Performance Vauxhall - - CAR OF THE YEAR -


EN­GINE 2-litre SAAB B204 turbo, Gar­rett GT3582R tur­bocharger, large in­ter­cooler, 875cc fuel in­jec­tors POWER 589bhp TRANS­MIS­SION F23 five-speed gear­box, Quaife lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial, SAAB equal length drive­shafts, SUS­PEN­SION GAZ coilovers, fac­tory anti-roll bars BRAKES Twin-pis­ton calipers, 308mm discs, braided hoses WHEELS AND TYRES 17-inch Azev A five-spokes painted black, a con­stant sup­ply of Ac­cel­era tyres BODY Pulled wheel arches, raised bon­net, Mk4 As­tra GSi front bumper, cus­tom liv­ery IN­TE­RIOR Co­bra Evo­lu­tion bucket seat, Stack gauges, fuel sys­tem in lug­gage area


There are plenty of folk who won­der just how much per­for­mance they can ex­tract out of an en­gine be­fore it breaks, but few go on to test the pow­er­plant pro­pelling their ve­hi­cle to the ex­tent that Steven Thom­son has. “I’m keen to push my Mk4 As­tra van to break­ing point, just to see how much power its SAAB B204’s stan­dard bot­tom end can take,” he ex­plained.

His is an ex­er­cise that has gen­er­ated a lot of in­ter­est, not least of all be­cause SAAB-pow­ered Vaux­halls now form a solid part of our cor­ner of the mod­i­fied mo­tor scene. More­over, there are plenty of voices an­nounc­ing the B204’s abil­ity to han­dle 500bhp with­out the need for up­grad­ing its fac­tory in­ter­nals. The prob­lem, how­ever, is that no­body has been brave enough to test the the­ory… un­til now!

With the as­sis­tance of a Gar­rett GT3582R tur­bocharger and KMS en­gine man­age­ment, Steven has ex­ceeded ex­pec­ta­tion by squeez­ing 589bhp out of his van’s Swedish guts. Test­ing his find­ings, he clocked an 11.2-sec­ond quar­ter-mile at Santa Pod Race­way. Van­tas­tic!

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