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Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Another Portofino made by Chrysler in late '80s

Which comes first It turns out that not only Ferrari made the car by the name of Portofino, but the American automotive manufacturer Chrysler has also used that name, when they took over another Italian auto manufacturer Lamborghini in 1987. It's so strange, why the Maranello-based automaker name one its current model the same name as a Chrysler (Lamborghini) concept car? Is this a coincidence or what?
1987 Chrysler Portofino concept car applied Lambo’s scissor-hinged doors to a big sedan that marked the end of the K-car era and launched Chrysler’s cab-forward design which ignited a resurgence in American automotive design. (PIcture from: Motor1)
Well, in 1987 Chrysler started to work on its “Concept to reality” philosophy by introducing a sports sedan concept under the same name called of Chrysler Portofino at the Frankfurt Motor Show in same year.
Left side view of Chrysler Portofino concept car. (Picture from: TopSpeed)
This Portofino concept car was built on the chassis of the Lamborghini Jalpa. At the end of the day it was known as a prototype of the Sant'Agata Bolognese's car with the interior of a Chrysler Pentastar to symbolize the Chrysler takeover of Lamborghini.

In terms of design, the Portofino was an evolution of the Chrysler Navajo that had only been built as a clay model. The design was updated to show even more the connection between both brands. The car was built by Coggiola Carrozzeria, in Turin, Italy, and had to be lengthened by 66 cm to create a wide enough cabin to allow the space for four seats.
Steering wheel and dashboard view of Chrysler Portofino concept car. (Picture from: TopSpeed)
Even if the concept is badge “Chrysler”, the design reminds more of a Lamborghini model such as a four-door, four-seated car and applies scissor doors type that opened vertically in front and rear. The Portofino features with no B-pillars which are commonly used to strengthen the passenger area in case of side impacts. Besides that, it also facilitates the access to the car's cabin.
Interior view of Chrysler Portofino concept car. (Picture from: TopSpeed)
The interior of the Portofino is made in a beautiful three shades of textured blue leather with yellow piping and accents on the steering wheel and shift knob. A central console divided the passenger compartment adding stiffness to the structure and providing a comfortable wrap-around feeling in the rear seats.
1987 Chrysler Portofino concept car featured with the unique double scissor door type. (Picture from: OppositeLock)
For the drivetrain, the American automaker chosen a 3.5-liter V8 engine block that delivered 255 horse power and 310 Nm of torque. It was mated with a five-speed manual gearbox, which channeled all the power to the asphalt through a rear-wheel drive system. This configuration allowed it to reach a maximum speed of 240 kph.
Rear right side view of Chrysler Portofino concept car. (Picture from: TopSpeed)
Although this concept car never entered into production, but Chrysler used its design cues such as body, color up to the rear wing in the development of their next production car. It is different to scissor doors type was never used at all by those American automotive manufacturer. 
Chrysler only produced one Portofino what was heavily damaged in 1991, when transporter carrying the concept rolled over. Chrysler understood the importance of this concept for the evolution of the company’s design and they decided to restore the concept.

The unique Portofino is now in hands of Chrysler and starting 1999 it is on permanent display at the Daimler/Chrysler World Headquarters and Tech Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan. *** [EKA [26122018] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | AUTOBILD | CARROZZIERI ITALIANI | TOP SPEED | MOTOR1]
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