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Saab Celebrates 3 Decades Of Turbocharging

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Saab

Saab Celebrates 3 Decades Of Turbocharging

Anthony Fontanelle
September 11, 2007

At the Frankfurt Show in September 1977, Saab astonished the auto industry by launching its very first turbocharged model. Thirty years after, the Scandinavian automaker celebrates the milestone by introducing an ultimate performance car.

It all began exactly three decades ago, at exactly the same place, when the first 99 Turbo model was presented by Saab to the world media. At that time, the Swedish automaker was alone in pursuing turbocharging as a reliable and realistic means of extracting more power as well efficiency from a production engine.

A turbocharger develops more power by harnessing the energy from an engine’s exhaust gas flow. What made it appealing? Well, it recycles energy that was otherwise wasted.

It can be recalled that turbocharging was the suited key to the automaker’s ‘rightsizing’ engine philosophy: less is more. It means getting ‘more for less’ in terms of both power and environmental performance. The philosophy is reflected by the Saab BioPower’s number one position in the emerging ‘flex-fuel’ segment in the United Kingdom.

The new Saab Turbo X, equipped with cutting-edge technology, will be making its world debut tomorrow at the first press day of the auto show. Its public debut will mark a new aura to the 9-3 range of the automaker.

The Turbo X is a driver-focused, all-wheel-drive vehicle that sets new performance standards for the brand. It is equipped with a bunch of interesting features. To note, the Black Limited Edition radiates the iconic appeal of the automaker’s first black 900 Turbo.

According to the automaker, the car features an innovative XWD for greater driver involvement and dynamic chassis control, active torque split between both axles and rear wheels, tuned suspension and electronic chassis settings for optimum handling, 2.8 V6 turbo engine that generates 280 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, and distinctive styling additions for improved aerodynamics. These features are added without compromising trusted parts such as Saab brake rotors, radiators, filters, and more.

The new Saab 9-3 range, on the other hand, features bold, more assertive looks inspired by Saab’s Scandinavian design tradition and the award-winning Aero X concept car. Saab said that the car boasts of an all-new bodywork forward of the A-pillars, cleaner looks, new doors, light and bumper assemblies front and rear, two-stage, 1.9 turbo diesel that generates 180 horsepower for class-leading power and efficiency. Additionally, for extra horses, the automaker is offering BioPower (E85) engine that produces 200 horsepower.

As Saab’s leading expert, Dr. Per Gillbrand, dubbed the ‘father of the production turbo’, used to say: “A turbocharged power plant is really ‘two engines in one.’ There is a ‘small’ engine for driving in everyday traffic conditions and then a ‘large’ one, giving more power and performance, when the turbocharger joins the party at higher throttle openings.”

“All engines have an oil pump, a fuel pump and a water pump”, Gillbrand noted. “So why not an air pump, which is all a turbo really is. I think it's odd that all engines don’t have one!” Nowadays, thanks to the power of such independent thinking, an increasing number does.

Saab developed technology to ‘tame the turbo’ by using a by-pass valve to control the build-up of boost pressure. It did not take long for the world to appreciate what had been achieved, reported The Auto Channel. At present, in an era when the need to save energy and achieve greater fuel efficiency has never been this stirring and the future of the Scandinavian automaker’s turbocharging has never been more intense.

Source:  Amazines.com



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