The Ferrari Panamerican 20,000
To complete the launch of the most powerful Ferrari ever, the 599 GTB Fiorano, the company has announced an exciting 20,000 miles (32,000 km) challenge driving two cars from Brazil to New York. 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.
The Tour starts on August 24th and will proceed through 16 countries and across 20,000 miles (32,000 km) to New York where they are scheduled to arrive on November 17th.
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 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.
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.
Story: Classic Driver
Photos: Ferrari SpA
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