That original turbocharger proved such an enormous success that the following year Garrett launched its AiResearch Division, a business unit dedicated solely to the development and manufacture of turbos.
The rest as they say is history, so let’s take a short drive through a turbo timeline…
1960s: In 1962 Garrett® boosted the world’s first turbocharged production car – the Oldsmobile Jetfire Rocket – but the full impact of the technology was felt much more keenly in the commercial sector, when in 1965 John Deere turbocharged its 6.6 liter diesel tractor engine, heralding a turbo revolution in this market. In motorsports, the first Garrett® turbocharged car to win the Indianapolis 500 crossed the winning line in 1968.
1970s: This was the decade when turbocharging started to go mainstream, with the launch of both the Saab 99 turbo and the first turbodiesel – the Mercedes 300TD – in 1977. Trucks too were eager to exploit the power gains available through turbocharging, while on the racetrack, Renault recorded the first turbocharged victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
1980s: Manufacturers, including Pontiac, Buick, Rolls Royce, Ford and many more, lined up to launch turbocharged models, including the iconic 1.6 liter VW Golf TD. The world’s first VNT™ (Variable Nozzle Turbine) production turbo is adopted by Nissan for its 12.6 liter heavy-duty trucks.
1990s: This was a history-making decade for turbocharging. In 1991, Garrett® (later part of Honeywell) launched VNT™ technology, which made it easier to deploy the torque and fuel economy advantages of direct injection diesel engines, including the world-famous VW Golf TDI (1995). By the end of the 1990s, around 50% of all passenger cars in Europe were turbodiesels.
2000s: With the turn of the century, turbo technology made further inroads into commercial vehicles, with the new Double Axle VNT™ selected for the DDC Series 50 bus engine and Caterpillar adopting two-stage technology for its ACERT system. In passenger cars, third-generation VNT™ debuted on the BMW 1 Series in 2004, while in 2006, Honeywell launched the world’s first diesel parallel sequential dual stage turbo on the Peugeot 407 and 607 and the Citroen C5 and C6. Then came Honeywell’s revolutionary DualBoost technology on the new Ford Power Stroke Engine for its Super Duty trucks, featuring two compressor wheels and one turbine in a single housing.