Feast your eyes on Ferrari’s surprise 50th anniversary present to Japan.
To commemorate its 50th anniversary in Japan, Ferrari has revealed a surprise new limited-edition model called the J50 during a celebration event held at the National Art Center in Tokyo. Based on the 488 Spider, the J50 is a two-seater, mid-rear-engined roadster with some striking styling that harks back to some of the most fabled Ferraris in the last 50 years. In particular, the J50’s targa body is a direct throwback to Ferrari’s GTS range from the 1970s and 1980s, which spawned iconic models such as the Dino 246 GTS and 308 GTS.
Ferrari is only building ten J50s, and every example will be bespoke to customer requirements. Powering the J50 is a 3.9-liter V8 engine lifted from the 488, producing 681 hp through a seven-speed double-clutch transmission. The 488 Spider achieved a 0-62 mph time of 3 seconds and a top speed of 202 mph, so with an extra 20 horses we expect the J50 to be not too far off. The J50’s styling is noticeably more aggressive than its more modest 488 sibling. The distinctive dividing line sloping across the doors is a nod to the iconic F40 and F50, while the “helmet visor” effect seen in the windows is reminiscent of Ferrari’s open competition barchettas from the 1950s.
It’s been designed to be as aerodynamic as possible too: the front bumper has been redesigned, the radiators are positioned closer together and the windscreen has been lowered to direct more airflow to the rear spoiler. It’s the rear design that’s most striking however, thanks to its rear wing and quad taillight design widening the car. Meanwhile, the rear diffuser features an extractor shape apparently “inspired by jet engine afterburners.” Complimenting the J50's exterior are uniquely-designed 20-inch forged rims made specifically for the limited-edition supercar.
As for the interior, which buyers will of course be able to meticulously customize to their specification, the trim of the sports seats mimic the design of the rear hood contour. Conveniently, the targa top is a two-piece carbon-fiber item which tucks behind the seats compared to the 488’s folding roof. Pricing details haven’t been revealed, but expect the limited-edition J50 to be expensive. Ferrari has crafted a best-of-compilation with the J50, combining design elements that pay tribute to some of its most iconic cars from the past 50 years. What do you make of the Ferrari J50?