Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Overhauling Global Powertrain Strategy | Edmunds

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Overhauling Global Powertrain Strategy


Just the Facts:
  • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is overhauling its global powertrain strategy.
  • The automaker plans to develop a new family of small-displacement gasoline engines.
  • FCA also is developing new high-performance engines for its premium brands.

AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is overhauling its global powertrain strategy, with plans to develop a new family of small-displacement gasoline engines, as well as new high-performance engines for its premium brands.

As part of a $7-billion makeover, Alfa Romeo is engineering a new range of four-cylinder and V6 gasoline and diesel engines, ranging up to 500-plus horsepower, executives said at an analyst briefing this week. The most powerful V6 engines are reserved for future Quadrifoglio high-performance editions of Alfa's next-generation models.

Maserati, which is getting a $2.8-billion upgrade, plans to offer turbocharged V6 engines ranging in output from 350-520 hp, as well as V8 engines exceeding 560 hp. The latter will be offered in such future models as the Levante crossover, as well as the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans and the next-generation GranTurismo coupe.

In North America, Chrysler is working on a new family of small-displacement gasoline engines, including both turbocharged and normally aspirated versions. The engines will be available "in many power levels," according to powertrain chief Bob Lee, but will share cylinder geometry and combustion system architecture, including such features as direct injection and stop-start technology, "for maximum efficiency."

Although electrification "has been overblown by the media," FCA also plans to ramp up its vehicle electrification efforts, including the introduction of plug-in hybrid powertrains on such future vehicles as the next-generation Town & Country minivan, beginning in 2016.

Further enhancing its efforts to boost efficiency, FCA expects that 85 percent of its transmissions in North America by 2018 will be eight- and nine-speed automatics.

Edmunds says: CO2 reduction is the main driver for powertrain change in North America and Europe in this initiative.

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