In the 35 year anniversary edition’s of Toronto Star Wheels section the original editor Jim Kenzie describes 10 most significant cars in Wheels history. One of the cars is SAAB 900 light-pressure turbo.
Mr. Kenzie writes: “The car industry ain’t the Olympics — sometimes, being first does not win you the gold medal.
A couple of decades ago, Per Gillbrand, chief engine engineer for SAAB, the ‘other’ Swedish car company, said that to get performance with good fuel consumption and low emissions, you had to go four-cylinder turbo.
It worked a treat.
The SAAB 900 and other models which used this system did all of the above, with little of the turbo lag so often associated with turbo engines.
Never mind the high-pressure turbocharged SAABs, which were simply road rockets.
Today, just about everybody is going four-cylinder turbo.
SAAB, which was first, is now effectively defunct.
Small consolation, Mr. Gilbrand, but you can walk proud knowing you were right.”
I am not sure why the author picked the light pressure turbo model, introduced in 1990 in c900 which in my opinion was underpowered. Still, the article correctly highlights the 4 cylinder turbo as a futuristic solution which has taken over in the industry to the point that even the American muscle cars (Mustang, Camaro) are using this technology.
This is a good opportunity to post a photo of the real classic, 1991 SPG. The SPG (Special Performance Group) had a stronger turbo boost, 175Hp (vs. 145Hp in the light pressure 900), and it can still run with the best of them. 1991 was the last year of SPGs. There were total 254 1991 SPGs sold in the US, 40 of them in Talladega Red. Only 3 are listed in the registry, http://www.saabnet.com/tsn/faq/spgreg/
including a canadian example shown below.