Alfa’s magnificent V6 is destined to only power a handful of cars, so we’re imagining a world in which it’s better utilised…
A few weeks ago, we learned that the Alfa Romeo Giorgio platform FCA is to be killed off. Bad news for lovers of Alfa’s new breed of rear-drive cars, which will end up being a brief moment of awesomeness in the Italian marque’s chequered history.
The move to the new ‘Stellantis STLA-Large’ platform for new Alfas also spells near-certain doom for the brand’s 2.9-litre V6. And having spent about four months driving a car with that magnificent engine, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, this makes us especially sad.
It’s a criminally underused powerplant, primarily because plans to use the Giorgio platform for other vehicles – both at Alfa Romeo and other Stellantis brands – have been scaled back. We’re fairly certain both Giorgio and the V6 will be deployed for the Maserati Grecale crossover, but that’ll be it. The Maserati MC20 supercar’s ‘Nettuno’ V6 does seem to be related to the Alfa engine, at least.
With a raucous, throaty exhaust note and a hilariously punchy delivery, we’d argue Alfa Romeo’s V6 is the most exciting six-cylinder engine around right now. It beats BMW’s new S58 hands down, and we even prefer it to some V8s, which is why the neglect is such a pity.
This got us thinking. What cars might benefit from the powerplant? We’re talking about vehicles that could, with a vague modicum of feasibility, adopt it. Here’s what we came up with:
Ferrari is producing some preposterously overpowered cars these days. The recently revealed 812 Competizione is the most bonkers of the lot with its 818bhp 6.5-litre V12, while the F8 Tributo isn’t all that far away with 710.
The Roma is one of Ferrari’s least powerful models, but it still kicks out 612bhp. Sounds modest given what else is in Maranello’s stable, but when we tried a Roma for the first time the other week, it still seemed needlessly fast. The 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 is also a little too much for the rear wheels to handle even on a dry road, and it doesn’t exactly offer up the most inspiring soundtrack either.
I’d happily lose a bit of power and a big chunk of torque and switch this engine out for its naturally-aspirated ‘F136’ predecessor. Or better yet, the Alfa V6. After all, it’s supposedly derived from a Ferrari V8, so it’d be great to see the unit return ‘home’. 503bhp and that angry exhaust note would be dreamy in the Roma.
It’s worth pointing out that Ferrari is reportedly developing its own V6 that’s unrelated to the Alfa six-banger. It’ll be tied up with a hybrid system, however, delivering yet another pointlessly high power output.
Alfa Rome Giulia Veloce
Although mere sentences ago I proposed the use of Alfa’s V6 in the Roma on the grounds of its more sensible power output, it could be argued that 503bhp is still too much away from a track. In the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, moments of wide-open throttle are intoxicating but all too brief, and it’s the same with the Giulia Q.
The answer is the Giulia Veloce, which pairs that sharp rear-drive chassis with a 276bhp engine. That’s still more than enough shove for most, but there’s a catch – it’s developed by a relatively dull inline-four turbo engine.
Were the Stellantis not under such pressure to bring down its average fleet emissions in Europe, perhaps a Veloce with the V6 might be possible. A single, lower-pressure turbo could replace the twin setup for an output of about 350bhp. Had Giorgio been launched five or so years earlier, something like this might just have happened.
Jeep may be slinging a V8 in the Wrangler, but it’s unclear if the longer Gladiator version will be as lucky. As it stands, the pokiest version makes around 280bhp from a 3.6-litre Pentastar V6. Because we’re juvenile, though, we can’t help but imagine the awesomeness of a ridiculous rally raid Gladiator with some firepower borrowed from Jeep’s sister brand.
At the very least, it’d be nice if Jeep did this as a concept for SEMA or the Easter Moab Safari. So how about it?
For a while, it seemed as though the 300C would receive a long-overdue replacement based on the Giorgio architecture, and who knows – perhaps this could have involved the twin-turbo Alfa V6. Instead, Chyrsler opted to update the 300’s ancient platform to buy the saloon a few more years.
We can’t help but dream about an Alfa V6-engine 300C, though. Such a beast would be by far the most powerful 300, outgunning both 358bhp 5.7-litre HEMI V8 and the recently discontinued SRT8. Awkward.
This one’s a huge logic leap, but hopefully, you’ll indulge us. Picture this extremely unlikely scenario: keen to right the wrongs of the disastrous joint venture that resulted in the wretched Arna hatchback in the 80s, Alfa Romeo and Nissan bosses agree to have another go. Once again, Alfa would supply an engine for a Nissan chassis and shell, only this time, for a sports car – the new 400Z. And maybe Alfa would make a badge-engineered version and call it ‘GTV‘.
We’re going into properly far-fetched territory here, but the idea of that V6 in a compact sports car is a tremendous one. Sadly, it’s not to be – Alfa was very serious about resurrecting the GTV and making a new 8C, but both projects were canned. Now, all we can do is come up with fictitious cars like this and the others further up the page.
What cars do you think deserve Alfa Romeo’s V6? Feel free to make your suggestions as realistic or unrealistic as you like.