Ferrari has been selling cars in China for 20 years now. The luxury Italian automaker is commemorating its longevity in the world’s largest nation by opening a more-or-less “permanent” exhibit. As part of the effort, the prestigious company will also be making a very limited run of a special-edition 458 Italia model, tailored just for the Chinese motorist.
A limited run of only 20 cars
Only 20 of the special-edition 458 Italias will be made — one for each of the years Ferrari has been selling cars in China. The special edition will be painted “Marco Polo Red,” a new color mixed just for this run and named after the Italian explorer who first opened up trade between Italy and China during the 13th century with the famed “Silk Road.”
‘Longma’ dragon-horse design
The Chinese special edition 458 Italia will feature a curled dragon on the hood on a background of gold and black stripes. The gold trim is carried into the wheels and the front fascia trim. Ferrari’s iconic horse logo is also featured, prancing in the background.
According to the company’s press, the artwork “came from the ‘longma’ theme, which is an old Chinese idiom which means the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse.”
Price not announced
No word has been given on how much the special-edition will set Chinese car-buyers back, but Motor Authority speculates that “each will be sold before the car hits the market.”
The special embellishments are carried into the car’s interior. Gold-embroidered headrests commemorate the limited run, as does a special “20th Anniversary Special Edition” plaque set into the dashboard. The dash will also feature a start button, etched with the Chinese characters for “start.”
Automakers are looking to the East
The Maranello, Italy-based automaker sold its first Ferrari 348 TS in China in 1992. China, one of the word’s few thriving major economies, is a prime target for the sales-eager automakers of the world.
A long-term Chinese exhibit
Ferrari also plans to commemorate its 20 years of selling cars in China with a long-term exhibit at the Italia Center of Shanghai World Expo Park. Outside of the Maranello Ferrari museum, it will be the company’s only semi-permanent exhibition.
The exhibit is expected to remain for three years and will include five themes: Ferrari in China, Green Technology, Products, Design and Racing. Exhibits from Ferrari’s Maranello, Italy museum will also be rotated at the Chinese venue.