His­tory les­son

4 x 4 Australia - - Tech Torque -

THE IDEA of in­creas­ing an en­gine’s power out­put by forc­ing air into its com­bus­tion cham­bers, rather than hav­ing the en­gine draw in the air it­self, is as old as the in­ter­nal com­bus­tion en­gine. In­deed, Got­tlieb Daim­ler, the au­to­mo­bile’s ‘fa­ther’, patented a gear-driven air com­pres­sor (or su­per­charger as we know it to­day) as early as 1885.

The first tur­bocharger, or ex­haust­gas-driven air com­pres­sor, was patented in 1905, but the idea wasn’t put into prac­tice un­til World War I, where tur­bos started to ap­pear on mil­i­tary air­craft en­gines.

Tur­bos first ap­peared in pas­sen­ger cars in 1962, when Gen­eral Mo­tors pro­duced both the Oldsmo­bile Cut­lass Jet­fire and the far more con­tro­ver­sial rear-en­gined Chevro­let Cor­vair Monza Spy­der for the USA mar­ket.

For var­i­ous rea­sons nei­ther car was a suc­cess, but the fu­ture of tur­bocharged road cars be­came as­sured when BMW launched its 2002 Turbo in 1973 and Porsche its 911 Turbo the fol­low­ing year.


The H9 shares many fea­tures with the Prado, but it has a smaller en­gine. Doesn’t seem to bother it, though.

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