At present the only Alfa Romeos on sale on these shores is the 4C sports car and its 4C Spider convertible variant. Over the coming years, the automaker will start adding more models to its lineup, with an aim to have at least eight separate model lines by 2018. This will also require the addition of more engines, but rather than borrow units from sister brand Fiat, as has been the case in the past, Alfa plans to introduce new, more exciting powerplants.
In an announcement made this week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles [NYSE:FCAU] CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Alfa Romeo will start production of two new engines at a plant in Termoli, Italy. Both engines are for future Alfa Romeos and, as such, will play an important role in the brand’s global relaunch.
One is described as a “high-output” four-cylinder, with the second said to be a “Ferrari-derived” six-cylinder. No specifics were released but according to a previous report, both engines will be available in either gasoline or diesel flavors. The gasoline units are said to displace 2.0 and 2.9 liters respectively (by making the V-6 smaller than 3.0 liters, Alfa will be able to escape punitive taxes based on engine displacements in key markets such as China), while the diesel mills are said to displace 2.2 and 3.0 liters respectively.
The most potent engine will reportedly be a twin-turbocharged and direct-injected V-6 with as much as 480 hp on tap. This unit will likely be reserved for high-performance Alfa Romeos, tipped to wear the “GTA” badge. Note, Ferrari may build its own version of the engine for use in a rumored six-cylinder sports car.
Work to retool the Termoli plant for the new engines is already underway. With installed production capacity for the two engines of more than 200,000 units, the plant will be capable of meeting approximately half of the total volumes projected in Alfa Romeo’s plan for 2018.
“This high-tech project is an integral part of our bet on Alfa Romeo,” Marchionne said. More than 500 million euros ($537 million) have been allocated for the development of the engines and retooling of the plant.
The first Alfa Romeo to feature the new engines will be the long-awaited 159 replacement, which will be revealed this June and should be on sale in the U.S. early next year.