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If you were to design your own engine for today's automotive market, what features would it include? Aluminum construction? Direct injection? Turbocharging? Variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust? Small displacement but a high output? Try all of these features and you're looking at the latest powerplant developed by Alfa Romeo and Fiat Powertrain Technologies.

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The flow of technology under the Fiat umbrella typically moves from Ferrari to the other brands. After all, between its road and race car programs, Maranello spends an inordinate amount of time and money on research and development. But it looks like the latest bit of technology in Italy is about to go the other way.

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What did we tell you? It's all about synergy, people. Automakers around the world are aligning themselves into a constricting cadre of corporate groups, all in the aim of sharing resources. So when Fiat, for example, has a winner on its hands – be it a new platform, a new transmission or anything in between – you know it'll only be a matter of time before it finds its way to Chrysler headquarters in Auburn Hills. Likely in Sergio Marchionne's hand luggage.

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One of the last vestiges of the aborted partnership between Fiat and General Motors is coming to a close. An engine plant in Bielsko-Biala, Poland, has been jointly owned by GM and Fiat Powertrain Technologies (FPT). FPT has reached an agreement with GM to buy out the American company's stake.

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Lancia di Lancia launches in Venice – Click either image for high-res image gallery

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While the 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee wowed the crowds in New York, what lies beneath could be a key to Chrysler's recovery. The new 3.6-liter V6, called Pentastar after the company's five-pointed-star logo, replaces seven – count 'em, seven – of Chrysler's aging engines, and stands as the outcome of several years of development.

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