The Alfa Romeo engine for Indy car racing was designed by the team of designers led by Claudio Lombardi and consisting of Giovanni Roffina, Luciano Caruso and Giuseppe D’Agostino. This brand new engine has been built in record time. In October of 1988 it was still on the drawing board. In February 1989 it was running on the test bench. Just a month later, it was completing its first laps in a March 88C “muletta” test bed at Monza, with drivers Bruno Giacomelli, Roberto Guerrero and Giorgio Francia sharing the wheel. Classic technical solutions have been chosen to first and foremost ensure reliability, it is a 90-degree 8 cylinder V-shaped engine with aluminium crankcase and cylinder heads. Timing is based on one double overhead camshaft per bank and four valves per cylinder. Valve caps and other minor parts are made of magnesium. The 2648 cc displacement is achieved with a cylinder diameter of 86 mm and a stroke of 57 mm. Intake is at the center of the “V” and exhausts are lateral. The architecture of the engine has been designed to enhance the car’s aerodynamics, i.e. the engine must not interfere with the “tunnels” under the body, which exploit the Venturi downforce effect which is vital in Indy car racing. Neither should the engine’s height disturb the flow of the air toward the rear wing. Turbocharging is provided by a Garrett Turbo coupled with a waste gate and CART specification pop-off valve. The Magneti Marelli indirect electronic ignition with two injectors per cylinder is integrated with the ignition. This is of a static/direct type with capacitive exhaust. The small ignition coils, in other words, are mounted directly on the spark plugs. The designers have paid special attention to fuel feed and combustion because pure methanol is the specified fuel. Methanol has two fundamental properties which make it stand out from other fuels. Its heating power (i.e. number of calories per unit of weight) is about half that of gasoline and specific fuel consumption is double. Its latent vaporization heat (the calories necessary to vaporize one unit of weight) is two to three times higher than that of gasoline. This creates big problems in starting and in operation under partial loads. However once normal running temperatures are reached the calories taken from the air by the process of vaporization of the mixture actually have a cooling effect in the intake area, negating the need for an intercooler. At the current stage of development the engine has a power of 680 BHP at 11500 rpm and weights 342 lbs. Its extreme compactness has facilitated its accommodation into the March-built chassis.