After being considered for the past five years, the green light has been given by Fiat for a high performance 1.8 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine fitted for the Alfa Romeo brand. The new unit, which was first announced in November 2006, is designed for longitudinal and turbocharging applications.
It will be an all-aluminum unit which features high pressure direct injection and turbocharging, with power reaching 300hp, the company stated. The current 1.75 liter turbo power engine from Fiat peaks at 235hp in the Alfa Giulietta compact hatchback.
The first model that will most likely utilize the new engine will be the Alfa Romeo 4C, which is a limited edition coupe due in mid-2013, says Autonews. Alfa launched a concept model of the 4C at the Geneva auto show in March. The first volume application of the new engine will be on the Giulia midsized wagon and sedan to replace the Europe-only 159 range due by the early part of 2014. The Giulia models most likely will be assembled in the United States for distribution in Europe as well as North America.
The new 1.8 liter engine will be manufactured for worldwide application at the company's Pratola Serra plant in central Italy starting in the early parts of 2013. Currently, this factory manufactures Fiat midsize diesel and gasoline engines such as the 1.75 liter turbo unit. The new engine is made to be compliant with future emissions standards in both the U.S. (Tier 2 Bin 5) and Europe (Euro 6).
Fiat's chief technology officer and head of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, Harald Wester, commented that this is an "extremely important step" for Alfa Romeo while they continue to reposition the brand and prepare it for worldwide distribution. He added that the United States remains their primary objective while they prepare for a 2013 launch of their vehicle models.