TURIN, Italy -- Fiat SpA will announce within a month a technical cooperation between its Ferrari and Maserati subsidiaries on engine work aimed at rebuilding the Alfa Romeo brand.
Ferrari to help Alfa Romeo on engines, Marchionne says
"Ferrari will take a more active role in engine development for Alfa, similar to what Ferrari already did for Maserati," Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Wednesday in a call with analysts.
Marchionne added that "engines worth wearing the Alfa badge" remain the biggest issue he is facing in reviving the sports-car brand.
After struggling for years to relaunch Alfa, Marchionne in November announced a new plan, calling for nine new-model introductions from 2013 through 2016. He hopes to triple Alfa sales to 300,000 units annually in 2016, from about 100,000 last year.
Three new models
Marchionne said Alfa is currently working on the development of three new products, in addition to the brand's three existing models.
A Fiat spokesman told Automotive News Europe that Marchionne was referring to the mid-sized Giulia sedan and wagon and a two-seat, rear-wheel-drive spider.
The Giulias models, set to replace the Alfa 159 discontinued at the end of 2011, are due to debut in Europe in 2014 and in the United States in 2015. The Giulias will be built in the Cassino plant in central Italy. The factory already builds the Giulietta compact for Alfa as well as the Delta for Lancia and the Bravo for Fiat.
The Alfa spider will be built by Mazda Motor Corp. in its Hiroshima, Japan, plant, together with the replacement of the MX-5 roadster, starting in 2015.
The spokesman added that the Alfa 4C limited edition coupe, unveiled as a concept car at the Geneva auto show in March 2011, is already considered part of the existing Alfa range. The others are the MiTo subcompact and Giulietta compact.
The 4C will go on sale by the end of the year in Europe and the United States. Production is planned at 2,500 units a year. Of those, 1,000 would be bound for Europe and the United States each; the balance would be sold in the rest of the world.
Ferrari input for Maserati
Supercar maker Ferrari co-developed with Maserati two twin-turbo gasoline direct-injection engines that are making their debut on the Maserati Quattroporte flagship sedan.
The redesigned Quattroporte, unveiled at the Detroit auto show this month, goes on sale in Europe in February and in Asia in March. It will reach the U.S. market in May or June.
The standard Quattroporte comes with a 3.0-liter V-6 delivering 410 horsepower; the top-end model is powered by a 3.8-liter V-8 delivering 530 hp.
Both Maserati engines are built at Ferrari's Maranello, Italy, complex, which underwent a $67 million upgrade to add the Maserati power plant.
So far, Fiat has only said the Alfa 4C will come with a new, all-aluminum 1.75-liter, 4-cylinder direct injection turbo engine rated at about 250 hp.
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