B204 MK4 ASTRA VAN
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!