(from Ferrari Press
Release) Ferrari has had a natural association with the
race track since the first Prancing Horse competed in 1947 and since
then has been inextricably linked with the leading circuits across
the world. It is, however, slightly more unusual to associate
modern-day Ferrari with the kind of adventure associated with Mille
Miglia and Carrera Panamericana-style endurance events.
Those legendary historical races demonstrated the versatility and
strength of the cars of the day, but they were also much more
dangerous and less well-tested than today’s cars. That type of race
no longer exists and to put a sophisticated, powerful car like the
Ferrari 612 Scaglietti to the test nowadays requires at least 10 to
15,000 miles of very tough terrain.
In 1997 a Ferrari F355 completed a round the world trip taking in
all five continents. The car was driven by 147 different journalists
from the various countries it crossed and each one left his
signature on the car’s bodywork. 1997 was also Ferrari’s 50th
anniversary and the World Tour, as it was known, was staged to tell
the world how very much alive and successful the company was and
also to demonstrate the reliability of a model that would prove of
huge strategic importance in Ferrari’s development. The adventure
proved an extraordinary success with the F355 leaving New York on 18
March and returning there to finish the tour after 75 days, quite
literally, on the road.
It now gives Ferrari great pleasure to announce the launch of
another similar adventure. This time, however, two 612 Scagliettis
will leave Shanghai on 29 August 2005 for a grand tour of China,
driven by Chinese and international journalists. No other
constructor has ever undertaken such a daunting task. The route
covers an enormous range of very different terrains and challenges.
The cars will endure extremes of cold and heat, incredibly tough
road conditions and environmental obstacles of all kinds.
The 612 Scagliettis will first head north and then east toward
Manchuria. After this they will drive south-west to Beijing and then
along the Great Wall as far as Lanzhou. From there they will cover
over 3,000 km at an altitude of more than 4,000 metres as far as
Lhasa in Tibet before heading back west through the Gobi Desert to
the ancient city of Kashi, site of Marco Polo’s famous silk market.
After a further dash through the desert, the two 612 Scagliettis
will drive on to Urumqi and then down through the tropical part of
the country to Guangzhou, which is more familiar to us as Canton.
From there they will continue on through the most modern and western
part of China back to Shanghai after a round trip of 15,000 miles.
If all goes according to plan, the two 612 Scagliettis should
complete their tour of China in 45 days.
The Tour has received the valued support of the Chinese authorities
as well as logistical support from Fiat China. It is also being
staged in partnership with some of Ferrari’s most faithful sponsors,
including Shell (fuels and lubricants with specialist support in the
toughest areas), Puma (for crew clothing), Alcoa (technical partner
and builder of the 612’s aluminium chassis), Pirelli (supplier of
specialist tyres for the various terrains) and Saima Avandero
(transportation of the cars, wheel rims and spares). We will also be
joined by a Chinese partner, Xin Yu Watch & Clock, the leading
distributor of Swiss timepieces in China. Assistance and spares will
be provided by four vehicles: two Fiat cars and two specially
equipped Iveco trucks.
A total of 15 international journalists and 15 Chinese journalists
will drive the route at different times. The www.ferrariworld.it
company site and dedicated www.media.ferrari.com media site will
have constantly updated news and high definition, reproducible
photos from the tour.
The Tour starts on 29 August 2005 from Shanghai and in the main
territories to be crossed the expedition members will meet with
local authorities and present them with a Prancing Horse trophy as a
The two 612 Scaglietti cars are in complementary colours. One will
be red with a silver bonnet and the other will be silver with a red
bonnet. They are modified only very minimally – they will have a
larger fuel tank with petrol filters that are easily accessed for
cleaning purposes, under body protectors and slightly higher
suspension to cope with the more challenging terrain. Their
headlights will also be protected by a metal grille and some of the
air intakes will be modified to allow them to traverse water-logged
areas in safety. In every other respect, however, the cars are
"normal" production models with a 540 hp V12 engine and a maximum
torque of 588 Nm, dry sump lubrication, a six-speed gearbox and a
In addition to the journalists, a photographer and video camera
operator, there will also be nine other expedition members who will
provide technical, logistical and linguistic assistance.
En route, the cars will stop off at the 10 Ferrari dealerships now
up and running in China, at Yanzhou where Pirelli has signed a
joint-venture contract aimed at starting the manufacturing of tyres,
at several of the major Shell service stations, and at Fiat’s
Chinese base at Nanjing.
Ferrari in China
Ferrari first arrived in
China in 1993 through an importer but is now present with a joint
venture, Ferrari Maserati Cars International Trading, which was
launched in October 2004. Ferrari holds a majority share in the
company with its partners Poly Technologies and Wo Kee Hong. Ferrari
Maserati Cars International Trading is the exclusive importer of
Ferrari and Maserati cars in China and manages the marketing, sales
to dealerships, spares, accessories and technical assistance
activities of both marques in the country.
The local staff are trained directly by the factory to guarantee our
Chinese clients a quality service in line with Ferrari and
Maserati’s renowned high standards. Ferrari considers China to be a
market of great strategic importance. In fact, since the joint
venture was launched, a total of 42 Prancing Horse cars have been
sold. The Chinese market is expected to become Ferrari’s fifth or
sixth largest world market in terms of numbers of cars sold over the
next two or three years alone.
