Click above to view more images of Ferrari's continent-jumping Scagliettis
You'd be well rewarded for picking a Ferrari GT car for a road-trip, but for an off-road transcontinental rally? Ferrari says "Why not?" once again with the Magic India Discovery Ferrari. The latest of the company's continent-crushing tours, the Indian event follows the China 15,000 Red Miles tour in 2005, the Panamerican 20,000 tour in 2006, and the latest 60th anniversary around-the-world relay last year.
The 12-stage event starts and ends in Mumbai, covering 7,000 miles of the subcontinent along the way, kicking off on February 25 and ending on May 8. Like the 612s in China and the 599s in the Americas, the pair of Scagliettis being driven for the event are essentially stock, receiving only a slightly raised suspension and some aluminum plates to protect the undercarriage, plus the special paint job you see in the images in our gallery below. Follow the jump to read all the details of the 72-day journey.
Ferrari Magic India Discovery: a voyage of discovery to the Indian subcontinent for two 612 Scagliettis
Having conquered China and the Americas, Ferrari embarks on a new adventure
Maranello, 21st February 2008 - Ferrari is delighted to announce the start of a new Prancing Horse adventure, the Magic India Discovery Tour, which gets underway from Mumbai on February 25th and returns to the same city on May 8th having covered a route stretching more than 11,000 kilometres. The car featured in this tour is the 612 Scaglietti, Ferrari's flagship GT model. Two of these gorgeous Prancing Horse berlinettas will embark on the voyage which comes in the wake of the China 15,000 Red Miles tour completed in 2005 and the Panamerican 20,000 tour of 2006, both of which were hugely successful. Ferrari is offering a total of 50 journalists from across the world the unique opportunity to take turns behind the wheel of a V12-powered 612 Scaglietti in the course of the 12-stage 72-day voyage 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 voyage. 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, we staged the spectacular Ferrari 15,000 Red Miles tour when two standard 612 Scagliettis covered an incredible 24,000 km route through China in what was a first for any automotive constructor anywhere in the world. To mark our 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 visited, taking turns behind the wheel.
The route and main stages
The 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 southernmost 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 man-eater 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 triumphant return to the India's industrial capital. The Magic India Discovery will enjoy the invaluable support of the Tata Group, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services, Taj Hotels, Shell, Fiat India Pvt Ltd., Alcoa, Pirelli, Saima Avandero and OMR.
Assistance and spare parts will be provided by eight support vehicles: five Tata cars, two Fiats and one specially fitted-out Iveco truck. In addition to the journalists (who will be kitted out in Ferrari khakis and colonial-style hats provided by Borsalino) driving the two 612 Scagliettis, a photographer and video camera operator, the tour will also be accompanied by a technical assistance and logistics team for its entire duration. The www.ferrariworld.com and www.media.ferrari.com websites will feature constantly updated news and high resolution images of the tour as it unfolds.
The two 612 Scagliettis (one red, the other white, both sporting a specially designed livery) will feature a few absolutely minimal modifications to allow them to negotiate the more difficult tracts of the tour.
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 entirely straightforward production cars powered by a 540 hp 65° V12 engine that delivers maximum torque of 60 kgm at 5250 rpm. Both cars will be fitted with a six-speed F1 gearbox and Transaxle transmission.
The 612 Scaglietti continues Ferrari's long tradition of excellence in the 2+2 segment. This innovative car offers the perfect combination of thoroughbred Ferrari berlinetta performance and exceptional comfort for four occupants. The 612 Scaglietti is the very first all-aluminium 12-cylinder to be built by Ferrari. The use of aluminium for the chassis and bodywork combined with sophisticated production and assembly technologies have cut overall body weight by a massive 40% and greatly improved torsional rigidity. The 612 Scaglietti's near-perfect weight distribution (46% front and 54% rear) mean that it offers the blistering performance of a rear-engined car yet the comfort and roominess of a front-engined model. The 612 Scaglietti is also a wonderfully dynamic car to drive thanks to its CST traction and stability control system which guarantees superb performance in complete safety. Its 65° V12 engine represents the pinnacle of Ferrari's engine technology too and punches out 540 hp at 7250 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 extraordinary adventure, bodied some of the most beautiful cars ever to emerge from Maranello.
