Ferrari Magic India Discovery
The Magic India Discovery Tour got underway from Mumbai on February 25th and returned 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 embarked 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 offered 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 explored 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 started 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 headed immediately south along the stunning eight-lane motorway that is the jewel in the crown of Indian's infrastructure. The first stage ended in the city of Goa, now a popular tourist destination once ruled by the Portuguese. The tour continued 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, provideed the backdrop to a stage that ended in Vizak on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The 612 Scagliettis drove then 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 began from Calcutta and ran 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 made its way to Lucknow also known as the Golden City of the East. The next stage took the Ferraris through the Corbett National Park and Tiger Reserve named in honour of the former man-eater hunter Jim Corbett. The tour then continued 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 ran 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 took 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 made a triumphant return to the India's industrial capital.