Ferrari Theme Park Will Boast World’s Fastest Roller Coaster

Now that things are starting to look a little more “up” after that global economic hiccup, a digital fly-through video of the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi has been released along with its official opening day: October 28, 2010. Last month, its 599XX, a racecar derived from the stunning 599, lapped the Nürburging […]

Now that things are starting to look a little more “up” after that global economic hiccup, a digital fly-through video of the Ferrari World theme park in Abu Dhabi has been released along with its official opening day: October 28, 2010.

Last month, its 599XX, a racecar derived from the stunning 599, lapped the Nürburging Nordschleife in Germany in less than seven minutes. At the same time, the 599 GTO made its debut as the brand’s fastest production car ever.

Last week, those two wild horses welcomed a new stablemate, the Formula Rossa roller coaster. It was bred not in the foothills of Maranello, Italy, but in the Arabian desert.

According to Ferrari, the ride moves from zero to 62 miles per hour in just two seconds. It also inflicts 1.7 g’s of lateral acceleration through 70-degree corners and tops out at nearly 150 miles per hour, sufficient numbers to wrest away world’s-fastest-coaster bragging rights from Kingda Ka, the marquee thrill at Six Flags Great Adventure and Wild Safari in New Jersey.

Formula Rossa, designed by Jack Rouse Associates, is the latest attraction at Ferrari World, the multibillion-dollar theme park, heritage museum and resort amalgam opening this fall on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

“The idea is to bring the sensation to people of what a Formula One driver is experiencing,” said Ferrari World’s general manager, Claus Frimand, in a video on the Ferrari World Web site.

Formula One racing is central to the ride’s concept. Ferrari emphasized that connection by introducing the roller coaster’s train during last weekend’s grand prix at Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya, outside Barcelona, with its two drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. However, where their cars only accommodate one person, the coaster seats eight.


Park visitors are propelled from an air-conditioned loading area to the desert beyond via a 20,800-horsepower winch, the source of that two-second acceleration figure.

Wayne Meadows, Ferrari World’s director of maintenance, said that passengers would be pulled along a launch area of 400 meters, “very similar in the way a carrier launches a jet aircraft.” Over the 1.3-mile track, the coaster also tops a 170-foot rise and barrels through a series of sweepers.

The dramatic performance mandates certain precautions. Because of the speed and that Abu Dhabi is “subject to heavy sand and dust storms,” Mr. Meadows explained, Ferrari World “made the decision that all our guests will wear goggles.”


At Ferrari World, the roller coaster joins a side-by-side Ferrari F430 race simulator, a free-fall plunge and a flume ride that courses through the plumbing of a 599’s V-12 engine.

Ferrari World is scheduled to open to the public on Oct. 28, ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will run at the neighboring Yas Marina Circuit on Nov. 14. [via NY Times and Car Scoop]

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