Ferrari has announced the introduction of a new painting process – which may not seem like the most exciting thing going on in Maranello, what with all the high-powered (and high-priced) machinery rolling out of the factory these days. But the effects open up some intriguing possibilities for the supercar manufacturer.
Developed in conjunction with the paint specialists at PPG, the new low-temperature paint system is touted as the first of its kind in the industry. It allows the automaker to bake the paint finish at 100 degrees instead of 150, which stands to substantially decrease the amount of energy required to manufacture the vehicles. (This after becoming one of the first in the industry to introduce a less environmentally impactful, water-based paint system in 2004.)
The new process also makes the finish on the bodywork more resistant to water permeation, which is good news for the cars that are still made largely of metal (particularly aluminum) – contrary to rivals like Lamborghini and McLaren that make theirs mostly out of carbon fiber. But those parts that Ferrari makes from the expensive woven material (and other composites) can now be baked together with the bodyshell, resulting in better color uniformity. And that means the cars will look better once completed.
Even more interesting, though, is that the new process allows the Prancing Horse marque to combine metallic base coats with gloss or matte clear coats to yield 61 different finishes. So while red, for example, may remain the classic choice for Ferraris, it needn’t be the only one, and even those reds will be offered in a wider variety of finishes. And a variety of Ferraris sounds pretty darn good to us, don’t you think?