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by Tim Beissmann

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Termoli plant in Italy will produce two new high-performance engines that will spearhead Alfa Romeo’s global resurgence plans.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed the Termoli plant would be responsible for building both an “advanced, high-output four-cylinder engine” and a “Ferrari-derived six-cylinder engine”. The pair has been developed specifically for Alfa Romeo.

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine will slot beneath the bonnet of the Italian brand’s highly anticipated new mid-sized sedan that’s set to be revealed in June and go on sale in 2016.

Both petrol and diesel versions are expected to emerge from the new four-cylinder engine family.

The six-cylinder petrol engine will be based on the 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 that Ferrari currently makes for Maserati’s Ghibli and Quattroporte luxury sports sedans. Maserati’s version produces 301kW of power and 550Nm of torque.

Retooling work is already underway at the plant, where FCA plans to build more than 200,000 units of the new engines every year – enough to power approximately half of the vehicles produced by Alfa Romeo every year under its ambitious 2018 volume projection.

FCA has invested more than 500 million euros ($700 million) in the design, development and engineering of the engines and construction of the new production lines.

The work is set to be completed within six months, during which time workers will also undergo the necessary training to build the new engines.

Addressing the plant workers today, Marchionne said the high-tech project was an “integral part” of FCA’s bet on Alfa Romeo.

“It is because of your technical know-how and capabilities that we are allocating production here at Termoli,” he said.

The CEO’s visit marked the 30th anniversary of the FIRE engine, of which more than 20 million units have been produced at the Termoli plant.




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