UPDATE: Fiat To Build 300-hp Turbocharged I-4 For Alfa Romeo 4C

UPDATE: Harald J. Wester, Head of Alfa Romeo just confirmed reports of the turbocharged new four-banger. “This is an extremely important step for Alfa Romeo, as we continue to reposition our brand and prepare it for global distribution” he said, “The United States remains our primary objective as we prepare for a 2013 introduction of our models.”

Fiat has reportedly given Alfa Romeo the go-ahead to build a new high performance four-cylinder to help spearhead its return to the United States, says Automotive News Europe. The new 300-hp turbocharged mill will become the beating heart of the mid-engined Alfa 4C, when it makes its way to our shores in the next couple years.

The new 1.8-liter turbocharged I-4 will reportedly replace Fiat’s current 1.7-liter turbo I-4, which at its peak produces a respectable 235-hp in the Alfa Giulietta hatch. On the other hand, the new turbo 1.8-liter 300-hp mill will feature direct-injection, all-aluminum construction, and the capability of being both transversely and longitudinally mounted for both front and rear-drive configurations.

Automotive News Europe reports that this new engine will more than likely make its debut in the Alfa 4C when it reaches our shores in mid-2013. The engine will also find its way under the hood of the Alfa 159’s replacement, the Giulia, which will likely be built in the U.S. for global sales.

With the new 300-hp turbocharged I-4 as its beating heart, the reportedly sub-1800 lbs mid-engined 4C should do much to rekindle Alfa’s American romance. We’re falling in love already.

Source: Automotive News Europe (subscription required), Alfa Romeo