Believe it or not, some of the engines powering Maserati's flagship Quattroporte and its hot-selling entry-level Ghibli sedan have blocks machined right in Detroit. During summer, employees at Chrysler Group's Trenton Engine Complex have been machining aluminum 3.0-liter V-6 engine blocks – as supervised by Ferrari engineers.
The blocks -- with cast-in steel cylinder liners --are being sent to Ferrari SpA’s plant in Maranello, Italy, for finishing. They will then be fitted into Maserati vehicles. This marks the first time that Chrysler has had a hand in building engines for the luxury nameplates of its new parent -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
According to Brian Harlow, global head of powertrain manufacturing engineering for FCA, Chrysler is machining around 50 engine blocks per day for Maserati, with production set to expand to 80.
He said that it has been a “real opportunity” for Chrysler to learn working on high-performance engines. He said the work should allow Chrysler to improve its standard engines since they are working on a smaller engine on a higher level.
Machining engine blocks for Maserati has made workers at Trenton Engine even prouder – as it adds to their resume of iconic Chrysler engines like the Slant Six and the 440. Workers were so proud that they have placed signs touting the plant as Ferrari-certified and have displayed the brand's prancing horse logo.
Harlow quipped that both the casting and the machining of the aluminum blocks are done to exacting tolerances. He remarked that while Weber Automotive GmbH is machining the aluminum V-6 for Maserati in Europe, the demand for the marque’s sedans has so far exceeded the supplier’s ability to machine enough blocks – prompting FCA to look for more capacity in North America. [source: automotive news - sub. required]