What were the symbolic engines of Alfa Romeo's 'Cuore Sportivo' in F1?
Copyright Robert Little 2021
After retiring from racing at the end of the victorious 1951 season, the series in which the 'Alfetta 159' powered Juan Manuel Fangio to win the world championship title, Alfa Romeo returned to the world of F1 in 1970 as the supplier of engines for several teams.
In 1970 Autodelta supplied 8-cylinder 90 ° V engines to Bruce McLaren for his 1970 McLaren Cars model M14D driven by Andrea de Adamich and, in 1971 for the March 711 of Nanni Galli and Ronnie Peterson.
The engine was derived from the 3-liter V-8 used by the 'Typo 33-3' that participated in the World Championship for Makes series.
Years later, the Brabham team owner Bernie Ecclestone inquired with Ing. Carlo Chiti of Autodelta to establish a inter-team relationship utilizing Chiti's highly proven 12 cylinder 'boxer' engine, culminating in the introduction of "BT45" Brabham-Alfa Romeo Formula 1 car of 1976.
The desire to actively return to the top formula with its own chassis and engine materialized in 1979 when Alfa Romeo made its debut on the Formula 1 circuits with it's secretly designed and developed 'Typo 177'.
This 177 was followed by the 100% Italian Alfa Romeo (Totale) 179 and Typo 182, cars that were directly managed by Autodelta until the end of 1982, and made the hearts of fans beat faster.
From the 1983 season, wrong choices led to the definitive disappearance of the brand with the disastrous 1985 season.
But what were the symbolic engines of the Alfa Romeo 'Sporting Heart' that made fans of the brand dream until 1987?
Let's find out together.
Alfa Romeo 'Type 105.80'
Alfa Romeo returned to Formula 1 racing in 1970 thanks to the interest of President Luraghi who wanted to adopt the Autodelta 33-3 sport engine for the McLaren MD14.
It returned with a 90 ° V-engine with bore and stroke measurements of 86 and 64.4 mm (2993 cc), equipped with an aluminum crankcase and aluminum cylinder head, with 4 valves per cylinder and 2 camshafts per cylinder. and crankshaft which rotated on 5 main supports.
Robust and compact, the Milanese V-8 had a design quite similar to that of the Ford-Cosworth DFV (four cam/four valve). Powered by a Spica indirect mechanical injection system, the McLaren version delivered an initial power of 403 hp at 9,400 rpm, which was increased to 420-425 hp at 9,500 rpm.
In 1971, passing to the application onto the March 711 chassis, the Milanese V-8 was capable of delivering a power of about 440 hp at 10,000 rpm, a power that was similar to that delivered by the Cosworth engines of the day.
Courtesy of Roberto F. Motta.
Discussion and Commentary
The Autodelta V-8 engine supplied to both McLaren Cars and later to March in 1970 was the design of Ing. Carlo Chiti following the transfer/assignment of Alfa Romeo racing activities from the factory's Servizio Esperienze Speciali” department under Ing. Busso to the newly-formed "Autodelta S.p.A." company in 1965 and his original design.
There remains some conjecture about the true historical origin of this engine... with some historians and archive researchers claiming that the unfinished and unsorted V-8 of Ing. Busso was uncerimoniously given to Ing. Chiti who was ordered to produce a winning prototype chassis for the engine.
During the development of the project, different stories about the fatherhood of the project arose.
Two different versions of the birth of the project were born from the research contained in two important books.
In the autobiography by Ing. Busso: “Nel Cuore dell'Alfa”, speaking about the T-33 Ing. Busso wrote:
"...at the beginning of 1966, the prototype chassis was delivered to Autodelta along with the new incomplete 8 cylinder engine, designed and built in our workshop by Alfa Romeo S.p.A.. The new engine began to run on the test bench on the 25th of February 1965 and and was installed in the car and testing on the 28th of May 1965 at Balocco".