Shell. The Shell Group has an extensive network of companies in over 140 countries across the globe. Its activities focus on aziende che operano in più di 140 Paesi. Le attività del gruppo sono orientate alla ricerca e produzione di gas naturali, oil, chemical derivatives, , renewable power sources, industrial trading and many other sectors besides. Shell also manages more than 45.000 petrol stations, serving over 25 million customers each and every day. For further information, visit the Shell website at www.shell.com.
Tata Group. The Tata Group is India's best-known industrial group with revenues in 2006-07 of US$ 29 billion (Rs. 129,994 crores), the equivalent of about 3.2 per cent of the country's GDP. Known for its adherence to business ethics, it is India's most respected private business group. The international revenues of the Group in 2006-07 were US$ 10.8 billion, contributing to 38% of the total Group revenues. With over 300,000 employees across 96 operating companies, it is also India's largest employer in the private sector. The Tata brand is recognised as one of the largest homegrown brand in India and the most respected brand. The Tata Group's stable of brands also includes many national and some internationally renowned product and service brands, including Tata Indica, Tata Indigo, Indigo Marina, Tata Ace, Tata Magic, Tata Winger, Tata Safari, Tata Indicom, Taj Group of Hotels (Luxury, Business and Leisure), Ginger, Tata Tea, Tetley, Tata Salt, Tata Steelium, Tata Shaktee, Tata Tiscon, Tata Bearings, Titan, Tanishq, Voltas, Westside, Star India Bazaar, Landmark and Croma. By combining ethical values with business acumen, globalisation with national interests and, core businesses with emerging ones, the Tata Group aims to be the largest and most respected global brand from India, whilst fulfilling its long-standing commitment to improving the quality of life of its stakeholders.
Tata Motors. Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of US$ 7.2 billion in 2006-07. With over 4 million Tata vehicles plying in India, it is the leader in commercial vehicles and the second largest in passenger vehicles. It is also the world's fifth largest medium and heavy truck manufacturer and the second largest heavy bus manufacturer. Tata cars, buses and trucks are being marketed in several countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia and South America. Tata Motors and Fiat Auto have formed an industrial joint venture in India to manufacture passenger cars, engines and transmissions for the Indian and overseas markets; Tata Motors also has an agreement with Fiat Auto to build a pick-up vehicle at Córdoba, Argentina. The company already distributes Fiat-branded cars in India. Tata Motors' international footprint include Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co. Ltd. in South Korea; Hispano Carrocera, a bus and coach manufacturer of Spain in which the company has a 21% stake; a joint venture with Marcopolo, the Brazil-based body-builder of buses and coaches; and a joint venture with Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant Company of Thailand to manufacture and market pickup vehicles in Thailand. Tata Motors has research centres in India, the UK, and in its subsidiary and associate companies in South Korea and Spain.
Taj Hotels. Established in 1903, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is one of Asia's largest and finest group of hotels, comprising 60 hotels in 42 locations across India with an additional 18 international hotels in the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East. From world-renowned landmarks to modern business hotels, idyllic beach resorts to authentic Rajput palaces, each Taj hotel offers an unrivalled fusion of warm Indian hospitality, world-class service and modern luxury. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, has recently completed the centenary of its landmark hotel, The Taj Mahal Palace and Tower, Mumbai. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is part of the Tata Group, India's premier business house.
Tata Consultancy Services. Tata Consultancy Services is an IT services, business solutions and outsourcing organization that delivers real results to global businesses, ensuring a level of certainty no other firm can match. TCS offers a consulting-led, integrated portfolio of IT and IT-enabled services delivered through its unique Global Network Delivery Model, recognized as the benchmark of excellence in software development. A part of the Tata Group, India's largest industrial conglomerate, TCS has over 108,000 of the world's best trained IT consultants in 47 countries. The Company generated consolidated revenues of US $4.3 billion for fiscal year ended 31 March, 2007 and is listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange in India. For more information, visit us at www.tcs.com.
