For Alfa Romeo, it’s always been about performance – and not just in their 0-60 measurements. Alfa Romeo places a heavy emphasis on handling performance, thus every Alfa Romeo powertrain must be relatively lightweight for its power level. With this emphasis on handling, it’s no wonder that there are no full electric cars in Alfa Romeo plans. With current technology, they would bring to much weight penalty which has a negative impact on handling. Thus, most Alfa Romeo hybrid options will be a mild-hybrid 48V system.
The first electrified Alfa Romeo powertrain will be a belt driven 48V system. In other words, it’s a very similar or identical system to eTorque used by the new Jeep Wrangler (JL) and Ram 1500. This system helps in stop-and-go situations and translates to improvements for official city fuel economy.
The second technology is extremely important for Alfa Romeo. It is called E-Booster. That’s none other than an electric supercharger. It’s used at low to mid rpm while a classic turbocharger takes over at mid to high rpm.
Using an E-Booster allows them to fit a larger turbocharger for additional maximum power from an internal combustion engine. According to Alfa Romeo’s plans, it’s up to 25% more powerful than current engines.
Doing quick math and keeping in mind that a current 2.0-liter turbo has a 280 horsepower, we can calculate that a future 2.0-liter with E-Booster will have around 350 horsepower. This is exactly as indicated by specifications for a yet-to-be-revealed engine in an Alfa Romeo parts catalog.
But that’s not all E-Booster technology will accomplish. It will also come paired with a 2.9-liter V6 90° engine. It will have more than 600 horsepower, according to an official plan. We have heard that the goal is actually set for 650 horsepower.
Don’t forget that E-Booster technology must use a 48V mild hybrid system. Thus, we do not expect much, if any, fuel economy penalty with it. This also allows one more important thing for Alfa Romeo. Instead of using a 6- or 8-cylinder engines for reaching such high power levels, Alfa will keep using smaller lighter weight engines which will help with handling performance. It will be even better if this system has a P2 electric motor. In this case, the electric motor is placed on the transmission input. This is a superior solution compared to eTorque and can offer more energy recuperation and its operation is not limited to the low-end RPM range.
The next step in electrification plans is obviously to develop plug-in hybrids. Yet again, Alfa will play the card of performance. This is not only because performance attracts more buyers, but because performance car buyers are more willing to spend extra on such technology and obviously plug-in hybrids are not cheap to build.
According to a slide where PHEV is mentioned in the 5-year plan, Alfa is stating that such cars will have mid 4-seconds 0-100 km/h (0-62mph) time with more than 50km of electric range. This is better than what is currently offered by competitors.
An Alfa Romeo specialty model is also in the plans with a PHEV architecture. According to plans, it will have more than 700 horsepower, but we’ve heard that goal is actually as much as 780 horsepower. This car, called 8C, will undoubtedly aim at McLaren and Ferrari rear mid engines models. The 8C’s PHEV architecture is most likely very similar, if not identical, to the one which will Maserati use for their future GT model called Alfieri.
At the end of 2022, it’s planned that Alfa will have 6 PHEV models in total. That’s an ambitious feat to achieve, not to mention adding all of the mild hybrid models. However, in Alfa’s favor is the performance orientation of these products, something that is totally in line with the brand ethos. Alfa is not just another so-called “green brand,” but a brand that will emphasize performance through advanced, electrified powertrains.