What Is the Difference Between a Supercharger & a Turbo?

One of the most popular ways of increasing horsepower in an automobile is forced induction. A turbo or a supercharger compresses air and directs it into the combustion chamber. The more air a car can take in, the more horsepower it produces.

  1. Features

    • A turbocharger is spun by the car's exhaust, while superchargers are belt-driven. Production of a turbocharger's horsepower is limited by the size of the turbo. A supercharger is limited by how fast the engine can spin the supercharger.

    Use

    • Due to the mechanics of the engine, turbochargers are more often used on inline four- and six-cylinder engines. Superchargers are more popular for V6 and V8 engines.

    Benefits

    • Turbochargers provide a higher boost curve and more power at lower engine RPMs. The nature of the turbocharger allows for a variety of tuning options and greater modification. Superchargers have fewer parts and are considered more reliable and predictable.

    Disadvantages

    • Turbochargers operate under very hot conditions which require an extra cooling system. Large turbochargers suffer from turbo lag, which refers to the time it takes for the car to respond after the gas pedal is floored. Superchargers cannot be modified as easily as turbochargers and have less of a potential for higher horsepower numbers.

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