Alfa Romeo has a reputation for building brilliant engines, combining Italian passion and a sonorous soundtrack in vehicles that the average person can afford. However, in 2005, Alfa Romeo stopped building its own V6 engines and decided to use a unit supplied by General Motors. The engines still used an Alfa Romeo cylinder head and induction system but the heritage of the previous V6 engines no longer remained and to the purists the GM-sourced mills didn't have the Alfa magic.

For a while it was thought that Alfa Romeo was developing a pair of new V6 engines displacing 3.0 and 3.5L, respectively, which would output more than 100hp (74kW) per liter. Unfortunately, plans for the new V6 engines were shelved with the introduction of tougher carbon-dioxide emissions standards in Europe.

All is not lost, however, as rumor has it Alfa Romeo is still developing new V6 engines, but the latest design is for smaller displacement and forced-induction units. The new engines are allegedly being designed by former Ferrari engine boss Paolo Martinelli. Expected to displace between 2.7 and 3.3L, the new engines will output up to 350hp (261kW) in naturally aspirated form and up to 500hp (373kW) in turbocharged form.

There's yet to be any official word from Alfa Romeo in regards to the rumored V6 engine project but the idea of using smaller capacity forced-induction engines to save fuel is nothing new. Mercedes-Benz confirmed that its future powertrain lineup will feature full turbocharged engines and a number of other carmakers are planning to follow suit.