The clear objective of future powertrain development is strongly characterized by lowest emission impact and minimum overall system cost penalty to the customer. In the past decades emission impact has been primarily related to both optimization of combustion process and exhaust after-treatment system efficiency. Nowadays, weight reduction is one of the main objectives for vehicular applications, considering the related improvements both in fuel consumption (i.e. CO2 production) and engine-out emissions. The state of the art of catalytic converter systems for automotive ZEV-oriented applications has yet to be introduces into mass production.This paper investigates the successful application o metallic turbulent structures for catalytic converters along with innovative packaging considerations, such as structured outer mantle, which lead to significant weight reductions, exhaust backpressure minimization and improved overall emission conversion efficiency. Virtual engineering, such as FEA and CFD simulation, has been used to optimize the substrate (matrix and mantle) and successively a comprehensive test procedure has been carried out to validate the innovative substrate architecture.