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Image credits: © Chrysler.

1987 Chrysler Portofino

By 1987 Lamborghini was owned by Chrysler and they chose the Frankfurt Auto Show as the venue to unveil the Portofino. The design was courteous of Chrysler and built atop a lengthened Lamborghini Jalpa chassis. Coggiola of Turin was commissioned to assemble the vehicle.

The design was radical for Lamborghini. The four-door, four-seater car had doors that opened vertically. There were no B-pillars which are commonly used to strengthen the passenger area in case of side impacts. The car never made it into Lamborghini production but Chrysler did use the design for its Intrepid and Concord series. The Char-Gold color made it into Chrysler production, but the doors were not used. The rear wing found its way onto the Dodge/Chrysler Stealth.

An aluminum eight-cylinder engine was transversely mounted and placed mid-ship. With the 4 twin-throat Weber 40 DCNF carburetors, the vehicle produced 225 horsepower. Power was sent to the rear wheels through a Lamborghini five-speed manual gearbox. The chassis was steel unibody and Girling ventilated disc brakes were placed on all four corners.

In 1991 a transporter carrying the Portofino concept rolled over and the vehicle was destroyed. Chrysler had the vehicle restored and remains the only example of the vehicle. It is on display in the Daimler/Chrysler World Headquarters and Tech Center in Auburn Hills, Michigan.


By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2005

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