The recent news
of development collaboration between Alfa Romeo and Maserati
has sparked off a wealth of possibilities and rumours
portraying an exciting future sports and luxury car
With the conclusion of the ‘put’ option saga, Fiat-GM
Powertrain development is now coming to a close,
opening up a new horizon of possibilities without the
previous transparent restriction of the technology being
fixed to suit the GM range.
new future: the 405bhp Alfa Romeo Brera GTA
Providing a taste of the new level of top end Alfa Romeo
cars, it is now confirmed that the Alfa Romeo Brera GTA will
feature a drivetrain that is far more potent than anything
currently offered in the range.
Extracting the most out of
the Powertrain deal, Paolo Massai and his team have heavily
re-worked the internals of the so-called ‘HF V6’, a 3,199 cc
block, bolting on twin turbo’s for the extreme GTA
It appears that literally every component of the engine has
been unbolted, and chucked in the skip. New liners have been
fixed in position and fresh pistons fitted. Alfa Romeo style
manifolds have been added, whilst the injection system and
electronics have been designed to optimize engine
performance characteristics. In the case of the GTA, the
cylinder heads have been fitted with the new UNIAIR system,
dispensing with the butterfly throttle valve.
As a result, the Brera GTA Biturbo engine obtains Euro 5
emissions standards, with power output peaking at an
impressive 405bhp @ 6000rpm. Most surprising, however, is
the 680Nm of torque that is throttled out through all four
wheels, an estimated 13% increase over the 600Nm that would
be available with a conventional engine without UNIAIR.
With this stunning engine mated
to a six-speed mechanical Selespeed type gearbox, this
attractive 2+2 is expected to guide a new generation of
joint projects developed by Alfa Romeo and Maserati.
At this early stage, it is not clear whether entire bodywork
sharing programmes between the two brands will exist,
although the designers are clearly feeling upbeat about the
closer development that is forecast. A scheme that is
currently in the early stages of definition is Progetto 941,
a replacement for the Alfa Romeo 166 expected to be revealed
at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007.
The styling work for this car is currently being finalised,
expected to be completed in early spring. With a large
wheelbase of 2955mm, the spacious sedan will exude
particularly sport oriented characteristics, aimed as a
contender to a potential Porsche four-door that is rumoured
of being under development, whilst not cannibalising the
beautiful Maserati Quattroporte. Progetto 941 is scheduled
to hit the show rooms in October 2007.
For Progetto 941, Alfa Romeo and Maserati have jointly
developed a transaxle, clearly with the economies of scale
related to parts sharing in mind. The two makes are also
expected to share a 4-litre V8 Alfa Romeo VM Diesel engine,
derived from the modular 3-Litre VM VR630 V6 Diesel unit.
Extracting the most out of
the Powertrain deal, Paolo Massai (seen here with the
Croswagon) and his team have heavily re-worked the
internals of the so-called ‘HF V6’, a 3,199 cc
block, adding twin turbo’s for the extreme GTA
The Alfa Romeo 8c sports car concept, which has
received widespread public and press acclaim alike,
is based around the Maserati Coupe's 4.2-litre V8 engine and rear
Progetto 941, which will replace the Alfa 166
(above), Alfa Romeo and Maserati have jointly
developed a new transaxle, with the economies of
scale related to parts sharing in mind
The impressive new 4-litre V8 Alfa Romeo VM Diesel engine,
derived from the modular 3-Litre VM VR630 V6 Diesel
unit, and fitted with Multiair, will
serve as the diesel option for both Alfa's Progetto 941 and the
Maserati GT Wagon (above)
Fitted with Multiair, this impressive engine will
serve as the Diesel option for both Progetto 941 and the
Maserati GT Wagon. A Maserati V8 will also be available for
VENTURES: FOUR WHEEL DRIVE
Another parts sharing scheme is in the form of the Alfa
Romeo Torsen-C integral four-wheel drive traction system,
now in its third evolution with an active rear
differential. Maserati will without doubt be searching for a
suitable four-wheel-drive system to impel the GT Wagon, with
this design being an ideal contender.
Ferrari and Maserati are also rumoured to be developing a
new V6 petrol engine, which will be assigned under the
bonnet of the Maserati GT Coupé and Spider after 2008. This
engine may also filter through to Alfa Romeo models after
2010, although the uncertainty linked with such distant
forecasts casts a bank of haze over the certain outcome.
management 'dream team' on the cards?
An Alfa Romeo-Maserati
alliance could see a senior management 'dream team' fall
naturally into place. Maserati's CEO, Martin Leach, a former
boss of Ford Europe, is one of the most highly regarded
figures in the automotive industry, and likewise Alfa CEO
Karl-Heinz Kalbfell comes with a big reputation.
Both are real 'go getters', and while Leach's strengths are in
product and engineering, Kalbfell compliments this with this
vast BMW experience in marketing, brand and sales. Combining
the two talents would create a potent and experienced force
to be recognised.
Alfa Romeo 8c
Competizione concept to get the green light?
While discussing any impending tie-up between Alfa Romeo and
Maserati, mention must be made of the gorgeous Alfa 8c
Competizione concept. This sports car, which has received
widespread public and press acclaim, is based around the
Maserati Coupe and Spyder's 4.2-litre V8 engine and rear
As such it is a prime example of the superb synergy between
the two brands, available by combining Alfa Romeo heritage
and design, with modern day Maserati engineering, and is the
perfect example, in the metal, of how collaboration between
the two companies could become a reality.
For the near
future, the severing of the agreement with GM makes it ever
more likely that the 8c Competizione will, after all,
receive the green light for a limited series production.