BRAND new Ferraris are as rare as hen's teeth and the latest supercar from Maranello promises to be even rarer.
For only ten examples of the new Ferrari J50 will be built, making it a true supercar for the super-rich.
Based on the 488 Spider, the J50 is a two-seater, mid-rear-engined roadster that marks a return to the targa body style evocative of a number of prized Ferrari road cars of the 1970s and 80s.
Created by Ferrari's Special Projects department and designed by the Ferrari Styling Centre team in Maranello, it's powered by a specific 690hp version of the 3.9-litre V8 that won the overall International Engine of the Year Award this year.
While the chassis and engine may be familiar, the devil is in the design detail of this exclusive roadster.
The bodywork is new from the targa-roof down using traditional Ferrari styling cues but turning them into a radically futuristic design language with a highly distinctive personality.
The "helmet visor" effect is reminiscent of Ferrari's open competition models going as far back as the 1950s, while the black beltline is an interpretation of a recurring Ferrari styling cue seen on iconic models such as the GTO, F40 and F50.
The bonnet section is lower at the centre with raised wheelarch crests giving the emphasized muscularity typical of Ferrari mid-engined sports cars.
The rear end is decidedly aggressive with a quad tail-light design under a high-downforce wing profile. The rear diffuser features an extractor shape inspired by jet engine afterburners, giving the car a powerful stance. The engine is framed by a transparent polycarbonate cover while a transverse aerofoil provides a bridge between the twin roll hoops, revisiting one of the most distinctive features of Ferrari sports prototypes of the 1960s.
Inside the cabin, customer- specific trim will adorn sports seats which echo the design of the rear bonnet contour to provide an unmistakable signature feature. The carbon-fibre hard targa top is divided into two pieces which stow conveniently behind the seats.
This latest hot property from Ferrari was launched in Tokyo to celebrate the Italian marque's 50th anniversary in Japan hence, presumably, the J50 moniker.
No price is quoted - but if you have to ask, you almost certainly can't afford one. Each of the ten to be produced will be tailored specifically to the individual buyer's requirements.