MADRID (AFP) - Italian luxury sports carmaker Ferrari announced Thursday it will open a 100-million-euro (S$176 million) amusement park in 2016 with rides and a five-star hotel in Spain, its first such venture in Europe.
Spread over 75,000 square metres within the PortAventura resort near Barcelona, Ferrari Land will feature Europe's highest and fastest "vertical accelerator", a driving simulator, restaurants, and a 250-room five-star hotel, it said.
Ferrari, part of Fiat Group Automobiles, already operates another theme park in Abu Dhabi called Ferrari World which opened in 2010 and boasts a rollercoaster touted as the fastest in the world.
"After the success of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, we received many, many requests to develop new amusement parks," Andrea Perrone, the head of Ferrari Brand, the Ferrari subsidiary company that manages the firm's brand-related activities, said in a joint statement with PortAventura.
Ferrari said it chose the proposal by PortAventura's owner Investindustrial because of its expertise and the large number of visitors the resort already draws.
Four million people visit the park annually, half of them from outside Spain.
Ferrari will continue to evaluate other proposals for theme parks outside of Europe "at our leisure", Perrone said.
Spain's Fernando Alonso, the 2005 and 2006 Formula One champion, races for Ferrari.
Spain lured 60.6 million visitors last year, making it the third most visited country in the world, behind only France and the United States.
PortAventura, located along Spain's northeastern coast, is one of Europe's top theme parks.
"Right from the start we have always been clear about our desire to develop the resort with high-profile international brands to ensure we achieve our target of around five million visitors a year," said PortAventura executive president Sergio Feder.
"Ferrari was an obvious choice for this, not merely because of what the brand itself represents but also because of its experience with the Ferrari World Park at Abu Dhabi."