It hasn’t been more than a couple weeks since Ferrari announced the newest member of its family, the extremely limited Ferrari J50. The announcement came during the automaker’s special celebration at the National Art Center in Tokyo to commemorate its 50th anniversary in Japan. Suffice it to say, car nerds across the world went nuts when the news broke – over both its looks and power.
You’ll recall Ferrari had a similar limited release in 2014 to celebrate its 60th year of sales in the United States, but that car, the F60, certainly didn’t have the sexy curves the J50 does.
Like the F60, only 10 J50s will roll off the production line, and, although Ferrari hasn’t confirmed anything, they might already be sold. Ferrari’s Special Projects division will handle the production, tailoring everything from interiors to engine specifications at customers’ request.
There is little chance any of them will mess with the guts of this thing, however, as it boasts the same 3.9-litre V8 that won the overall International Engine of the Year Award in 2016 – The first time in many years an actual performance engine has walked away with the overall prize.
The two-seater, mid-rear-engine roadster represents a radical change in Ferrari’s design style. The stark, curvy chassis hails back to the days of the targa body style – reminiscent of several classic Ferraris from the ’70s and ’80s. Ferrari’s design team crafted the low-slung supercar with slanted side windows continuous with the wide “visor” screen shield at the front – again, resembling the brand’s open competition barchettas in the 1950s.
Other design highlights include a polycarbonate bubble over the engine in the rear of the car that puts a futuristic spin on Ferrari’s iconic designs of the past. Speaking of the rear, the diffuser on the back of the J50 is one of the nicest we have seen all year.
Admittedly, the car’s design has soaked up the lion’s share of the media attention thus far. Many are speculating that the J50’s design actually represents a permanent shift in design philosophy for Ferrari. It’s unclear which elements of the J50 would become brand-wide motifs if that is true, but it certainly seems like the majority of fans would be OK with that creative direction considering the J50’s similarity to the 488 Spider – one of the most popular Ferrari models ever built.