Ferrari has surprised the automotive world with a new limited-edition model called the Ferrari J50, unveiled today in Tokyo.
Only ten examples of the new Ferrari J50 will be built by its Special Projects division, based on the still-new Ferrari 488 Spider. The targa body form is designed to echo the successful GTS models of the 1970s and 1980s, starting with the Dino 246 GTS and then achieving considerable success with the 308 GTS and its successors.
The exterior styling is a major departure from Ferrari’s existing range, with a more minimalist approach and more horizontal lines. It gives the J50 a futuristic and very different look from its 488 Spider sister, although there are numerous nods to famous Ferrari models from the last 50 years.
As with all modern Ferraris, the exterior design is a combination of art and science. The J50 displays detailed aerodynamic developments with a number of significant functional solutions. The radiators have been positioned closer together, and the front bumper has been completely redesigned. The windscreen header rail has been lowered allowing more airflow over the aero foil and thus over the rear spoiler.
The rear is aggressively styled, with the quadruple taillight design widening the car visually under a high-downforce wing profile. The rear diffuser shape is apparently inspired by jet engine afterburners to give the car a powerful stance. The wheels are a 20-inch forged alloy design, crafted specifically for this limited-edition model.
The engine is the same 3.9-litre V8 found in the Ferrari 488, boosted by 20hp to produce 690hp in the J50, and running through a seven-speed double-clutch transmission.
Inside, the cockpit layout is lifted almost entirely from the 488 Spider, with unique trim adorning the seats in a pattern which echoes the rear bonnet. The targa top is a two-piece carbon fibre affair, which can be stowed behind the seats for open-top driving.
The Ferrari J50 was unveiled during a special celebration held at the National Art Center in Tokyo to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan.