Turbo history

Key factors in the history of turbocharging.

The Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi was the first to achieve real gains in the development of exhaust gas turbocharging around 1925.

Swiss Machine Works Saurer built the first turbocharger for a commercial vehicle application in 1938.

In the early 1960’s, the Chevrolet Corvair Monza and the Oldsmobile Jetfire were the first petrol passenger cars to make their debut with turbochargers fitted.

More and more turbochargers were fitted to commercial vehicles throughout the 1970’s, and early 1980’s. Stringent emission laws now mean that most commercial vehicles currently have turbochargers fitted to their engines.

Turbochargers became the number one addition to most manufacturers range of petrol engines in the 1970’s. This was mainly due to the increase in popularity of motor sports including Formula One and Rallying.

The first passenger car fitted with a turbocharged diesel engine was produced in 1978 by Mercedes Benz (300SD).

Today most diesel passenger cars are fitted with turbochargers. This increases power, drivability, lowers carbon dioxide emissions and increases fuel efficiency.

Future developments

Electronically controlled boost systems that work independent of the engine speed.

Electronic actuators.

Two stage regulated turbochargers.

Watch this space!...

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