On the other hand, in Oscar Orefici's book: “Carlo Chiti, Sinfonia ruggente”, Chiti remembers that at the beginning of 1965, Dr. Luraghi, during the famous working lunch, laid the foundation of the T-33 project and asked him (Chiti) to have the car in a reasonable time.
The supporters of Ing. Busso on one side and the supporters of Ing. Chiti on the other, quoting one of the two books, claimed the fatherhood of the project to either Ing. Busso or to Ing. Chiti.
For more information about this historical dispute, please turn to the "T-33 Chrono" section of this site.
Chiti's engine was this 90 ° V-engine with bore and stroke measurements of 86 and 64.4 mm (2993 cc). It was equipped with an aluminum crankcase and aluminum cylinder heads with 4 valves per cylinder and 2 camshafts per cylinder. and a crankshaft which rotated on 5 main bearings.
Robust and compact, the Milanese V-8 had a design quite similar to that of the Ford-Cosworth DFV (four cam/four valve). Powered by a Spica indirect mechanical injection system, the version furnished to Bruce McLaren delivered an initial power of 403 hp at 9,400 rpm, which was soon increased to 420-425 hp at 9,500 rpm.
In 1971, passing to the application of the V-8 to the March 711 chassis, the Milanese V-8 was capable of delivering about 440 hp at 10,000 rpm, a power level that was similar to that delivered by the Cosworth V-8's.
Alfa Romeo 'Type 105-12'
Introduced to the motor racing world during the 1972 season, the Alfa Romeo 'boxer' was one of the most technically advanced engines of its time. It had an aluminum crankcase with chromed liners, bore of 77 and stroke of 53.6 mm 2,995 cc, crankshaft mounted on four main bearings, titanium connecting rods and a lubrication system with four recovery pumps.
The cylinder head was made of aluminum, with four valves per cylinder, angled at 35 °, double springs and cups for the double-axis control of the cams, moved by a train of gears. Its initial weight was 181 kg.
The engine used on the 33TT12 produced about 500 horsepower at 11,500 rpm.
After winning the 1975 World Championship for Makes series, the 'boxer' was mounted on the Brabham BT 45 to contest the 1976 season. It debuted in F1 producing 517 hp at 12,000 rpm and a torque of 33 kgm at 9,000 rpm.
Copyright Robert Little
Courtesy of Calvin Sallee
Courtesy of Calvin Sallee
Underneath and top view of the Alfa Romeo 12 cylinder as shown in the 1978 Brabham-Alfa Romeo BT45C cars and others similiar to it.
This is an intricate model furnished for Autodelta Golden Years.com through the courtesy of master modeler Calvin Sallee of California who prepared, painted and meticulously assembled hundreds of parts from this Japanese kit. There are no such publically available images of the actual BT45C cars or engines with these educational views.
While it is not the policy of this website to show models of various racing cars...in this case there were no alternate choices to help you understand the complexity of the Brabham-Alfa Romeo engineering processes.
Courtesy of Roberto F. Motta.
Over the years this Typo 105.12 used two types of indirect injection, Lucas and Spica.
In 1977 it was lightened and its weight dropped to 175 kg while the power went up to 525 hp.
In 1978 it reached its maximum evolution and some examples reached powers of 535 and 540 HP based on the different configurations.
Powerful and reliable, over the years the "boxer" proved to be an excellent companion for the correct evolution of the "ground effects".
But at the moment of time when the designs of the other F1 manufactruers were evolving quickly and efficently, the relatively heavy and wide twelve cylinder engine of Autodelta was abandoned in favor of a newer Carlo Chiti design, the V-12 60 degree powerplant.
Alfa Romeo 'Typo 1260'
The Alfa Romeo 'Typo 1260' engine, i.e. 12 cylinders in 60 ° V, characterized by bore and stroke measurements of 77.0 and 53.60 mm (2995 cc), exploited all of the experiences of the previous boxer which maintained some proprietary design details... such as the crankshaft, connecting rods, pistons and cylinder heads configuations.
