Ferrari has launched a special edition of the 458 Italia to mark the company's 20th anniversary in the Chinese market. The gold-rimmed special has an ornate decorative dragon running down the black bonnet stripe. It's not at all like the sort of thing a MINI owner would do on the cheap or anything.

Ferrari is only making 20, due to go on sale exactly two decades after the first Ferrari was ordered in Beijing, a 348 TS.

For those not reading in technicolour, the car is red - but this is no ordinary, run-of-the-mill Ferrari red. This is Marco Polo Red, specially mixed for this version of the 458.

According to Ferrari, the inspiration for the car was an old Chinese idiom called longma, which we're told means "the vigor and spirit of the legendary dragon-horse".


It doesn't take Confucius to work out what Ferrari has done here, then, mixing dragon with [prancing] horse to make one lovely shiny marketing opportunity. Here's how the Italian company puts it:

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 bonnet stripe symbolises a racing track, says Ferrari, Inside, the centre console is marked with a 20th Anniversary Edition plaque, and the engine ignition button is embossed with the simplified Chinese characters for 'start'.


The 458 Italia has a 570bhp V8 engine, good for a 202mph top speed and a 3.4-second 0-62mph time.

The first Chinese edition 458 will be presented at a new Ferrari exhibition due to open next month at the Shanghai World Expo Park.