TURIN - Lancia's new big car may be powered by a Cadillac V-8.
Fiat Auto is considering adding V-8 gasoline and 3.5-liter turbodiesel engines to its project 841 -the new Lancia flagship that will replace the K.
The new car will debut in June 2001 with Alfa Romeo's 3.0-liter, 24-valve V-6 unit upgraded to 3.2-liters as the top gasoline engine. The top turbodiesel will be Isuzu's new 3.0-liter V-6 common rail rated at about 200hp.
But Fiat Auto is thinking about adding two even bigger engines. The gasoline choices are: a detuned version of Maserati's new normally aspirated V-8, or GM's 4.6-liter, 32-valve V-8 Northstar, used by Cadillac.
Maserati's new V-8 will debut in summer 2001 on the Maserati Spider, derived from the Maserati 3200 GT coupe.
The Northstar has the advantage of lower production costs and is designed to be mounted transversely, like the other engines in the project 841 range. Maserati's V-8 is more expensive and would need modifications to fit into the 841 engine bay, as it was designed for north-south mounting.
The top 841 diesel engine could be a 3.5-liter version of Isuzu's V-6.
GM and Fiat formed an alliance in March that calls for equity exchanges and the formation of 50-50 powertrain and purchasing joint ventures. The partners are concentrating on purchasing and powertrain synergies, but are also studying vehicle platform sharing.