Alfa Romeo engines will benefit from Ferrari know-how and involvement in their develpment.
US Industry paper Automotive News reports that a new technical cooperation between the Fiat-owned brands will leverage Ferrari’s engine development expertise to rebuild the Alfa Romeo brand’s historic image.
Fiat boss Sergio Marchionne is understood to be behind the push to make the most of the the group’s subsidiaries.
"Ferrari will take a more active role in engine development for Alfa, similar to what Ferrari already did for Maserati," Marchionne reportedly told the site.
Marchionne has reportedly identified Ferrari’s involvement with Alfa Romeo as key in addressing a current lack of "engines worth wearing the Alfa badge", as he rebuilds the brand beyond its current three model line-up.
Existing MiTo, Giulietta and 159 Alfa Romeo models rely on a range of Fiat and GM-based engines that were primarily developed for mainstream applications, unlike the character-filled performance mills on which the legendary brand was built.
The upcoming mid-engined 4C sports car is set to use a new Fiat-designed 1.8 litre turbocharged engine when it launches later this year, and its focus on Alfa Romeo applications during development should instil some confidence in its Alfa-worthiness.
In November last year, Marchionne announced a plan to introduce nine new Alfa Romeo models by 2017, with the intention of lifting sales from Alfa’s current 100,000 unit annual volume to 300,000 over the same period.
Three of these models are already in development, namely the 159-replacing Giulia sedan and wagon, and the recently confirmed MX-5 based rear-wheel drive roadster which is expected to resurrect the Spider nameplate.
The Giulia is expected to go in sale in Europe in 2014 and the US in 2015, while the new Spider is expected at around the same time.
It remains to be seen which models would benefit first from the expected Fiat/Ferrari collaboration, but an announcement is expected to come this month.