Fiat India Pvt Ltd. Fiat India Automobiles Private Limited (FIAPL) is a 50-50 Industrial Joint Venture between Fiat Group Automobiles S. p. A., (Fiat) and Tata Motors Limited (Tata) originally incorporated on January 02, 1997. The company employs about 650 employees and is located at Ranjangaon in the Pune District of Maharashtra. The definitive Joint Venture agreement was signed in October 11, 2007. The board of directors of this company comprises of five nominees each from Fiat and Tata.
The state-of-the-art facility at Ranjangaon, which is owned by FIAPL is capable of producing 100,000 cars and 200,000 engines, besides aggregates and components. The company plans to double the production capacity for both car units and engines in the next few years. Currently manufacturing the Palio Stile 1.1 and 1.6 models, premium Fiat cars such as the Grande Punto and Linea are expected to roll out soon in the B and C segment from the facility within 2008. The facility will also manufacture Fiat's successful 1.3 litre Multijet diesel engines and 1.2 & 1.4 litre Fire gasoline engine and the C549 transmission, evolution for the Indian market of the European C510: start of production of all powertrains is foreseen by first quarter 2008. Apart from Fiat cars, the facility will also produce Tata passenger and next generation cars with investment exceeding ¿ 650 Million. The plant is expected to provide direct and indirect employment to more than 4,000 people.
Fiat, which holds a 50% stake in the Company, also owns and controls five internationally renowned brands:- Fiat Automobiles, Alfa Romeo Automobiles, Lancia Automobiles, Abarth and Fiat Professional, the makers of renowned cars such as the Ferrari, Maserati, Alfa Romeo and Lancia besides the Fiat branded cars.
Pirelli. In terms of turnover, Pirelli Tyre is the world's fifth largest tyre manufacturer with one of the highest levels of profitability in the entire sector. It is widely acknowledged as one of the reference companies when it comes to cutting-edge, high performance products. In fac Pirelli Tyre enjoys a leadership position both in car and motorbike tyre lines. Pirelli tyres are now synonymous with quality, driving pleasure and exceptional performance. Through the consolidation of its own technological skills, Pirelli has built up solid relationships with the world's most prestigious car and motorbike constructors, resulting in the homologation of its products for use on models produced by every leading car and motorbike manufacturers. Pirelli Tyre is present in 160 countries and boasts 25 facilities across four continents as well as five Research and Development Centres in which it invests 3.7% of its revenues, the highest percentage in the entire tyre industry.
Alcoa. Alcoa is the world's leading producer of primary aluminium, fabricated aluminium and alumina. It is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa supplies its products to the aerospace, automotive, industrial, packaging, building and construction, and commercial transportation sectors, offering its clients access to its broad array of design, planning and production skills. In addition to manufacturing aluminium products and components (including laminated, extruded hard alloy and forged products), Alcoa also sells AlcoaÒ wheels, fixing systems, precision and lost wax castings, and architectural structures and systems. Alcoa is present in 44 different nations employing workforce of 107,000. It was recently named one of the world's most sustainable companies at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. For further information, visit the company site at www.alcoa.com.
OMR. The OMR (Officine Meccaniche Rezzatesi) Group is one of the world's leading automotive and industrial vehicle component and systems manufacturers with 11 production facilities in Italy, Brazil, Morocco, China, India and Argentina. Since its foundation in 1919, the OMR Group (which employs a workforce of 2,000) have grown has grown to such an extent, combining technology, innovation and design, that it now leads its sector. OMR and Ferrari began working together in 1978 and together they have worked towards on shared goals, present and future, driven by a team work ethic and a constant thirst for exciting new technologies.
Saima Avandero. Saima Avandero is Italy's leading international transportation and integrated logistics company. It is part of the ABX LOGISTICS Group and boasts a wide international network with bases in no less than 35 countries. Saima Avandero is an exceptionally reliable partner to business focused on meeting the needs of its clients. Its strongest point is its skill in planning and delivering "tailor-made" services whose quality is second to none. A consummately professional approach and a wide range of skills in logistical support, organisation and information technologies are the secrets to its success and complement the international transportation and delivery services it offers.
With the support provided by Borsalino, the italian company founded in 1857, world leader in the production of hats.