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1972 Alfasud - Engine

Front-wheel drive in an Alfa Romeo is new. And an opposed cylinder engine in series production is new, too. This engine reflects a combination of simplicity and elegance. The engine displays a three bearing crankshaft with counterbalances which are not standard at that time with for the opposed cylinder engine. This does not account for the Heron pistons and the valves, all in one row. Above of them, there is one camshaft per cylinder bank with toothed belt drive and unusual valve timing with a self-locking allen screw between the double cams.

For the future, the cylinder heads offer an admittance canal per cylinder and enough space for later drilling out. The right cylinder bank was moved somewhat to the back to create space for the coolant pump, driven by the crankshaft via a V-belt. The distributor on the left next to the oil filler socket is driven directly by the crankshaft, just like the oil pump. Up to here everything is wonderfully compact.

Picture number 2 shows the additional aggregates, making the engine clearly higher. There is the starter in the back, and the generator in front; and the induction pipe and the thermostat housing. Most height devour the single venture carburetor and the air filter. Nevertheless, the opposed cylinder engine versus in-line engine has advantages, because the heaviest engine parts are arranged low level, including the cylinder heads, a good condition for easy controllable driving.

Finally, the third image reveals how incredibly short the boxer engine is, which shifts the center of gravity of the entire vehicle slightly back, away from the front axle. What is amazing is the suspension of the engine at the top in the middle. Finally, the position of the distributor and the oil filter is also clarified. And as if all that weren't perfect enough, the disc brakes are also moved inwards to reduce the unsprung masses. There are hardly any sentences left for the conventional transmission.

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