Designed by the Autodelta staff under the direction of Ing. Chiti and assembled and tested in just four and a half months, this engine, thanks to its narrow 60 ° V architecture, was better designed for its use on a 'Ground Effects' car. With its granite appearance, its structure was characterized by narrow and high cylinder banks, which gave it a sense of solidity and great power.
Each group of 3 cylinders was placed next to each other with an identical ignition interval. The separate exhaust manifolds merged with a Type 3 system into one and then flowed into a single exhaust.
Courtesy of Roberto F. Motta.
Courtesy Archives of Estate of Rey Paolini
Courtesy of Roberto F. Motta.
This 12-cylinder Alfa engine, shown above was also distinguished by its tremendous noise, typical of its very fractionated construction.
The V-60 engine made it possible to create internal wings that were 40 cm wider than the wings used with the flat 12-cylinder boxer when cornering, thanks to the lateral venturi. The hidden wings of a wider width gave a downforce estimated to exceed several hundred kilograms weighing on the wheels.
At the time of its track debut, which took place in Lauda's BT48 in December 1978, it had an output of 525 hp at 12,200 rpm.
Over the years the engine had always maintained a high standard of reliability and power, reaching, in its latest versions, 540 horsepower at 12,300 rpm and a torque of over 35 kgm at 9,000-9,500 rpm.
Alfa Romeo 'Tipo 890T'
This engine shown below, the only 8-cylinder in its category, was designed and built by Autodelta under the direction of the engineer Chiti.
Publically introduced on the occasion of the Italian Grand Prix at Imola in 1980, it made its competition debut at Monza later that season.
Featuring bore and stroke dimensions of 74mm and 43.5mm (1497cc) it weighed 130kg. Entirely made of alloy, the engine exploited double overhead camshaft distribution with gear control, 4 valves per cylinder, crankshaft in forged nitrided steel that rotated on five main supports, connecting rods in titanium alloy, with bolts and nuts in steel.
The engine project was initially carried out using only components developed in Italy from Alfa Avio turbines to the mechanical-electronic injection system developed by Alfa Romeo.
Courtesy of Roberto F. Motta.
These Italian components were some of the main weaknesses of the engine, so much so that Alfa Romeo engineers had to turn to KKK for the turbines and Bosch for the fuel injection system.
But despite the changes, the race results did not change.
In the first tests, the engine, supercharged by two Avio turbines, were powered by a battery of 8 Weber carburetors, and proved capable of delivering 585 HP at 11,200 rpm, and of providing a torque of 39 kgm at 10,000 rpm. In the subsequent development, feeding was entrusted to a Spica injection system with mechanical distributor.
With the arrival in Alfa Romeo of Ing. Tonti, the engine, while maintaining the basic structural characteristics, was profoundly modified with the replacement of the cylinder block with integral liners and Nikasil treatment, new heads with different combustion chamber design and oversized valves, new pistons, new magnesium sump and carbon fiber valve covers.
A further step in the development was the adoption of electronic injection characterized by a three-parameter adjustment: engine speed, position of the throttle valve and boost pressure.
In the racing set-ups, with turbo pressures of the order of 2 atmospheres, the engine developed 600 horsepower at 10500 rpm, with 7: 1 compression ratio and 45 kgm torque at 9000 rpm. An extension of the supercharging pressure up to 2.3 atmospheres and an increase in the engine speed up to 11500 rpm, made it possible to reach powers of 650-700 hp.
Among the other changes made was the adoption in 1984 of the power supply system with water injection, followed by the electronic control of the power supply, the variable advance and the fully electronic injection.
In its last racing season, this engine was credited with a power of 800 hp at 11,000 rpm, power that, unofficially, could rise to 820-840 hp at a maximum boost pressure between 2.6 and 2.9 bar.
Alfa Romeo Type 415/85
Designed by engineer Gianni Tonti, this engine was created in anticipation of eventually suppling engines to the French Ligier team.
At the start of development tests powered by a Weber-Marelli electronic power supply system, the most advanced system of its period, it is capable of delivering 830-850 hp at 10,500 rpm in race configuration.
