Chrysler started to work on its “Concept to reality” philosophy in 1987 with the introduction at Frankfurt Motor Show of the Chrysler Portofino sport concept sedan. Back then, Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler, and the Portofino concept was build to symbolize the Chrysler takeover of Lamborghini.
Even if the Concept is badge “Chrysler”, the design reminds more of a Lamborghini model: a four-door, four-seated car with doors that opened vertically. The Portofino features no B-pillars which are commonly used to strengthen the passenger area in case of side impacts.
The concept car was built by Coggiola on a Jalpa chassis, which had to be lengthened by 66 cm to allow the space for four seats. Also, Chrysler used the The Jalpa engine and transmission. The Portofino is powered by an aluminum eight-cylinder engine, transversely mounted with an output of 225 hp at 7000 rpm and a peak torque of 229 lbs-ft at 3500 rpm. It also features a five-speed manual gearbox. On testing the Portofino reached a top speed of 240 km/h (149 mph).
What makes the Portofino so special is its exterior, its four horizontally hinged doors to be more precisely. The two front ones opened just like on the Lamborghini Countach, while the two rear doors were hinged in the rear, and also opened upwards, thus eliminating a door sill.The concept is painted in a beautiful Char-Gold color, also available as an optional color on the Intrepid/Concord.
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.
Even if the Portofino never entered into production, Chrysler used design cues from it for the Intrepid and Concord series. The Char-Gold color was used by Chrysler on some models, but the doors were never used. Also the rear wing was used into the Dodge/Chrysler Stealth.
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.
- Engine Configuration Vee-Type
- Cylinders 8 Solid valve lifters
- Aspiration/Induction Normal
- Displacement 3485.00 cc | 212.7 cu in. | 3.5 L.
- Valves 16 valves; 2 valves per cylinder.
- Valvetrain SOHC
- Horsepower 255.00 HP (187.7 KW) @ 7000.00 RPM
- Torque 229.00 Ft-Lbs (310.5 NM) @ 3500.00 RPM
- HP to Weight Ratio 11.2 LB / HP (Vehicles with similar ratio)
- HP / Liter 72.9 BHP / Liter
- Bore 3.39 in | 86.1 mm.
- Stroke 2.95 in | 74.9 mm.
- Compression Ratio 9.2:1
- Main Bearings 5
- Fuel Feed Carburetor, 4 Weber 2-barrel downdraft carburetors
- Block Light Alloy
- Head Light Alloy
- Top Speed 240 km/h | 149.2 mph