Saab / Tech stuff / What lies beneath

What Lies Beneath: The Saab APC System

During Saab-Scania’s salad days of the 1970s and 1980s, its interests were varied and far-ranging. Aerospace, automotive, defense, and even computing were all areas of research within the realm of the quirky Swedish company. The benefits of turbocharging – originally a means to compensate for altitude on piston-driven aircraft – were well understood to Saab. … Continue reading

French / Peugeot / Renault / Swedish / Volvo / What lies beneath

What Lies Beneath: The controversial PRV engine (Part 3)

The PRV engine is indeed controversial. Many Volvo enthusiasts will insist it was terrible and reference the bullet-proof “red-block” four-cylinders, while many French car fans will claim it wasn’t so bad, and after all, a PRV powered Peugeot reached 253 mph at LeMans. DeLorean owners have often lamented that the engine claimed the life of … Continue reading

1980s / Honda / Japanese / What lies beneath

What Lies Beneath: Honda 4 Wheel Steering.

Above: Early Honda 4WS prototype using two Accord front-ends sectioned together. Note the red tail/headlights. In the late 1970s, Honda began researching the possibility of four-wheel-steering as a way of improving upon the basic fundamental design of the automobile. It was an ambitious project for a company, which, up to that point, had only been … Continue reading

Honda / Japanese / What lies beneath

What Lies Beneath: Honda CVCC

> In 1975, amidst increasingly more stringent emissions regulations, Honda introduced their CVCC “ED-1” engine. CVCC stands for Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion, a unique form of the stratified charge concept. Honda’s idea incorporated a third intake valve into the head of their engine that brought a very rich fuel-air mixture into a small chamber next … Continue reading

1970s / German / Porsche / Tech stuff / What lies beneath

What Lies Beneath: Porsche Sportomatic

> Porsche’s Tiptronic system has become quite familiar to the automotive community by now. However, the Tiptronic system was not the first time Porsche offered a clutch-less manual transmission. In 1968, the Sportomatic semi-automatic 4-speed was introduced as an optional transmission to the standard 5-speed manual on the 911T and E. (though there were approximately … Continue reading