South American leg of the Tour and will also provide the first encounters with the vestiges of the Mayan civilisation. One of the most magical views on the entire American continent, the ruins of Palenque, will greet the Tour which, after it passes through Mexico City, will make its way up into the United States via Baja California. The American leg of the Tour will take the cars all the way from Los Angeles to Houston taking in Monument Valley en route, before they drive on to Miami and then Washington.

After that they continue on to Chicago and Toronto (Canada) before finally making their way to the finish line in New York.

The Panamerican 20,000 will be receiving invaluable assistance from the various Italian diplomatic services in the states it passes through, particularly with regard to security and customs issues. Its partners on the Tour will be some of the Prancing Horse's most loyal sponsors: Shell (V Power, Helix and Q, fuel and lubricants), Alcoa (technical partner and manufacturer of the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano's aluminum chassis), Case IH (a Fiat-owned company, worldwide leader in the production of agricultural machinery) Pirelli (supplier of specialist tyres for the different terrains being covered), the Fiat Group (support vehicles), Puma (clothing), Saima Avandero (transport of cars and spare parts), Buonitalia (a company working to promote Italian products worldwide).

Assistance and spares will be provided by six support vehicles: three Fiat cars which will be replaced by three Alfa Romeos in Mexico, and three specially equipped Iveco trucks. As the Tour's technical partner, Shell will be providing a specially equipped vehicle and its own team of technicians for the entire duration of the Tour.

Around 50 journalists from across the world will take turns behind the wheels of the two Ferraris.

In addition to the journalists, an official photographer and a video cameraperson, a technical assistance and logistics team will accompany the Tour along its entire route.

The www.ferrariworld.com and www.media.ferrari.com websites will feature regularly updated news and high definition photographs from the Tour.

The Tour begins from Fiat's Brazilian headquarters at Belo Horizonte and will visit the main Case IH plants at Curitiba (BR), Racine and New Holland (USA), and the Iveco facility at Sete Lagoas (BR) to pay homage to these important members of the Fiat Group.

The route and main stages

The Panamerican 20,000 route is divided into 15 stages. The stages also correspond to the changeover points for the various teams of journalists taking part. The Tour gets underway on August 24th from Belo Horizonte and six days later the cars will make their way into Foz do Iguazu 2,000 km away.

From there they head west to Argentina and onto San Pedro de Atacama in Chile which they will reach after five days and 1,800 km of driving through pampas and the first of the salt plains.

This is where the toughest part of the tour begins and will see the cars climb to altitudes of more than 4,000 metres in the Andes. They will head north setting a course for La Paz in Bolivia which they reach on September 7th after four more days on the road and having added another 1,100 km to their mileage as they zoom down the dirt roads through the salt plains.

After 1,700 km and 6 more days on the road, the cars will drive into Lima where they will encounter the vestiges of the ancient Inca civilisation.

The next four stages to Mexico will take them through spectacular landscapes en route to Quito, Pasto, Cartagena, Panama, Managua on an 8,000 km, 18-day dash.

The two Mexican stages, which start from Palenque on October 13th, traverse the lands of the Aztecs and the Mayans as well as Baja California. It will take 10 days to cover this 4,500 km distance.

From Las Vegas, the Tour turns east, calling to Houston and also making its way through Monument Valley and Dallas, before arriving into Miami on November 3rd. This 6,000 km stretch will take 9 days to complete.

At this point, the Tour will move north to Washington before arriving into New York on November 17th having first called to Chicago and Toronto. A 5,000 km dash that will take 11 days in all.

The cars

The two specially-liveried 599 GTB Fioranos (one a Tour de France blue and the other a Rossa Corsa red) will only be very slightly modified to help them cope with terrain in the toughest parts of the route.

