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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Turbo things that aren’t turbo

Kamil Kaluski May 24, 2018 Encyclopedia Hoonatica 48 Comments

What is so damn special about the word Turbo? It used to appear on everything in the 80s and 90s. One of my first computers was turbocharged – it even had a little flashing light when the so-called turbo would kick in. There are a million others turbo things, too. But this turbo phenomenon hasn’t gone away. Recently SiriusXM added a station called Turbo. It’s plays heavy rock from the 90s and 00s and it actually really great for those who grew up in that time and were influenced by that music. 

But still, turbo. It’s not like the 80s, 90s, or even 00s were the pinnacle of turbocharged engines. We have the more turbo engines available today than ever before. I’m even guessing that the amount of available new turbocharged engines might now outnumber naturally aspirated engines. And they’re better than ever too! The lag has been minimized and they don’t burn oil or blow seals on regular basis. Turbos owe direct-injection a great thanks, too.

Back to the point at hand. Today we want to identify objects, any objects, that are not even remotely related to cars and/or turbochargers, but are turbo or are in some way named turbo. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • Said object cannot be a car or any part of a car. 
  • It cannot be a car name, or any part thereof. 
  • Exception – a car with the word turbo in its name that wasn’t actually turbocharged or supercharged. 
  • Don’t give us a damn lesson on what a turbocharger and what a supercharger is, or that even nitrous-oxide can be considered a turbocharger. If you’re one of those people who starts conversations with “well, actually…” please STFU. 
  • It’s got a be a full word turbo, not an abbreviation of any kind, like when Audi called its engine 3.0t when it was really supercharged. Lamers. 

Difficulty: 0.3 out of 11, faster with a turbo. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

  • Turbo is a genus of gastropod within the family Turbinidae.

    • Bonus fact: Their blowoff valve is called an operculum.

    • outback_ute

      Must have inspired the movie

  • ptschett

    Liquid fueled rocket engines often use a turbopump to force the fuel and oxidizer into the combustion chamber.

    • wunno sev

      but that is a turbine .

  • Alff

    The Mr. Clean Turbo Plunger. Hopefully not equipped with BOV.

  • GTXcellent

    The worst Judas Priest album (synthesizers? really? yuck)

  • Alff

    Turbo the two-legged Chihuahua is a bit of an internet sensation.

  • Tiller188

    I mean, at the rate E. Honda can do the palm-strike illustrated on the cover art, I guess he could run a bicycle pump or something fast enough to make decent boost…

  • Citric

    There’s the TurboGrafx 16 and Turbo CD…

    …and the TurboDuo…

    …along with their mascot Johnny Turbo.

    Who was based on a real guy and he’s back.

  • tonyola

    Did you know that Gillette made turbos?

    • With the grille from a Ford Fusion!

  • neight428

    • outback_ute

      I hope that is a spud gun! (Spud = potato)

      • neight428

        “how about some fresh squeezed orange juice upside your head at 50 mph?”

  • Borkwagen

    The turbo button on old computers.

    • Sjalabais

      66 Mhz? My first PC had that rating. When people started talking about 200 MHz, we figured that was wild and basically a hoax. I guess today my toilet brush beats that processing capacity.

    • mrh1965

      On a “Zoommax”, no less.

  • tonyola

    The Numatic Henry Turbo vacuum cleaner. Isn’t it cute?…

    • neight428

      He’s working through some stuff, as I understand it…

  • 0A5599

    I hope this doesn’t violate the first caveat, because Chrysler eventually had some of the best turbo encabulators, but those devices were first popularized in other industries.

  • The Chrysler Turboflite was named for its gas turbine engine, not for a turbocharger. Anyone who wishes to argue over the details of turbine engine design or function should refer to the fourth caveat.

    • outback_ute

      Chevrolet was all-in on the turbo name, Turbo-Jet 400/396 engine (which was not a jet and did not have a turbo), and Turbo-Hydramatic transmissions.

      • 0A5599

        Also, Turbo-Thrust variants, and SBC Turbo-Fire.

      • Vairship

        And of course the Corvair where the engine options were:

        at the low end the Turbo Air (which didn’t have a turbo),

        at mid-range the Super Turbo Air (which didn’t have a turbo) and

        at the top the Spyder (as you guessed, this was the only one that actually had a turbo).

        • outback_ute

          Wow I didn’t know that one. You can’t make this stuff up!

    • bv911

      OMG, it’s for real!

      Somebody at Fox must be a real car nut…

  • 0A5599

  • 0A5599

    Depending on how hair-splitting you want to get, you can argue that this falls into the exception.

    • That should count, if for no other reason than the desire never to see the day when the products of Turbonique, Inc., are spurned as answers for any question on this site.

      • From the wiki article on Turbonique: “The company specialized in [..] very compact low cost gas turbines built for high power output during brief periods.” and “[…] there were a number of safety issues with these devices.”
        I’d be surprised if they were spurned here.

  • Tomsk

  • 0A5599

    My old phone.

    • smalleyxb122

      My Droid is not a Turbo, but it says “TurboPower Connected” whenever I plug it into a charging cable.

    • I had the first Droid Turbo, best phone I had. My wife got a Turbo 2 on my recommendation and it was terrible.

  • In aviation, most turbos are just props.

    • Lokki

      “Just props”

      So, sort of a Potemkin-engine thing to make old airplanes seem faster?

  • I_Borgward

    Fast, cold, or clean. Pick two.

  • Constitution Class Starships came equipped with a turbolift.

  • Batshitbox

    Turbonegro, and their fandom, the Turbojugend

  • Papa Van Twee

    Do you really want your taxes to be turbo?

  • Papa Van Twee

    Specialized is a bike (not motorbike) company that has a like of electric assist bikes called “Turbo E-Bikes”

  • Papa Van Twee

    Final one, Why were to Power Rangers Turbo’d?

  • Borkwagen

    This fish is a turbot.

  • Lokki

    Let us not forget the

    “Tupperware Large Turbo Chopper Extra Chef 3.5L”

    They sell these things at parties, but you have to be invited.

  • Don Karnage

    How about HD things that are not High Definition?

  • Fresh-Outta-Nissans

    Radio adapter brand name: TurboKit!

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