Western automakers and Chinese market special editions go hand in hand these days. The latest company to ready a dedicated model for the world's most populous country is Ferrari, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in China with a limited production version of the 458 Italia.
Only 20 examples of the 458 Italia Special Edition will be built exclusively for China. The car's most prominent feature is the exterior livery said to be inspired from the longma theme, which is an old Chinese idiom that means “the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse”.
The body of the 458 is painted in a brand new color called Marco Polo Red specially developed for this model, while the Italian supercar rides on a new set of wheels finished in a deep gold hue, which is also applied on the front winglets and the side skirt trims.
The longma spirit makes its appearance inside as well with gold embroidery found on the car’s head rests, while the engine start button on each of the 20 cars is inscribed with the simplified Chinese characters for ‘start’, and a ‘20th Anniversary Special Edition’ plaque on the dash.
In addition to the news on the special edition 458 Italia, Ferrari today announced that it will inaugurate its first ever permanent brand exhibition outside of Maranello at the Italia Center of the Shanghai World Expo Park in a couple of weeks' time.
The company said that the exhibition will last for three years and will feature some of the best collections from the Maranello Museum divided into five topics, including Ferrari in China, Green Technology, Product, Design and Racing.
The 458 Italia Special will make its debut at the inauguration of the new Ferrari Exhibition, though it is very likely that Ferrari will bring the car to the 2012 Beijing Auto Show as well.