They will each be fitted with a special underbody protector made from 4 mm thick duralumin rather than plastic and their suspension set-up will be slightly higher to cope with the difficult road conditions. Apart from this, however, they will be regular production models powered by a 620 hp 65° V12 engine which delivers 62 kgm of maximum torque at 5,600 rpm. Both cars will be equipped also with the electro-actuated six-speed F1 gearbox and transaxle transmission.

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano

The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is the highest performance 12-cylinder berlinetta ever produced at Maranello.

The new model boasts the most innovative and technologically advanced features ever to be used by Ferrari in a mid-front engined two-seater, setting a whole new standard in terms of sportiness, design and exhilarating driving. The Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano delivers absolutely stunning performance, putting it right at the very top of its category. In fact, its 5,999 cc V12 engine is directly derived from the one that equipped the "Enzo Ferrari" supercar. It punches out a breathtaking 620 hp at 7,600 rpm, giving the new model a weight-power ratio of 2.6 kg/hp. Both the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano's chassis and bodyshell are all-aluminum and the most accomplished example of Ferrari's already well-honed skills in this area. Thanks to an inimitable Pininfarina design, the Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano's aggressive, elegant styling incorporates cutting-edge aerodynamics to ensure nothing short of absolute excellence in terms of performance. The new car replaces the 575M Maranello of which, like the 550 Maranello unveiled in 1996, 5,700 were produced, a record in their segment for the Prancing Horse.

From the legendary 250 GT to the 275 GTB, the 365 GTB4 and the 575M Maranello, the powerful 12-cylinder two-seater has always been the most symbolic of Ferrari's stunning sports cars, and the new Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano is a powerful addition to that list of illustrious names.

Ferrari on the American continent

With around 1,150 cars sold there each year, the North American market accounts for 30% of Ferrari's output and is thus its largest single market worldwide. Within North America, the largest market is California which accounts for 27% of sales in the US. This is followed by the North East (16%), Florida (11%), Texas (7%) and Chicago (6%).

Two new dealerships (one in Silicon Valley, California, and the other in Las Vegas) were added to the Ferrari dealership network in North America in 2005, bringing the total up to 36 (32 in the US and 4 in Canada). However, our existing distributors have also made significant investments in recent years in upgrading their facilities and processes. In 2004, Ferrari North America opened a showroom at 410 Park Avenue in New York to showcase its extraordinary cars at one of America's most prestigious locations.

In January 2006, Ferrari North America also took over responsibility for Central and South America to enhance and consolidate the Prancing Horse's presence there. The main markets involved are Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Venezuela which offer a total of 12 dealerships in all. This consolidation will also boost the distribution network and increase customer satisfaction.

Ferrari North America Inc., which has its headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey and is headed by CEO and President Maurizio Parlato, is now in its fourth year at the helm of Ferrari's largest market worldwide. Ferrari North America is the only authorised Ferrari importer and distributor in North, Central and South America. It is responsible for all of the marque's organisational and operational activities in the United States and Canada, including technical training and spares assistance. Ferrari North America also has one dealership on the West Coast, in San Francisco.

The sponsors

Shell. Long-time Ferrari partner Shell is behind the 599 GTB Fioranos every mile of the Ferrari Panamerican 20,000 in a very visible demonstration of the close technical partnership between Shell and Ferrari already familiar to Formula 1 fans world-wide.

Shell is providing important technical support and a suite of performance fuel and lubricant products to support the marathon journey. Shell fuel stations along the route will play a critical role in keeping the Ferrari 599 GTBs supplied with Shell V-Power fuel and celebrating the passing of the Ferrari Panamerican with special events and promotions. A Shell technical support team will accompany the cars from the start in Brazil to the finish in New York. Reflecting Ferrari's uncompromising approach to performance, the Prancing Horse uses Shell V-Power fuel and Shell Helix lubricant products, including Q (USA), exclusively both in Formula 1 and in its GT cars, such as the new 599 GTB Fiorano.

