A new, strictly limited Ferrari J50 has been unveiled at the National Art Centre in Tokyo - to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan.
The J50 is a limited series of bespoke two-seater mid-rear-engined roadsters, that marks a return to the targa body style of several much-loved Ferrari cars of the 1970s and 1980s. Created by Ferrari’s Special Projects department and designed in Maranello, only 10 examples of the J50 will be built, all tailored specifically to the customer’s requirements.
Based on the 488 Spider, the J50 is powered by a specific 680bhp version of Ferrari’s 3.9-litre V8. The bodywork is all new with a ‘radically futuristic design’. Led by the desire to create a very low-slung roadster, ‘encapsulating intrinsic Ferrari values of nimbleness and agility’, this was achieved in part by the slanted top edge of the side window, in line with the windscreen, and the raked black swage line which rises from the low-set nose until it vanishes in the air intake aft of the doors.
A ‘helmet visor’ effect, which spawns from the window graphic, is reminiscent of Ferrari’s open competition barchettas going as far back as the 1950s, the black dividing line is an interpretation of a recurring Ferrari styling cue seen on iconic models such as the GTO, F40 and F50.
The bonnet section is lower at the centre with raised wheelarch crests giving a ‘emphasised muscularity’ typical of Ferrari mid-engined sports cars. Two carbon-fibre air channels in the front bonnet create an even more diminutive and sharper looking front mass underlined by the full LED headlights. Aerodynamic developments include the radiators which have been positioned closer together, and the front bumper which has been completely redesigned. The windscreen header rail has been lowered allowing more airflow over the aero foil and over the rear spoiler.
At the rear, the engine is framed by a transparent polycarbonate cover which is shaped to provide a visual extension of the two separate roll hoops protecting the heads of driver and passenger. Described as ‘aggressive in nature’, the rear also features a quad taillight design widening the car visually under a high-downforce wing profile. The rear diffuser has an extractor shape inspired by jet engine afterburners, says Ferrari while 20” forged rims were crafted specifically for this limited-edition model.
Inside the cabin, specific trim adorns the sports seats, echoing the design of the rear bonnet contour, while the carbon-fibre hard targa top is divided into two pieces which stow behind the seats.
The J50 presented in Tokyo is finished in a special shade of three-layer red with a red-over-black interior trimmed in fine leather and Alcantara.