Buyers in China have been snapping up Ferrari models for 20 years now, and the Italian automaker is marking the anniversary with the introduction of a special-edition 458 Italia. Dipped in a new Marco Polo red and swaddled in a "dragon-horse" livery with gold imagery and black stripes, the vehicle is supposed to pay homage to Chinese culture. Buyers will also enjoy unique gold wheels and a cabin fitted with gold embroidery to match. A start button with 20 stars and a unique dash plaque are also part of the package. So far, there's no word on how much the machine will cost.

The company plans to build just 20 examples, the first of which will be unveiled at the debut of the first "permanent" brand exhibition outside of Maranello. Ferrari will set claim to nearly 3,000 square feet at the Shanghai World Expo Park, where the exhibition will remain for three years. Examples from the Maranello Museum will be arrayed in order of topic, from green technology to product, design and racing as well as Ferrari in China. Hit the jump for the full press release.
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Shanghai, 10 April 2012 - This year marks the 20th anniversary for Ferrari in China since the first Ferrari, a 348 TS, was ordered in Beijing. To celebrate this historical milestone, in a few weeks time Ferrari will inaugurate its first ever permanent brand exhibition outside of Maranello at the Italia Center of Shanghai World Expo Park. Covering 900 square metres the Ferrari 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.

Along with current and past Ferrari models, visitors will gain first-hand experience with a rich selection of images and videos made especially for this exhibition.

Another important element for the 20th anniversary celebration is the introduction of the 458 Italia special edition of only 20 cars dedicated exclusively to the China market. The car's livery is characterised by unique Chinese elements and is finished in a brand new colour called Marco Polo Red specially developed for this exclusive car which will be presented at the inauguration of the Ferrari Exhibition at the Shanghai Expo Park's Italian Center.

The inspiration behind the livery came from the longma theme which is an old Chinese idiom which means "the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse". Dragon is a symbol of Chinese culture, standing for courage, passion and success, whilst Ferrari's prancing horse logo is one of the most recognised symbols in the world representing Italian cultural identity and its unrivalled achievements in the design and engineering fields.

The 458 Italia is a very high performing and exclusive 8 cylinder mid-rear engined car which has won over 35 awards all around the world. The 458 Italia mixes very innovative technology with exclusivity and design and it perfectly encapsulates the passion and vitality of the longma spirit.

The most eye-catching element of the car's exterior is the golden dragon on the front bonnet, which is offset by gold and black livery stripes symbolising a racing track. The image of the soaring dragon and the prancing horse on the front bonnet complement each other perfectly, and are the finishing touch to the car's overall design. The symbols reflect both Chinese culture as well as Ferrari's constant innovation.

This unique design is enhanced by gold finish to the rims and the aeroelastic winglets. The interior also reflects the unique longma spirit and the celebration of Chinese culture with gold embroidery 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 is set into the dash.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      Quick, throw more dragons on it, that'll make it Chinese!! While you're at it, better add red paper lanterns, bamboo shoots and the Zhongguo character all over the car so we'll never mistake it as anything other than a special edition Chinese car. After that's done, make a UAE edition vehicle and make sure to plaster palm trees, Arabic writing, genies on magic carpets and big dollar signs in gold script on every square inch.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, that would never sell anywhere else
      • 3 Years Ago
      It should be called Ferrari 458 Triad Edition.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Now children of Communist Party Officials can speed off even faster after running over one of the peasants.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I agree decal and paint job is not gonna cut it, waiting for the 458Li.
      Christine Casker
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah...not liking that
      • 3 Years Ago
      I always thought the 458 looked Chinese, with those slant headlights...
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would be offended if I'm chinese. This car is a rolling stereotype and how ignorant Ferrari is to the chinese culture.
        • 3 Years Ago
        But you're not chinese, so you wouldn't know if you'd be offended or not. By the speed at which these kinds of 'special' editions sell out, I doubt anyone but an apologetic non-asian like you is offended.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't think they're randomly putting dragons on it just because it's for the Chinese market. Car makers are putting dragon decals on their cars because 2012 is the year of the Dragon...which is kinda a big deal culturally. I wonder if this trend will keep up. 2013 will be the year of the Snake, which is when the new Viper will be unleashed. Coincidence? I leave that to you.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Did we already pass the year of the monkey? Cuz that's what I want on my next Ferrari: monkey's picking lice and flinging poo down the center of the car.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Slap a ridiculous dragon decal on just about anything in China, and you can usually sell it for double.
      • 3 Years Ago
      The colors? Cool. The dragons? Not so much... What's next: Ferraris for the USA with guns, horses, and cowboys all over them? Riiiiiiight.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I have a feeling the owner of the company who manufactures iPods, iPhones, and iPads will own one of these... while his employees are earning $1 a day.
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