Alcoa. Ferrari's strategic partner for the creation of advanced aluminum spaceframe technology. The companies began working together in the 1990s and have collaborated on four successful generations of spaceframes for Ferrari's Gran Turismo vehicles, beginning with the 360 Modena. Alcoa currently builds aluminum spaceframes for the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, F430 and 599 GTB Fiorano in Modena. Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and aluminum products. The company supplies all key sectors of the aluminum industry, including aerospace, automobile, packaging, building and construction and commercial transportation. Alcoa is present in 44 countries and employs a workforce of more than 130,000 people.

Fiat Group. Founded in 1899, Fiat is an industrial enterprise focused on the automotive sector, serving customers in more than 190 countries around the world with an annual turnover of about 47 billion euro. With some 170,000 employees in 120 R&D centres and 189 plants worldwide, the Fiat Group is a global leader in the production of passenger cars (Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo), agricultural and construction equipment (CNH Case New Holland), industrial vehicles (Iveco), production systems (Comau and Teksid) and automotive components (Magneti Marelli). Fiat Group is present in the American continent through 120 companies (80 in North America and 40 in Mercosur) with revenues of over € 10 billion in 2005. It employs 41,700 people in 48 plants and 27 R&D centres. One of the pioneer companies in the automobile industry, Fiat Auto has produced more than 87 million passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, including no less than 400 models. Fiat Auto operates world-wide with the following brands: Fiat, celebrated for value, economy, and innovation and whose mass produced cars and light commercial vehicles are distributed over almost the entire price class spectrum; Lancia means prestige cars noted for their elegant styling, and comfort; Alfa Romeo is famous as a maker of sport and luxury vehicles of style and distinction.

Case IH. A global leader in agricultural equipment. With headquarters in the United States, Case IH has a network of dealers and distributors that operates in over 160 countries. Case IH provides agricultural equipment systems, flexible financial service offerings and parts and service support for professional farming operations through a dedicated network of professional dealers and distributors. Productivity enhancing products include tractors; combines and harvesters; hay and forage equipment; tillage tools; planting and seeding systems; sprayers and applicators; and site specific farming tools.

Iveco. Full-range manufacturer of commercial vehicles for transport of goods and passengers, that offers operators a thorough offer of innovative products integrated with financial tools as well as flexible and customised services. Iveco runs 49 production units in 19 countries giving priority to exploitation of talents and resources in emerging areas. More than 4,500 service outlets in over 100 Countries guarantee technical support wherever in the world an Iveco vehicle is at work.

Pirelli. A group with a long history stretching back over 130 years. The work done by Pirelli Labs in photonics, broadband access and new materials fields as well as its MIRS (Modular Integrated Robotized System) for tyre manufacture are just two examples of the Group's technological excellence in action. Pirelli Tyre has 24 tyre factories in 12 countries and is one of the world's foremost high performance tyre companies.

Puma. A global athletic brand that successfully fuses influences from sport, lifestyle and fashion. Puma's unique industry perspective delivers the unexpected in sport lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories, through technical innovation and revolutionary design. Established in Herzogenaurach, Germany in 1948, Puma distributes athletic footwear, apparel and accessories in over 80 countries worldwide. It is also Official Supplier for the Scuderia Ferrari.

Saima Avandero. A leading Italian group in the international transportation and courier sector. It has turned logistics, transportation and assistance network organisation into an art form. The company manages all aspects of product logistics for its clients (strategic management of collection, warehousing and distribution) and also offers the back-up of an avant-garde computerised and robotic industrial set-up.

Buonitalia S.p.A. An Italian company established by the Ministry for Agricultural and Forestry Policies in July 2003 to promote, market and raise the profile of the Italian food industry worldwide. Buonitalia aims are to promote, enhance and raise the profile of Italy's agricultural and food heritage throughout the world by coordinating State promotional policies, provide services to agricultural and food companies to help them market Italian food products internationally, protect Italian products by ensuring the international registration and legal protection of the brands associated with original Italian products.

All photos courtesy of Ferrari

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