Speculation/analysis. Last week, Allpar was the first to show one of the Hurricane prototype engines . It is a turbocharged two-liter, according to various reports; scuttlebutt had the goal at 300 horsepower or so for an SRT version, and the mid-200s for a standard model.
Alfa Romeo recently announced its two-liter four would hit 276 horsepower, but other than taking full credit for its development, said nothing about its origins. If it were based on the 1.75 liter engine they already have, we would expect them to say it, so we suspect they are using some version of the Hurricane.
Normally, it would seem that the Hurricane was an updated, turbocharged version of the current “World Engine,” but Bob Lees’ 2014 presentation included an image of a future four-cylinder engine family, to be made in two sizes, for the entire company: Fiat, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Alfa Romeo (Maserati seems unlikely to use it).
Some of these technologies are being explored by Chrysler, such as the belt-starter alternator, stop-start system, cooled EGR, integrated manifold, and variable-displacement oil pump. MultiAir is from Fiat, and direct injection probably draws on Fiat’s expertise as well. The Alfa Romeo engine uses MultiAir and direct injection.
It’s possible that this will be the first appearance of the new engine family, which would, among other things, explain why the Alfa Romeo Giulia is taking so long to arrive.
It’s also possible that they are building on the existing Chrysler 2-liter engine and past work on trying to make a Dart SRT4. Alfa Romeo would have to do their own tuning and engineering, partly because the SRT engine would be built to a lower cost budget, partly because they have different goals.
Regardless, for marketing reasons, expect any new engine to show up as an Alfa Romeo first — because no premium car owner wants a mass-market engine under the hood. Since mass-market car buyers don’t mind high-end engines, even if Auburn Hills had done all the work on the new engine series (which they almost certainly have not), it would still be credited to Alfa Romeo.