A boosting system for cars which can work in combination with a blow off valve, intercooler, and various other add-ons. To install a turbo in a car with any sort of decent boost (8 pound +) many modifications need to be made to operate it safely such as disc brakes (if you use ordinary brake pads you will warp them and end up with screeching metal on metal). The power of the turbo is measured in p.s.i. or pounds per square inch, and cars that come standard with turbo's are usually between 2 p.s.i. (usually on luxury cars like Saab's etc) and as high as around 12p.s.i (Skyline's etc). Turbo's are a good way to increase the speed and kilowatts of your car but are expensive to insure.

Smells like Pole Position!

Turbo was an arcade game released by Sega in 1981. This was the first game ever to feature the now common semi-first person viewpoint (above and behind), that almost all modern racing games utilize (most previous racing games used a top-down perspective). The first thing many people think when playing Turbo is that it is just another Pole Position rip-off. That simply isn't true. Turbo came out before Pole Position (Namco and Atari actually ripped off Turbo to a large extent when they made Pole Position).

Well, you've been around a bit, well, like you've...uh...you've played this game.

This title is fairly simple in idea. You have to pass as many cars as possible before time runs out. If you pass enough cars (30 usually), you get to move on to the next level (although level is kind of a misnomer, as the game never really stops, you simply switch screens instantly to the new level). The only real problem with this game is the poor transitions between various screens. They simply happen instantly, one moment you are in a tunnel, and the next you are in the snow. This can mean an instant crash if you are too close to the edge when the road switches to a narrower section.

You should begin the game with a lead foot, never let up on the gas. Crashing at the beginning will only hold you back a second or two while your car reforms. Once you finish the first stage (that is if you manage to finish), the game will count down all the cars you passed, and reset the timer. Now you should begin driving cautiously, as you can only crash once from this point on (a second crash will end the game). It is possible to rack up a few extra bonus cars from getting good scores, but it is very difficult, I can't even get more than one extra one with any measure of certainty.

No one can be told what Turbo is, you have to see it for yourself

Turbo came in three different cabinet styles. The first (and most common), was an enclosed sit down cabinet. Less common were the two stand up variations (both a full sized model and a smaller cabaret version). The sitdown and full sized standup models both featured full top to bottom painted sideart of cars in action (while the cabaret version was simply labeled "Turbo: on the side).

All Turbo machines were controlled by a steering wheel (with full 360 degree rotation), gas pedal (optical), and a high/low shifter. These controls where of exceptional quality, they still feel perfect even after 21 years and 130,000 plays on my machine. The Sitdown and upright machines both used an Nanoa 20" monitor (which was very resistant to burn in). Unfortunately these monitors are impossible to find now, and no one really makes a suitable replacement (I had to replace mine with a 19" model from Wells Gardner).

The Turbo games also had a few innovations in the general design of their dedicated cabinets. They had no top marquee, instead the monitor glass simply extended all the way to the top of the machine. Top scores were kept on a LED panel to the left of the screen (unfortunately these scores reset every time you turn the game off). Turbo also used 3-channel audio (which was practically unheard of in 1981). Standard stereo speakers behind the control panel played most of the sounds, while a huge 12" subwoofer down by the coin box played the engine noises.

Sadly the PCB boards in Turbo games were subject to a wide variety of failures (as where many of the other components). Making Turbo machines fairly rare today (it is truly a wonder that mine still works perfectly).


The turbocharger (turbo) is a device that when attached to an engine correctly it creates more horsepower and torque. This is done through forced induction, where air is forced into an engine at pressures greater than the surrounding air. The increase in pressure of the air creates a denser gas, and means more oxygen is in the engine. More oxygen allows more fuel to burn, and this allows greater power.

To understand how a turbocharger works one must understand the basic principle of increasing engine power. More burning fuel equals more engine power. The turbo increases the amount of fuel burned per cylinder.

The turbocharger itself is actually two turbines in separate housings that are connected by either a direct linkage or belts and pulleys. One of the turbines is dedicated to powering the device, while the other turbine is used to pressurize the air into the engine.

