Turbochargers Vs Superchargers

Turbochargers Vs Superchargers

Known as forced induction systems, both turbochargers and superchargers are designed to compress air flowing into your engine. The power that your car makes depends on the amount of air flowing into your engine. Forced induction happens to be one of the fastest ways to add significant power to an engine, through the methods of either supercharging or turbocharging. While a turbocharger runs off waste energy created by the engine, a supercharger on the other hand requires engine power to run. So what are the pros and cons between these two forced induction systems?

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Turbocharger Pros:

  • Substantial increase in horsepower
  • Higher efficiency
  • More power relative to their size is produced due to its smaller engine displacements
  • Smaller engines use less fuel and have less rotational and reciprocating mass, which improves fuel economy

Turbocharger Cons:

  • Smaller boost threshold as compared to superchargers
  • Takes time to spool up and provide useful boost
  • Requires more engine oil lubrication
  • With an almost instantaneous surge in power, tyre traction could be compromised and thus cause instability

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Image: CZmarlin — Christopher Ziemnowicz

Supercharger Pros:

  • Low RPM boost
  • A quick solution to boosting horsepower
  • Cost effective way of increasing horsepower
  • Power delivery is immediate, therefore there is no lag

Supercharger Cons:

  • Significantly less efficient than turbochargers
  • Provides less extra power

Justine Foong

Likes lone walks in the park. Doesn't think that waiting an hour in a line for food is worth any recommendation. Believes that a major breakthrough in Engineered Negligible Senescence will come within this lifetime.