In its latest evolution, the one destined for the '87 Ligier, the Type 415/87, was characterized by bore and stroke dimensions of 92.0 and 56.4 mm (1499cc) and was capable of delivering 900 hp at 10,500 rpm .
Thanks to its compactness (it weighed only 135 kg) it was made up of 1364 pieces; the time to overhaul it was 230 hours instead of the 325 hours needed to overhaul the previous V-8.
After a long series of bench tests, it is mounted on a Euroracing chassis and tested on the track by the Ligier drivers.
During the tests in Imola, Arnoux made some questionable statements about the working capacity of the “Biscione” team.
The response of the new Alfa Romeo management, which in the meantime had passed to the FIAT group, was equally harsh and immediate. On the eve of the 1987 season, the collaborative relationship with the trans-alpine team was interrupted and the project suspended.
It was a real shame if one considers that the engine had proven to have excellent qualities on the dyno and development has just started on the track.
Once the 415 / 85T project was frozen, investments were directed towards a new V10 engine, the type 1035.
Alfa Romeo Type 1035 V-10
Aware of the future change in regulations which provided for the introduction of 3.5-liter naturally aspirated engines in F1 from 1989, the Alfa Romeo management decided to build a 72 ° V-shaped 10-cylinder.
The project officially kicked off in November 1985: the engine was designed and built under the management of Ing. Tonti.
The Alfa Romeo 1035 (10-cylinder-3.5 liter) engine was the first 10-cylinder in the history of modern F1 (Honda would later present a dummy of the engine just a month after the Italian V-10 was made and Renault making its V -10. a year later).
This V-10 featured bore and stroke measurements of 88.0 and 55.5mm (3495cc). It had an aluminum alloy engine block, titanium connecting rods and oil jet cooled pistons (with two segments)
Initially, the heads were of the four-valve-per-cylinder type but were then replaced with new five-valve-per-cylinder heads. The valves were made of titanium, activated by 4 camshafts.
The engine was tested for the first time on 1 July 1986.
In its last version, the engine was capable of delivering 620 hp at 13,300 rpm with a maximum torque of 39 kgm at 9,500 rpm.
It was first fitted to the 164 Pro-car and then to the science fiction and wonderful Gr C SE048.
Both cars would never be used in a race and in particular ...in the SE048... it would never make a single lap of a track.
Courtesy of Centro Documentazione Alfa Romeo, Arese
Shown here is Ing. Gianni Tonti with his V-10 3.5 liter "Typo 1035" engine in development.
Policy of this Website in Regard to the Use of Images Whose Ownership is Not Known or is Otherwise Unidentifiable.
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com. and RobertLittle.US contributes collection images where the Website Content is described as having “no known copyright restriction.” The phrase “no known copyright restriction” means that AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US has determined, to the best of its ability based on available information and belief, that the Website Content is unlikely to be protected by copyright interests and, in all likelihood, is in the public domain.
However, copyright is often difficult to determine with certainty, so the phrase is intended to say that AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US is unaware of any copyright restriction, but such restrictions may still exist.
In addition, even if the Website Content is unrestricted from a copyright standpoint, there may be other considerations that would limit your use, such as “Right of Privacy” or “Right of Publicity” of the individuals featured in the images, or other contractual restrictions.
For these reasons, AutodeltaGoldenYears.com and RobertLittle.US makes its content available for personal and non-commercial educational uses consistent with the principles of “fair use”.
If you decide to use the Website Content for commercial or other purposes without undertaking to clear all rights, you will be responsible if someone else owns the rights and the owner objects to your use.
Of course, the use of images identified as being the copyright property of the named individuals or groups identified on each page or attached to each image… is prohibited and is subject to the penalty of law as provided by the United States Copyright law and The Bern Convention among other relevant laws and protections.
