To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari brand in the Land of the Rising Sun, Ferrari has unveiled a bespoke celebratory vehicle – the Ferrari J50. Based on the 488 Spyder, only 10 examples of the J50 will come out of Maranello. However, there’s no confirmation on whether the J50 is exclusive to Japan, but it’s safe to assume so.
Put together by Ferrari’s Special Projects department and Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello, the J50 wears a distinct bodywork. At first glance, the windscreen and side windows were inspired by Ferrari’s open competition barchettas (Italian 2-seater race cars) – think GTO, F40 and F50 – to recreate an aerodynamic “helmet visor” effect. Interestingly, Ferrari has ditched the roof folding mechanism of the 488 Spyder and instead adopted a two-piece carbon fibre hard targa top that can be stowed behind the seats.
The front end of the J50 features a unique design, highlighting Ferrari’s ethos of nimbleness and agility. Compared to the standard 488 Spyder, the J50 gets a redesigned front bumper, new LED headlamps and a reworked bonnet. These design cues are not just for show as they all contribute to improved aerodynamics.
For starters, Ferrari has positioned the radiators closer together thanks to the new bumper. The windscreen header rails are also lowered allowing more airflow to the rear spoiler. Lastly, the bonnet features two carbon-fibre air channels to channel more air through the body.
At the rear, the J50 gets quad taillights and dual tailpipes positioned under the high downforce wing, effectively giving the car a noticeably wider profile. The rear diffusers were inspired by jet engine afterburners to provide a powerful stance. The J50 rides on specially crafted 20-inch forged rims.
Powering this mid-engined Ferrari is the same 3.9-litre twin-turbocharged V8 found in the 488 Spyder. The forced induction mill was given a little rub to push out 680 hp and 760 Nm, up 20 hp from the regular 488 Spyder. No word of the J50’s performance figures but expect it to best the 3.0 seconds century sprint time and 325km/h top speed.
According to Ferrari, each and every one of the J50’s will be tailored specifically to the customer’s requirement. Talk about exclusivity upon exclusivity. Maybe when Ferrari celebrates its 50th year in Malaysia, could we see a Ferrari M50 perhaps? Guess we’ll have to wait another 43 years to find out.