I think you possibly answered your own question- fuel quality.
If you look at all the petrol engines fitted to the 156, you'll see they all have approximately the same specific output (power/engine size). I've looked through this and noted all the Alfa engine have generous valve sizes for the respective capacity. If we look at 4 cylinder engines for a moment, 2.0 TS valves are larger than the old Focus ST170 or even the 16v Vauxhall/Opel red top. Strangely, the ST170 can be easily tuned (induction kit, de-cat and remap) to make 200BHP. (Also remember Renaultsport 197) Similarly, Anderson Racing Engines can extract almost 300Bhp from the red top without changing the camshafts but it does need to rev to around 9000rpm to achieve that. It isn't cheap to make that power though but it does out-perform a Honda S2000 everywhere in the rev range without trick cam timing, variable inlet manifold but simply uses Jenvey throttle bodies instead.
I can only think that in the scale of things, larger companies can divert more resources to development and that as there are many more engineers modifying more common engines, I think there is just more chance that someone stumbles upon the exact formula to make the respective engine really work.
I think that is largely what it comes down to. If enough people spend long enough, someone will 'get lucky' through experience and dedication. I just don't think there is enough collective knowledge to better develop Alfa engines. I don't mean to demean any tuners but their time and resources are not limitless and there is comparatively little competition to move things on.
Perhaps one day, before cars become electric, there will be equipment available to scan engine components and have sufficiently developed programming of thermodynamics to be able to calculate and machine the optimum configurations so the Alfa engines perform competitively.
As for the Busso, until such time someone makes a shielded carbon plenum chamber and better engine bay ventilation to lower induction gas temperature significantly, I think efficiency will remain quite compromised.
Last edited by Fruity; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:38.