Ferrari introduces new weight-saving measures with Portofino

Ferrari Portofino

Ferrari Portofino

Ferrari’s Portofino may be closely related to its California T predecessor, but the car is significantly different in that it introduces new construction methods that Ferrari plans to implement on future models.

The new construction methods have enabled the engineers to reduce weight and complexity of the chassis and body while increasing torsional rigidity. Specifically, weight is down 176 pounds while rigidity is up 35 percent.

A prime example of the new construction methods is the design of the A-pillar which consists of just two parts instead of 21 in the California T, Autocar has learned. For the whole chassis, we’re talking about a 40 percent reduction in the number of parts.

Reducing weight is the ideal strategy for performance cars because of the multiple benefits derived from it, such as improved acceleration, braking, handling and fuel economy. However, Ferrari has another reason to reduce the weight of its cars: offsetting the weight of hybrid systems to be introduced in coming years.

In the case of the LaFerrari, approximately 440 pounds is comprised by just the hybrid system. This weight was offset partially by the car’s lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis. However, Ferrari’s regular models use aluminum because of the material’s relative ease when it comes to production and maintenance, despite it being heavier and less stiff than carbon fiber. That’s why Ferrari engineers needed to develop the new construction methods.

The next car to benefit from the new construction methods is likely to be the 488 successor due toward the end of the decade.

Check Also

Welsh government buys stake in TVR

In order to ensure the people of Wales benefit from the reborn TVR, the Welsh government has acquired a roughly 3 percent stake in the company for about $700,000. The stake gives the government "a minority stake of just below 3 percent that will ensure the Welsh taxpayer benefits from the company's successes," a government spokesperson told the BBC in a...

2019 BMW Z4 spy shots and video

It was in 2011 that we first caught wind of BMW and Toyota's plans to jointly develop a “mid-size sports car platform” to spawn replacements for their respective Z4 and Supra models. Today we have new spy shots plus video of a prototype for the BMW model, previously thought to be called a Z5. BMW has since confirmed the car will be...