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Ferrari J50 Celebrates the Brand’s 50 Years in Japan

Limited edition model is a reworked 488 Spider

This year, Ferrari will celebrate its 50th year of sales in Japan. To commemorate the anniversary, the company produced a special, limited-edition model dubbed J50. The car made its debut this week at the National Art Center in Tokyo, where Ferrari also announced that only ten J50s would be built.

Mechanically, the J50 uses the same engine and chassis architecture as the Ferrari 488, but with a slightly higher overall output. It's the J50's exterior where Ferrari really spent its time.

The bodywork has been completely reworked to give the car an "evocative" targa body style derived from "several well-loved Ferrari road cars of the 1970s and 1980s." According to Ferrari, "The bodywork is all new and heralds a radically futuristic design language, with a highly distinctive personality that suits the tastes of a clientele that seeks the utmost in innovative styling."

This sounds like that the J50's exterior could be a hint at Ferrari's future design language. At the very least, it is, in part, a design exercise to gauge customer reaction.

Ferrari further states, "The design approach was led by the desire to create a very low-slung roadster, encapsulating intrinsic Ferrari values of nimbleness and agility…the 'helmet visor' effect, which spawns from the window graphic, is reminiscent of Ferrari's open competition barchettas going as far back as the 1950s."

Additionally, the reworked panels benefit from a more developed aerodynamic signature that not only allows for a slipperier profile, but because of the repackaging, enabled Ferrari to position the J50's radiators closer together, improving engine cooling. It also allowed Ferrari to revise the entire front and rear of the car.

The engine cover has been removed and replaced with a transparent, engine-hugging polycarbonate unit reminiscent of the F40 and F50 that transitions into a bare carbon fiber deck lid. Furthermore, the integrated carbon fiber roll hoops extend just barely past the top, giving the car a racier vibe.

While the car was launched in a special three-layer red paint and red-over-black interior trimmed in Alcantara, each car will be customized to each customer's individual tastes as per "Ferrari's fuori serie tradition."

Ferrari hasn't released the price for the J50, but given that the company will only build a total of ten, and that those are likely already paid and spoken for, we aren't holding our breath or saving our pennies.