To help celebrate a half century of selling cars in Japan, Ferrari unveiled a unique 50th Anniversary model exclusively for that country. Created by the automaker’s Special Projects department and presented at the National Art Center in Tokyo, the Ferrari J50 is based on the 488 Spider. Only 10 of these roadsters will be built, all destined for loyal Ferrari owners and each custom-tailored to meet individual buyer requirements.

Finished in a special tri-layer red, the dramatically rendered exterior of the Ferrari J50 was penned by the Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello. While admitting its targa-like character draws inspiration from several of the marque’s street cars of the 1970s and '80s, Ferrari says the J50’s unique low-slung bodywork “heralds a radically futuristic design language” aimed at those who prize innovative styling.

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Beyond its bolder look, the redesign also improved the J50’s aerodynamics. It starts with the car’s lower, trimmer front fascia, a change enabled by moving the radiators inward. A revised front splitter, vented hood and bespoke LED headlamps add their own measure of dynamic drama which is further reinforced by a narrow black band similar to the one found on the GTO and F40 models. This graphic bisects the J50’s nose and rises across its flanks before disappearing into the side intakes, lowering the perceived beltline and endowing the car with a distinct “barchetta” quality.

Carbon fiber top

Crowning the Ferrari J50 is a two-piece carbon fiber top that stows behind the seats when running in al fresco mode and a pair of fixed roll hoops that provide head protection for the driver and passenger. A clear polycarbonate cover follows the contours of those hoops and helps protect and frame the car’s 3.9-liter twin-turbo V8, which is rated at 681 horsepower – 20 more than in the standard 488. The J50’s revamped rear end is highlighted by an integrated high-downforce wing, quad taillamps and a diffuser with an extractor design Ferrari claims was inspired by a jet afterburner. The finishing touch is a set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels designed specifically for the J50 wrapped in Pirelli P Zero performance rubber.

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Inside, the Ferrari J50 retains all of the 488 Spider’s basic elements, but here the leather-covered sport seats feature Alcantara inserts whose shape reprises the contour of the roll hoops. No word on J50 pricing, but based on other special-edition Ferrari models, expect each of these ultra-rare roadsters to carry a seven-figure sticker.

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