The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti
The 612 Scaglietti is
the result of an avant-garde design that continues Ferrari’s long
and glorious 2+2 tradition, combining a cabin capable of
accommodating four occupants in comfort with blistering Ferrari
sports car performance.
The 612 Scaglietti is the very first ever Ferrari 12-cylinder to
boast both an all-aluminium space frame chassis and body. The result
of cutting-edge production and assembly techniques, the new car’s
all-aluminium construction reduces its weight by 40% and gives it
excellent torsional rigidity. In addition to this, the 612
Scaglietti’s near-perfect weight distribution (46% front and 54%
rear) means that it offers both the high performance driving of a
rear-engined car and the roomy versatility of a front-engined
The CST electronic stability and traction control system enhances
the 612 Scaglietti’s dynamic handling even further. This is the
first time the system has been used in a Ferrari and it guarantees
optimal performance in tandem with complete safety. Its imposing 65°
V12 engine was developed using Ferrari’s most advanced racing
technologies and punches out a maximum of 540 hp at 7,250 rpm.
The Pininfarina-designed 612 Scaglietti was named in honour of
Sergio Scaglietti, the legendary Modenese coachbuilder who created
some of the most beautiful cars to come out of Maranello in the
early years of Enzo Ferrari’s extraordinary reign.
The route and main stages
The route begins and
ends in Shanghai and is divided into 11 main stages (see attached
map) which will also act as the crew changeover points. The first
stage sees the expedition leave Shanghai bound for Beijing, a
3,000-kilometre, seven-day journey away. En route it will take in
the city of Shenyang at the very north-eastern tip of China near the
border with Mongolia.
The second major stage takes the cars along the Great Wall of China
from Beijing to Lanzhou, a 2,100 km dash over four days. At Lanzhou,
the cars begin their descent into south-western China which will
culminate in a very tough stretch at altitudes of over 4,000 m and
take them into the Tibetan capital, Lhasa, after a seven-day drive,
on 19th of September. From there the expedition will retrace its
steps as far as Goldmud where it will turn north-west, stopping off
at the northernmost tip of the route in the city of Urumqi, over
2,700 km from Lhasa. Next the cars head for Kashi, home to one of
the most famous silk markets encountered by Marco Polo on his
travellers. This time the leg will be a "mere" 1,400 km, to be
covered in three days.
From Kashi the expedition turns back towards the east bound for
Jiayuguan, 2,500 km away, which it will reach in six days. From
there the cars will drive down to the south-east coast through to
the major city of Chongqing (2,000 km to be covered in six days) and
then on to Guangzhou (Canton), a further 2,000 km away. After this
they begin the home run, via Wenzhou (1,500 km from Canton), back to
Shanghai, where they are expected to arrive on the evening of
Shell is a major
international group with companies in over 140 countries worldwide.
Its activities span everything from natural gas and oil exploration
and production to chemical derivatives, renewable energies,
industrial trading and much more. Shell manages around 56,000
service stations worldwide, serving over 25 million customers daily.
It is Ferrari’s partner both for its production cars and in Formula
Pirelli is a group with a long history stretching back over a
century. The work done by Pirelli Lab in the phototonic, broadband
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 has 22 tyre
factories in 10 countries and is one of the world's foremost high
performance car tyre companies. It will be opening a factory in
China shortly also.
Alcoa is the world’s leading producer of primary aluminium,
fabricated aluminium and aluminium products. It is present in all of
the main sectors of the aluminium industry. Alcoa supplies its
products to the aerospace, automobile, packaging, building and
commercial transportation industries. It offers an all-round design,
planning, engineering and production service to it clients in the
industrial markets. Alcoa is present in 43 countries worldwide and
employs a workforce of 131,000 people. It builds the 612 Scaglietti
and F430 aluminium chassis for Ferrari in Modena.
Puma is the 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 Ferrari’s partner for its
Formula 1 team.
Saima Avandero is the 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.
Xin Yu Watch & Clock The Shanghai XinYu Watch and Clock Group Ltd is
a market leader in the wholesale and retail distribution in the PRC
of watches from internationally renowned brands. The Group
distributes watches from over 30 prestigious brands through
wholesale and an extensive retail network of over 100 luxury retail
outlets in the PRC, covering most cities and tourism locations.
Fiat Auto was one of the great pioneers of the automotive industry,
building its first car in 1899. Since then it has turned out over 85
million automobiles and light commercial vehicles divided into over
400 models. Fiat Auto maintains its presence on the international
markets through three marques renowned for their innovative content,
styling and industrial solutions: Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo.
The Fiat Group also owns three representative offices and 17
companies in China. Its interests there constitute an investment of
more than $1 billion and provide employment for almost 11,000 local
people. Fiat is not only the leading Italian investor in China it is
also one of the leading international automotive manufacturers
present in the country.
Iveco is an international firm offering a complete range of
transport vehicles and engines. It manufactures and sells over
160,000 commercial vehicles and 430,000 engines worldwide each year.
In income terms this translates into around €9 billion. Iveco has 49
factories in 19 countries as well as 15 R&D centres, 31,000
employees and 844 dealerships. In 1996 it launched a major
initiative to manufacture and sell its light commercial vehicles on
the Chinese market. Today Iveco is one of the market leaders thanks
to its Daily range of light vehicles which are built in Nanjing. It
is currently involved in three joint ventures: this constitutes an
investment of over $400 million and employs around 5,700 people.