When the Alfa Romeo 166’s successor is launched in 2005 it will probably be powered by GM-developed V6 and V8 engines.

When the Alfa Romeo 166’s successor is launched in 2005 it will probably be powered by GM-developed V6 and V8 engines.

According to a report on , Alfa will develop its own cylinder heads, but the bottom-end of the engine could be sourced from GM's Australian division, Holden. The Holden product range is based on Opel, Isuzu and Suzuki derivates.

Alfisti may scoff at the idea of “Cuore Sportivo” becoming “Cuore Americano” or “Cuore Australiano”, but with a buyout of Fiat Auto by General Motors likely next year, platform and component sharing would be an obvious part of the deal.

The engines will apparently debut in 2005 in the replacement Alfa 166 and will also be used in the next-generation 156, Spider and GTV. According to the report, the engineering partnership will see widescale sharing of engines and transmissions across the Vauxhall/Opel/Saab and Fiat/Alfa/Lancia ranges.

There will also be a V8 version from this engine range, allowing Alfa Romeo to offer an alternative to the eight-cylinder powerplants offered by BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar and Audi.

The 60-degree V6 engines will appear in various capacities between three and four litres. “It has an alloy block, an alloy bedplate and a stressed oil sump - features that reduce engine block flex, allowing high crank speeds and improved refinement,” reported this week.

Alfa Romeo will make its own JTS (jet thrust stochiometric) direct-injection technology alloy cylinder heads, and probably assemble the engines at its Arese plant near Milan. But the core of the engine was designed by GM in North America, while production engineering has been carried out in Canada and Australia, where GM's versions of the engines will be manufactured.

The demise of the current V6, now in its ultimate form as a 188 kW 3,2-litre powerplant in the 156 GTA, will bring to an end an engine that has been around for a quarter of a century. Launched in the Alfa 6 saloon in 1979, it has long been famed for its smoothness and characteristic engine note. But according to European scribes, the engine’s heavy fuel consumption, and the difficulty getting it to comply with stricter European emission regulations, has meant that the engine will be discontinued.

Original article from Car