Richtlinie dieser Website in Bezug auf die Verwendung von Bildern, deren Rechteinhaber nicht bekannt oder anderweitig nicht identifizierbar ist:
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com. und RobertLittle.US stellen Abbildungen, insbesondere Fotos, zur Verfügung, die als "keine bekannte Copyright-Beschränkung" bezeichnet werden. Die Formulierung "keine bekannte Copyright-Beschränkung" bedeutet, dass AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US. nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen festgestellt haben, dass die Abbildungen/Fotos wahrscheinlich nicht urheberrechtlich geschützt sind und sich aller Wahrscheinlichkeit nach in der Public Domain befinden.
Allerdings ist es oft schwierig, das Urheberrecht mit Sicherheit zu bestimmen, so dass der Satz besagt, dass AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US keine Kenntnis von urheberrechtlichen Beschränkungen haben, aber solche Beschränkungen dennoch bestehen können.
Darüber hinaus kann es, selbst wenn der Inhalt der Website aus urheberrechtlicher Sicht uneingeschränkt ist, andere Erwägungen geben, die Ihre Nutzung einschränken können, wie z.B. das "Recht auf Privatsphäre" oder das "Recht auf Öffentlichkeit" der auf den Bildern abgebildeten Personen oder andere vertragliche Einschränkungen.
Aus diesen Gründen stellt AutodeltaGoldenYears.com und RobertLittle.US seine Inhalte für persönliche und nicht-kommerzielle Bildungszwecke in Übereinstimmung mit den Grundsätzen des "fair use" zur Verfügung.
Wenn Sie sich entscheiden, den Inhalt der Website für kommerzielle oder andere Zwecke zu nutzen, ohne sich zu verpflichten, alle Rechte zu klären, sind Sie dafür verantwortlich, wenn jemand anderes die Rechte besitzt und der Eigentümer Ihrer Nutzung widerspricht.
Natürlich ist die Verwendung von Bildern, die als urheberrechtliches Eigentum der auf jeder Seite genannten Einzelpersonen oder Gruppen gekennzeichnet sind oder die jedem Bild beigefügt sind, verboten und wird entsprechend dem Urheberrechtsgesetz der USA und der Berner Konvention neben anderen relevanten Gesetzen und Schutzmaßnahmen geahndet.
Politica di questo sito web riguardo l'uso di immagini la cui proprietà non è nota o è altrimenti non identificabile.
AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US forniscono immagini, in particolare fotografie, alle quali si fa riferimento come non aventi "nessuna restrizione di copyright nota". La definizione "nessuna restrizione di copyright nota" sta ad indicare che AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US hanno determinato, al meglio delle proprie capacità e sulla base delle informazioni e conoscenze disponibili, che è implausibile che le immagini siano protette da copyright, e che pertanto con ogni probabilità sono di dominio pubblico.
Tuttavia il copyright è spesso difficile da determinare con certezza, per cui con tale definizione si intende dire piuttosto che AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US non sono a conoscenza di alcuna restrizione sul copyright, sebbene tali restrizioni possano comunque esistere.
Inoltre, anche nei casi in cui il contenuto del sito web sia privo di limitazioni dal punto di vista del copyright, ciò non esclude che possano esserci altre considerazioni che ne limitino l'utilizzo, come il diritto alla privacy o il diritto all’immagine delle persone presenti nelle fotografie, o restrizioni di tipo contrattuale.
Per questi motivi, AutodeltaGoldenYears.com e RobertLittle.US rendono i propri contenuti disponibili per usi educativi personali e non commerciali, in conformità ai principi del "fair use".
Qualora decidessi di usare il contenuto del sito web per scopi commerciali o di altro tipo senza la previa acquisizione di tutti i diritti, sarai responsabile se qualcun altro detiene tali diritti e si oppone al tuo utilizzo.
Naturalmente, l'uso di immagini contrassegnate come protette da copyright di cui sono titolari individui o gruppi identificati in ciascuna pagina o allegati a ciascuna immagine, è proibito ed è soggetto alle sanzioni previste dalla legge sul copyright degli Stati Uniti e dalla Convenzione di Berna, oltre che dalle altre leggi e protezioni pertinenti.