During a special celebration at Tokyo's National Art Centre in 2016, Ferrari of Japan celebrated its 50th anniversary with the reveal of a stunning and strictly limited edition car – the Ferrari J50. This model will now be on display at the Fuji Circuit during the next Ferrari Racing Days that take place in Japan at the end of June.
Limited to just 10 examples, the Ferrari J50 is a two-seater mid-engined roadster. Designed by the Ferrari Design in Maranello, its targa bodystyle harks back to Ferrari road cars of the 1970s and 1980s. Each of the 10 bespoke Ferrari J50s were tailored specifically to their clients’ requirements, in the spirit of the Ferrari fuori serie custom-built tradition.
The car presented in Tokyo featured special three-layer red paint, with a leather and Alcantara red and black interior. Described as radical and futuristic, the Ferrari J50’s bodywork was all-new and designed specifically for Japanese clients seeking an innovative, low-slung roadster. The design team aimed to “encapsulate intrinsic Ferrari values of nimbleness and agility”. The J50 is defined by two strong lines on the side: the slanted top edge of the window, which feeds into the windscreen, and the lower, steeply-raked black swage line inspired by legendary Ferraris such as the GTO, F40 and F50; watch how this “dramatically rises from the low-set nose until it vanishes in the air intake aft of the doors”.
Sitting above this, the window graphic crates a ‘helmet visor’ effect that harks back to open-top racing Ferrari barchettas of the 1950s. Meanwhile, the muscularity of Ferrari’s mid-engined sports cars is defined by a bonnet with a lower central section and raised wheelarch crests. All were based on the Ferrari 488 Spider, and featured a specific 690-horsepower version of the acclaimed 3.9-litre turbocharged V8 engine. Detailed aerodynamic development ensured the J50 was streamlined to make full use of this power, even down to lowering the windscreen to deliver more airflow over the aero foil and rear spoiler.
The high-downforce rear wing sits above quad tail lights and a rear diffuser inspired by jet engine afterburners. The carefully-crafted transparent engine cover visually extends the roll hops, and the transverse aerofoil bridging the hoops is pure 1960s Ferrari sports prototype. With bespoke 20-inch forged alloy wheels, distinctive interior features and a beautiful carbon fibre targa top that stowed behind the front seats, the Ferrari J50 was a very special way to mark 50 years of Ferrari Japan. Now, lucky enthusiasts will be able to see it for real at the Fuji Ferrari Racing Days event later in June.