Here’s a story that’ll frustrate the socks off a Saab fan both for the lack of recognition Saab gets in it, and for the lack ownership Saab has over the turbocharging landscape.
If there was ever a design/engineering element that Saab could and should have dominated in terms of market recognition, it’s turbocharging. Saab were the first to make it reliable and widespread in a ‘regular’ family car. Saab have had, for decades now, the biggest penetration of turbocharged vehicles amongst its lineup.
It’s an element of Saab vehicles that owners love and having driven cars with turbos fitted, I’d have a very hard time going back to a non-turbo vehicle as a regular driver. I know many of you would most likely feel the same.
So when you read an article on Turbocharging being the way of the future and there’s no mention of who’s done it most in the past, it’s more than a little frustrating.
Turbochargers, best known for making cars go faster, are taking a lead in the race to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, according to motor industry officials.
“Turbo is no longer only for boy racers,” insists Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen Group board member in charge of research and development.
“It offers a new way of downsizing,” he says, pointing to how turbo helps carmakers switch to smaller, less thirsty engines with lower emissions that nevertheless deliver “more power, more torque and more driving fun”.
This is what Saab have been telling the market for years, so it’s frustrating to see a story come from the BBC (the UK’s a good Saab market) that focuses on VW and BMW when talking about turbocharging.
I guess the bigger question might be whether or not Saab can re-establish some ‘ownership’ when it comes to turbocharging. As you’ll see in the BBC story, it’s an area of vehicle engineering that coming more and more into the light. Companies will likely be talking about it more and it’d be good if Saab could get their name associated with the ‘Turbo’ badge again.
Maybe an ad featuring a clip from that old Saab Turbo film in the 1970s?
Can Saab re-establish their turbo credentials or is it too late? And does it even matter anymore?
Thanks to Terry for the link!