Ferrari technical training center pictured above for illustrative purposes

If there's one thing on which treehuggers and tire-smokers can agree on, it's the need to reduce weight in vehicles. It hurts performance and it hurts fuel efficiency. Few know that as well as Ferrari, which has just taken things to another level by dedicating a new research lab at the University of Modena and Regio Emilia.

Called the Mille Chili lab, it bears the same name and the same purpose as the lightweight concept car which the sportscar-maker unveiled in 2007. In the new lab, students will work with faculty members and Ferrari engineers to find new ways of reducing weight in automobiles, which is something we can all get behind, whether your banner color is red or green. Details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Ferrari]



Maranello, 17th February 2009 – Related to the research and development projects of new models, weight reduction has always been a major goal for Ferrari, which also leads to less fuel consumption and reduced emissions. Numerous technological innovations in this direction have been incorporated in Ferrari models over past years. A project called "MilleChili" was presented recently. The target of this project was the overall weight of the car (mille chili = 1,000 kg), a stimulus for the development of engineering solutions which take advantage of light weight.

Today the project takes a step forward in its development, thanks to collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, especially with its Engineering department. Today the "Mille Chili" Laboratory has been inaugurated at the department. It is a lecture room equipped with hardware, software and chassis from Ferrari to study research projects developed by the faculty's undergraduates, aiming at a weight reduction. Eight undergraduates will work at the "Mille Chili" laboratory. They can rely on the support of their teaching staff and some Ferrari engineers.
The inauguration was held in the presence of the students, the teaching staff and the President of the faculty Professor Giuseppe Cantore, while for Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa and Mario Mairano, Head of Human Resources and General Secretariat, were present.

Engineer Felisa said: "It is a great pleasure to inaugurate this laboratory, which will work on a very important issue for the future. The experience confirms that constant collaboration between private industry and University is a fundamental part, and contributes to growth for both parties: the University has to work with not exclusively theoretical issues, while the industry can confront itself with new ideas."

On the subject of University and innovation Amedeo Felisa reminded that "Ferrari will finance six scholarships in the area of research by young graduates/undergraduates in Engineering, Physics, Architecture and Human Studies at Italian and international Universities. This shows the attention our Company has for the young to increase the value of creativity and competence."

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