The power turbine is connected to the exhaust pipes of an engine. The hot exhaust runs through the turbine and spins it at thousands of revolutions per minute (RPMs.) If the power turbine were the only piece attached to the engine, the overall power of the engine would be less as energy would have to be spent by the engine to push the exhaust through the power turbine, but no work would be done to help the engine gain power.

The energy collected from the exhaust gases is transferred to the intake turbine. This turbine pulls air from outside the vehicle and compresses it into the cylinders of the engine. The average pressure of air is a little more than 14 pounds per square inch (PSI). A turbo can increase this pressure by another 7 to 14 PSI depending on turbo and the engine being used. By increasing the pressure 1.5 times above normal, the engine will have 1.5 times more fuel burning at any given time.

Using the equation P*V = n*R*T where: P = pressure ,V = volume, n = number of moles (amount of substance), R = gas constant, T = temperature, one can see the effect of increasing pressure in numbers. Assume the pressure is 14 PSI and the volume is 1 gallon. R will remain constant (value of 1) and T will remain constant (value of 1). n will equal the amount of oxygen in the cylinder at ignition (value before compression is 14). Assume the equation becomes:

14*1 = 14*1*1

This represents the engine when there is no compression of the air the cylinders. Now the pressure of the air is increased to 7 PSI above normal for a total of 21 PSI. The equation becomes:

21*1 = 14*1*1

The equation must remain equal, so one of the variables on the right side must change. We are assuming that the temperature is constant, along with the gas law constant, so the amount of air must increase to keep the equation balanced. The equation becomes:

21*1 = 1.5*14*1*1 OR 21=21

By increasing the pressure the amount of air is increased allowing more burning to take place.

If the energy to compress the air was free, the engine would experience an increase in power of 1.5 times its original before the turbo. However, because the engine must force the exhaust through the turbine, the turbines must fight friction to move, and that the turbines are not one hundred percent efficient in compressing the air, the actual power experience is dropped by up to 50%.

A common addition to a turbo is an intercooler. This device cools air that has been through the turbo, increasing the density of the air further. When air is compressed, it heats up slightly. Also, the turbo spinning through the air creates friction between the turbo parts and air increasing temperature and the friction of the turbo parts gainst themselves increase the temperature of the air.

The reason that many turbo-equipped vehicles do not come equipped with an intercooler is that the change in temperature does not have as drastic an effect on the density of the air as does compressing it. The amount of extra power obtained through and intercooler is not worth the expense of the part for most engines. Racing engines, where a horsepower or foot pound of torque equals miles for long distance courses, are generally the only engines equipped with intercoolers and turbochargers.

The supercharger is the same in operation and effect as a turbocharger. The only difference between the two is that a supercharger is mechanically connected to the engine though belts for power to compress that air instead of using the exhaust gases as a turbocharger does.





Turbo originally (in the early 1900s) was a prefix indicating that a turbine was somehow involved (turbofan, turbojet engine, turbocharger).

It later became shorthand for turbocharger, which I will not say any more about -- mister_clean and Bobby_Reb have covered that in excellent detail.

Due in large part to the fact that turbocharged cars are faster, and therefore insanely cooler, turbo has recently taken on the meaning of hyper-fast, uber-strong, or just plain super. At this point, I think that this usage can be safely classified as slang (or maybe as a buzzword).

The main use of turbo as an all-purpose intensifier seems to be in computer and Internet related subjects. We have Turbo Pascal, Turbotax, Turbo Star, Turbo Surfer, Turbo Squid, Turbolinux, TurboPower Software, and any number of others, including the rather mysterious turbo key on many keyboards. Of course, it's not limited to cyberstuff. There's also Turbo swimwear, the Hoover Turbopower vacuum cleaner, TurboRead Speed Reading, Wendy's Turbo Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Gillette's Mach 3 Turbo Razor, Turbo Truffles, The Turbo Nightclub, the Turbo Carver, Turbo Kayak and Canoe Paddles, and many others.

Probably connected to this trend, turbo is a slang term for marijuana laced with crack (AKA primo).

Definitely connected to this trend, the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came out with Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie in 1997.

Tur"bo (?), n. [L. turbo, -inis, a top. See Turbine.] Zool.

Any one of numerous marine gastropods of the genus Turbo or family Turbinidae, usually having a turbinate shell, pearly on the inside, and a calcareous operculum.


© Webster 1913.

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