Ferrari 458 Special Edition Celebrates 20th Anniversary in China

Danny Choy
by Danny Choy

Black and yellow prancing pony badges have been available in the Chinese car market for 20 years and Ferrari is celebrating the anniversary.

To mark its growing success in the country, the automaker announced the inauguration of a permanent brand exhibition at the Italia Center of the Shanghai World Expo Park. Covering almost two square miles, it designed five specific themes to showcase at the venue.

Between the dedicated Ferrari in China, green technology, product, design, and racing wings, visitors will not only get to see current and past ferrari models, but will also get to admire a rich selection of images and videos made for the exhibition.

What’s more, a limited number of 20th anniversary edition 458 Italias are also being made — 20 to be exact.

The commemorative supercar receives unique Chinese elements in its design. Finished in a brand new color called “Marco Polo Red,” the paint is specific to the limited edition 458. On top of the paint finish, Ferrari gave its 458 a special livery design featuring a black racing stripe that runs along the length of the car to symbolize a racetrack and also adds unique touches inspired by Chinese cultures to complete the theme.

Based on an old Chinese idiom, “the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse,” a golden dragon element adorns the front bonnet above Ferrari’s suual badge. The design is balanced by gold accents found elsewhere on the 458, including a slick golden highlight across the aeroelastic winglets in the front as well as a gold finish to each of the wheels.

The exterior theme continues throughout the interior too, as a unique gold embroidery lavishes each head rest and a special engine start button is inscribed with the simplified Chinese character for “start.” Finally, a “20th Anniversary Special Edition” plaque is set into the dashboard.

Look for the Ferrari 458 20th Anniversary Special Edition to make its debut at the Ferrari Exhibition at the Italia Center of Shanghai World Expo Park.

GALLERY: Ferrari 458 20th anniversary edition

Danny Choy
Danny Choy

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  • Nleksan Nleksan on May 18, 2012

    I really dig that red! I have not been completely sold on the design of the 458, but the more I see it, the more it grows on me... Personally, I still think the F430 Scuderia is the better looking car, and the 360 Challenge Stradale is the most fun to drive... Perhaps my mind will change once I get a few laps in with a 458 Italia... The 599GTB with the Handling/Brake Package is my favorite, though... Don't get me wrong, I love mid-engined cars with a passion, but the 599 is as close to perfect a car as there has ever been. Sure, the Porsche Carrera GT with its mid-engine V10 is fun and beautiful but it's a PITA the drive anywhere but on the racetrack... The Lamborghini Murcielago's latter-editions are a blast, with ridiculous acceleration courtesy of a strong V12 and AWD, but it is absolutely terrifying to drive in any kind of traffic due to its "windows".... The Gallardo Superleggara is a blast, but has the same shortcomings as its bigger brother. The Porsche 911 Turbo is a true Daily-Driver Supercar, with gobs of power at any engine speed, a buttery smooth but very precise shifter and a compliant clutch, and an extremely forgiving AWD system that reigns-in the inexperienced drivers pushing further than they can handle as well as providing a safety net for the most experienced drivers who push too hard on wet/slick surfaces; unfortunately, the suspension is calibrated much too far towards the "squishy, daily driver" side and this costs it its edge (997 in particular). The only car that competes with the 599GTB (and the F430 S & 360 CS) is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS - it is the ULTIMATE "driver's car" in every way, especially with the 3.8L H6 (or the 4.0, but it's too rare to drive anywhere but an insured course). Perfect suspension, immediate and precise feedback via the suspension, the steering, and the tires allows pushing it to its almost impossibly high limits without fear of the car biting back (unlike the Carrera GT, any Lambo, etc). The engine is a work of art, the body is built with function not only over form, but having whipped it and made it its b*tch, yet it is still one of the most stunningly beautiful cars ever produced. The weight loss achieved via many means is immediately felt, and with the aerodynamics improved heavily over the 911 Carrera/S/4S/Turbo, the two work together in perfect harmony at any speed to produce a car that is telepathic in nature. The seats, alcantara surface with a carbon fiber shell, will hold anyone firm even during maneuvers in excess of 1.1g's. The brakes are truly works of art, with a hard stop on warmed up brakes and tires proving powerful enough to leave bruises where the 5pt harness touches your shoulders (trust me). All of that combines with a mechanical symphony that is the 3.8L Flat-6 engine to produce giddy 8000rpm shifts, truly unbelievably controllable "drifts" (especially for a rear-engine car!!), and lap times that put $500,000 super-cars to shame! The 911 GT3 RS is the car I park in the garage and still dream about at night; it is the car that I take to the track when I want to embarrass those who show up in vehicles 3-5x the price yet don't have a clue how to pilot them... It is also the car I take out on the twisty backroads every sunny Sunday for a pleasure drive, with 45-60* turns on 1.5lane roads @ 75mph feeling "lazy"... The 599GTB is, to me, the 911 GT3 RS if it had a half-brother who was front-engined, contained twice as many cylinders, went to the gym more often (instead of going out running), and always wore a suit. The 599 is the most capable front-engine car in the $100,000+ bracket that exists. It feels equally at home on a hard core racetrack going full blast for countless laps as it does on a lazy Saturday afternoon cruise with a date. It is a Ferrari that I don't feel guilty about putting mileage on, nor do I feel guilty about modifying it. I dress my GT3 RS in Techart, and my 599GTB seems to prefer a variety of manufacturers' parts... Fabspeed and a half-dozen others (carbon fiber air intakes, ceramic equal-length tubular headers, full titanium exhaust system, 80-cell ultra-high-flow catalytic converters, engine software, +55% Front +75% Rear thickness sway bars, Custom HRE Wheels 20x10" Front and 20x13.5" rear with Michelin Pilot SuperSport Tires in 285f and 355r, etc) - the GT3 RS, though, is far more heavily modified. Don't worry, though... Nothing is done to change the beauty of the car itself!