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The turbocharger has been boosting cars for more than six decades

Whether it graces the air dam of a BMW 2002 or the rear of a Porsche 911, there’s something evocative about the word “turbo.” It succinctly symbolizes performance and has become synonymous with speed. Anything and everything that needs a hurry-up is “turbocharged”—from economics and politics to production.


So how did this go-faster gizmo come to be?


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Replies (2)

Replies (2)

Turbocharging was not really spectacular till about 20 to 25 years ago. 

Often the early systems were not durable or had the technology to live along life or engine durability. 

Coked of bearing lines, non cooled housings, bad oils, systems bolted on engines with out proper engineering improvements etc.  These thinks kept me from being a Turbo supporter. 

Over time automakers started to build these engine of the proper materials. They finally got the cam timing and computer tech that could better deal with issues associated with turbo engines. Finally we got Mobil 1. 

Yes I hated turbo engines from working on a number of the till 2008. I then bought a LNF 2.0 GM 4 in my HHR SS as a daily driver. I then installed the GM tune and added 55 more HP on pump gas. I was nearly 300 HP at 315 ft lbs on 24 pounds of boost. If only this vehicle had RWD as traction was difficult with FWD. I drove this combo daily for 10 years and loved it. 

Todays turbo engine are so much different and better engineered today. They are more durable more powerful and hold little lag. 

The addition of Direct Injection has given us higher compressions and more boost but even more efficiently. My 2.0 got 26 city 32 highway driving it like I stole it. 

I was not an HHR fan, FWD fan or turbo fan but halter one drive to took the chance and loved the SS as a hidden performance car in plain sight. It would run 13’s in the quarter mile and 160 mph plus if you were insane enough to. No I am not that crazy. 

Like stated traction was difficult in the fwd. I had set off the traction control even rolling at 55 mph. I thought something broke when the waste gate popped and the light came in lost traction. 

Today Turbo’s are wonderful things. 

Note my 20 was faster than my 68 SS Chevelle in stock trim. 





I was sooooo jealous of friend's dad's turbo Corvair after driving my dad's '63. What a difference those extra horses made. Even the long throw shifter couldn't keep one from feeling they were running an exotic machine.