Our interview with Giorgio Turri
The General Manager of Ferrari Middle East takes us aboard the Prancing Horse
What would you say makes Ferrari unique to other brands?
In the first place, there is something unique in the outstanding capability of combining exclusivity, heritage, Italian craftsmanship, innovation, prestige and luxury with the pure racing DNA that comes from the more than 90 years’ experience in motorsport that Ferrari has. Then, what makes Ferrari so very unique is certainly the sense of belonging. It is a bond coming a long way. Enzo Ferrari said “Ask a child to draw a car and certainly he will draw it red”, which tells you a lot on the legend he has been able to create. To be a ‘Ferrarista’ is an exclusive experience that goes beyond the ownership of a fantastic car: it is all about being part of a community united by the passion for the Prancing Horse.
What can someone expect the first time they get behind the wheel of a Ferrari?
The first word that comes to my mind is emotion, the second is excitement. Usually, the emotional engagement comes well before getting behind the wheel: the sight of the car immediately triggers a true sense of excitement that is followed by pure joy when the engine comes alive with a roar. Then, magic happens: the connection with the car is instantaneous, the sense of control is immediate, there is a genuine feeling of engagement and emotion to drive that is even difficult to put in words. But I can easily tell you what happens right after: it’s a smile.
It is usually said that there are ‘different Ferraris for different Ferraristi’ and ‘different Ferraris for different moments’. Can you share with as a few examples?
We have Ferrari Roma and Ferrari Portofino M, two wonderful and versatile Granturismo models that perfectly combine style and comfort with outstanding performance. On the other hand, if performance without compromise is the priority then we have a full line-up of Sportscars - from the F8 range to the SF90 range, from the 812 range to the recently presented 296 GTB. F8 Tributo and F8 Spider combine an aggressive and dynamic design with the 720 cv of the internal combustion V8 Turbo engine and the typical engaging driving dynamics of the mid-rear engine architecture. The SF90 Stradale and the SF90 Spider, instead, are our ‘model range supercars’: they are extreme on every level, designed to offer unprecedented performance and driving emotions for a production car. Finally, for those who wish to realize the dream of driving a normally-aspirated V12 Ferrari, there are the 812 Superfast and its convertible version, the 812 GTS, which marks the return of the V12 spider in the model range 50 years after the Daytona. Models that are perfect for a weekend on the coast, but also for an exciting day at the racetrack. Then, the Sportscars line-up has been recently completed with the all-new 296 GTB, a model that aims at redefining the whole concept of ‘fun to drive’ thanks to its compact design, responsiveness and breath-taking performance. There would be a lot more to say about these wonderful models, but let me conclude by stating that today we certainly have the most beautiful, innovative and widest product range in our history.
Tell us about the Ferrari Lifestyle and what people should know.
In general, living the Ferrari Lifestyle means being part of the community and enjoying any opportunity to connect with the brand reserved to Ferrari owners. Looking at the racetrack activities, Passione Ferrari is our event platform catering to enthusiastic drivers who want to join exclusive racetrack days - we regularly organize events at Yas Marina Circuit, Bahrain International Circuit, Losail in Qatar, Kuwait Motor Town, Dubai Autodrome, with an overwhelming turnaround - to take their own cars to the limit in a safe yet challenging environment. At these events we provide support with our certified instructors to ensure the highest safety levels and to provide guidance, so that even the clients having their first experience on the racetrack can feel comfortable. Then, to those who really want to improve their skills and learn how to handle these high-performance road cars or to take them to the limit we always suggest the Corso Pilota program: these are unique progressive courses aimed at developing driving skills, confidence and ability, taught by professional and experienced instructors with years of Ferrari driving and racing experience. Ultimately, Passione Ferrari also provides a stage for the Club Challenge Middle East program, launched in 2020 to offer Ferraristi the thrill of testing their skills on a racing car, the 488 Challenge Evo. The Club Challenge events are designed to help the drivers through coaching and training. As much as we like to offer a lot of opportunities to drive on the racetrack, we also know that there are Ferraristi who prefer driving and enjoying their cars off of the track. For them, we design and organize road tours to discover new places or visit top locations behind the wheel of their cars.
The Ferrari Cavalcade is the most famous and exclusive of them: an event that provides a unique opportunity for owners to experience the pleasure of driving a Ferrari along routes carefully designed to bring out its best qualities and to take them to the most exciting locations you can imagine. The Ferrari Cavalcade is normally hosted in Italy, our home country, but a special memory to me is the International Edition in 2019, organized in the UAE to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Ferrari in the Middle East. It was incredible to have that many Ferraris together traveling across the UAE through Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, Jebel Jais, and Hatta. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment the parade arrived at Burj Park in Dubai, with the Burj Khalifa turning ‘Ferrari red’ to the notes of Andrea Bocelli! Continuing with our lifestyle events, I can’t forget to mention Casa Ferrari, unveiled during the 2019 Abu Dhabi F1 GP, or the Ramadan Lounge we launched in 2021. With Casa Ferrari Abu Dhabi every year we create the perfect destination for Ferraristi during the race, an exclusive venue right outside the racetrack where they can feel home and relax, but also live their passion, support the Scuderia, stay connected with the Ferrari brand, discover our new models and test drive our cars. Then Ramadan Lounge is a new project, launched in 2021 to offer clients and friends of the brand the opportunity to gather and celebrate the Holy Month together with Ferrari. We created an exclusive lounge in the very heart of Dubai, right under the Burj Khalifa with breath-taking views of the Dubai Fountain and hosted more than 500 guests for Iftar and Suhoor throughout the month. We had an amazing time with them, exchanging ideas and anecdotes on our common passion for the Prancing Horse, but also sharing the spirit of ‘togetherness’ of Ramadan. A wonderful experience that we are going to repeat next year!
If you could drive any Ferrari model at any place in the world. Where would it be and why?
I live in the Middle East since almost 7 years and I still have a lot to see, so I would love to take the most versatile model in our range, the Portofino M, for an adventurous journey on the most beautiful roads in the Gulf. It is going to take some time but it sounds like a plan!