Ferrari debuts new strict limited edition J50

Only 10 of the targa-roof rear mid-engine roadsters will be made

Published: December 13, 2016, 9:30 PM
Updated: December 18, 2016, 6:51 AM

Ferrari J50

Ferrari J50

Ferrari has unveiled its newest car — a bespoke, 2-seat, rear mid-engined roadster built in strictly limited series — in Japan.

Introduced to the world in a ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Ferrari in Japan, the J50 marks a return to the targa bodystyle of iconic Ferraris from the 1970s and ’80s. Just 10 J50s will be built, each to the buyers’ desires, by Ferrari’s Special Projects department.

Based on the 488 Spider, the J50 features all new bodywork in a forward-thinking design language, and meant to convey a sense of agility with a low-slung profile. Design cues pay homage to various classic Ferraris — the black line around the nose of the car to separate the top and bottom sections is a recurring styling cue on GTOs and the F40, for example, and the helmet visor effect is reminiscent of racing barchettas from the ’50s and ’60s.

Ferrari J50 interior

Power is supplied by the 680-hp 3.9-litre V-8 that earlier this year won the International Engine of the Year Award for its use in the 488 Spider.

The car benefits from finely detailed aerodynamic, with cues such as a windshield header rail that has been lowered to force air over the aero foil behind the roll-protection hoops over the seats, and down to the rear spoiler. The carbon fibre targa roof is split into two panels to make it easier to stow (behind the seats).

The front has been lowered to emphasize the short hood typical of rear-engined sports cars. It is further emphasized by raised front fenders over the unique 20-inch wheels to further push the muscularity of the car.

Ferrari J50 seats

The rear features the traditional Ferrari quad-light design in a new presentation, slightly inset under the high-downforce rear wing. The diffuser is reportedly inspired by jet-engine afterburners but we don’t see it.

The cabin is also trimmed uniquely, with the sport leather/Alcantara seats trimmed to echo the design of the rear exterior. Carbon fibre trim pieces also tie the interior and exterior.