Fiat is expanding availability of its innovative 0.9-liter turbocharged two-cylinder to its subcompact Alfa Romeo and Fiat models.

Fiat will expand the engine lineup in its Alfa Romeo MiTo and Fiat Grande Punto models to include a new powertrain nabbed from the Fiat 500's parts bin.

Boasting less than one full liter of displacement, the 0.9-liter two-cylinder uses Fiat's innovative TwinAir technology, which features a unique valve management system and a turbocharger. In the 500, the engine is rated at an impressive - for the small size - 85 horsepower.

Despite the reduction in displacement, the engine will actually be an upgrade for both the MiTo and the Grande Punto. The Alfa Romeo's current base engine - a 1.4-liter unit - is rated at 77 horsepower, while the Grande Punto's little 1.2-liter is rated at just 64 ponies.

Start/stop technology and a dashboard-mounted Eco button, which modifies throttle input, will help ensure optimal fuel economy. Look for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions to drop by around 10 to 15 percent despite the added power.

Both Alfa Romeo's 1.4-liter engine and Fiat's 1.2-liter unit are expected to remain in production; the TwinAir two-cylinder will be a premium option for those seeking the lowest levels of emissions, a boon for European taxation based on CO2 output.

The engine won't be offered in North America, although its technologies will likely be applied to future four-cylinder models for entry-level Chrysler, Dodge and Fiat vehicles.


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