Ferrari 'joyride' on ancient Chinese wall

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Ferrari 458 Italia being lifted from the ancient wall
The Ferrari 458 Italia being lifted from the ancient wall Photo: RTV

"We cannot tolerate that Ferrari used the ancient city gate to make a show and ruined it. If you do not respect the city, you do not deserve to stay here”

– Nanjing resident

That's what one resident of Nanjing, China's former capital, said when he heard that Ferrari had filmed one of their cars performing 'donuts' on top of an ancient city wall.

The car is seen skidding around in circles, clearly leaving tyre marks on the stone slabs which have been there for 600 years.

The car costs around six million yuan - that's around £600,000; the damage from the stunt could also be costly.

Ferrari has apologised and said the event to mark 20 years of Ferrari in China was "deeply regretted".

The firm blames a local dealer. The city's authorities face criticism for taking the equivalent of around £8,000 to allow the car firm access to the wall.

“A six million yuan Ferrari versus a 600-year-old ancient city wall... What are the Nanjing authorities doing? So sad,” said one blogger on the Chinese version of Twitter.

The name 'Ferrari' is currently blocked by internet censors in China.

The car has become a symbol for corrupt government officials, seen by bloggers as the only people rich enough, from bribes, to afford one.

Residents of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province clear the Ferrari tyre marks
Residents of Nanjing in Jiangsu Province clear the Ferrari tyre marks Credit: RTV

The Italian car maker has a serious image problem in China. The son of the recently sacked Party boss Bo Xilai was rumoured to have driven a red Ferrari around Beijing.Although Bo Gua denies this tale, he and other so called ) are often seen to be enjoying a luxurious life, which hundreds of millions in China are far removed from.

The tales of their excesses fuel resentment about the widening gap between rich and poor.

So by joyriding one of their cars on top of an ancient Chinese wall; Ferrari's PR stunt has spun out of control and backfired.