Ferrari J50 – stunning special for 50th anniversary

  • You don’t get much more exclusive than this
  • Ten cars, 50 years – celebration model for Japan
  • Whole new futuristic design from Maranello
2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress
2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress

TOKYO, Japan – Ferrari has revealed a “strictly limited” series of cars at Tokyo’s National Art Centre to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari sales in Japan.

The Ferrari J50 is a ‘futuristic’ two-seater, mid/rear-engined, roadster with a targa body style – a design named after the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa
which had a hard removable roof rather than one that could be folded.

Targa is, apparently, still a registered Porsche trademark but Ferrari seems to have no problem celebrating the fact that “several well-loved Ferrari road cars of the 1970s and 1980s” described themselves as such.

2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress
2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress

Whatever, Ferrari’s Special Projects department and Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello, Italy, will create only 10 J50 units – each tailored to the buyer’s requirements – with the ‘J’ presumably representing Japan.

The car is, Ferrari says, based on the 488 Spider and powered by the 3.9-litre V8 that won the 2016 International Engine of the Year title.

READ MORE Ferrari features on Carman’s Corner

“The bodywork is all new,” Ferrari says, “a radically futuristic design with a distinct personality that suits the tastes of clients who want the utmost in innovative styling.

“The design was led by a desire to create a very low-slung, nimble and agile roadster. A strong dynamic was imprinted on its flanks by the converging interplay of two main guiding lines: the slanted top edge of the side window, continuous with the windscreen, and the raked swage line which rises from the low nose until it vanishes into the air intake aft of the doors.”

2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress
2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress

Around the front of the car, below knee-height, it’s a key element which alters the perception of the belt line, setting it much lower than usual and transforming the J50 into a barchetta – named for an Italian style of open two-seat sports car built to race and with maximised airflow and minimum mass.

“The bonnet,” Ferrari says, “is lower at the centre with raised wheel-arch crests giving the emphasised muscularity typical of Ferrari mid-engined sports cars. Two carbon-fibre air channels at the front create an even sharper-looking front mass emphasised by diode headlights that have a specific, very dynamic, profile.”

The engine is framed by a transparent polycarbonate cover shaped as a visual extension of the rollover protection hoops for the driver and passenger. A transverse aerofoil makes as a bridge between the hoops “one of the most distinctive features of Ferrari sports prototypes of the 1960s”.

2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress
2017 Ferrari J50 Image: Ferrari / Newspress

“The rear diffuser,” Ferrari adds, “has an extractor shape inspired by a jet-engine afterburner and 20” forged rims were crafted specifically for this limited-edition car.”

The sports-style seats have model-specific trim and the two-piece, carbon-fibre, targa hard-top was designed to stow behind the them.

The J50 in the images was finished in a special shade of three-layer red with a red-over-black interior trimmed in leather and Alcantara.

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