TURIN, Italy – Fiat S.p.A. has given the green light to a high performance 1.8 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine for the Alfa Romeo brand that it has been considering for the past five years.
First announced in November 2006, the new unit – designed for both transversal and longitudinal applications – will be an all-aluminum unit featuring high pressure direct injection and turbocharging, with power peaking at 300hp, Fiat said.
Fiat's current 1.75 liter turbo power engine peaks at 235hp in the Alfa Giulietta compact hatchback.
The first model to use the new engine most likely will be the Alfa Romeo 4C, a limited edition coupe due in mid-2013. Alfa unveiled a concept model of the 4C in March at the Geneva auto show.
The first volume application of the new engine will occur on the Giulia midsized sedan and wagon to replace the Europe-only 159 range due in early 2014. The Giulia models most likely will be built in the U.S. for distribution in North America and Europe.
The new engine will be built for global application at the carmaker's Pratola Serra plant in central Italy, beginning in early 2013. The facility currently builds Fiat midsize gasoline and diesel engines, including the 1.75 liter turbo unit.
The new 1.8 liter engine is designed to be compliant with future emissions standards in both Europe (Euro 6) and the U.S. (Tier 2 Bin 5).
"This is an extremely important step for Alfa Romeo, as we continue to reposition our brand and prepare it for global distribution. The United States remains our primary objective as we prepare for a 2013 introduction of our models," Harald Wester, Fiat's chief technology officer and head of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, said in a statement.
Wester added that the engine is the first in a series of initiatives to be implemented in the near future which will reconnect Alfa Romeo to its historical roots as a premium Italian sports car brand.