The terms “turbocharged” and “supercharged” are now commonplace globally. While most people understand both terms to mean that something has been given more vitality, made more strong or highly emotive, accelerated, or enhanced, most people are unaware of the technology that give those words their meaning.

Turbocharger vs Supercharger: What is the difference? which is better? In today’s article, we are going to answer all these questions. 

More Power Necessitates More Air Is Needed

The amount of power an internal combustion engine can create is essentially determined by how much fuel it can burn and how fast and efficiently that heat is converted to mechanical force. However, because fuel requires air to combust an engine’s maximum output is essentially determined by how much air it can take in to burn that fuel.

As a result, the concept of forcing more air into an engine than it would typically swallow in order for it to burn more fuel and produce more power has emerged. Either a turbocharger or a supercharger can provide this additional intake of air. Although they are both air compressors, their operation and performance are vastly different.

Turbocharger

A turbocharger is a component that is installed in the engine of a vehicle to improve overall economy and performance. This is why a growing number of automakers are opting to turbocharge their automobiles. 

A turbo consists of two main turbines connected by a driveshaft. Across one side, heated exhaust gases spin a turbine that is coupled to the other turbine that draws incoming air and compresses it. This compressed air is then rushed into the engine. 

turbocharger working

Turbocharger working

Supercharger

A supercharger is manually driven by the engine and compresses the air above atmospheric pressure without creating a vacuum, increasing the volume of air passing through the intake. This forces more air into the engine, giving it a boost, allowing more fuel to be injected into the charge and therefore increasing the engine’s power. Superchargers are divided into two categories. Positive displacement superchargers and dynamic compressors. 

A Positive displacement superchargers provide a constant amount of pressure that does not change much when the engine’s RPM rises. Whereas, the Dynamic Compressors produce higher pressure as the engine’s RPM rises, as the name implies.

Supercharger

A Magnuson TVS1900 Supercharger system

Two Technologies With A Single Goal

A turbocharger harnesses the velocity and heat energy of the scorching hot (and expanding) exhaust gases streaming out of an engine’s cylinders to spin a turbine. Which then drives a tiny compressor, or impeller, which feeds more air into the engine. A supercharger, similar to a turbocharger, adds more air to the engine but is powered by the engine through a belt that spins off the crankshaft or an electric motor.

Turbocharger vs Supercharger: Pros and Cons

Each of these performance-enhancing technologies has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. But the most noticeable change from behind the wheel is a little delay in response to your right foot in a turbocharged vehicle, particularly when you press hard onto the throttle. That’s because the turbocharger needs to “spool up” for a second before it can provide its burst of extra power—it takes a second for exhaust heat and pressure to rise enough to spin the turbo after you press the gas pedal. For obvious reasons, it’s known as “boost lag” or “turbo lag.”

A supercharger has no lag because it is connected directly to the engine’s crankshaft and is continually spinning and responsive. The performance spike it gives, and hence the engine reaction you feel through your seats, increases instantaneously in an amount proportional to how far you push the throttle.

The turbocharger’s main disadvantage is boost lag, whereas the supercharger is efficient. Since a supercharger spins itself using the engine’s own power, it siphons power—increasingly as the engine revs rise. Because of that, supercharged engines are less efficient and reliable. Supercharging, on the other hand, is the way to go if you want enormous power and throttle response that kicks you in the back. Several big-muscle cars use it, including the 755-horsepower Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 and Dodge’s 700-plus-horsepower SRT Challenger Hellcats and Demons.

Final Verdict

Turbocharger vs Supercharger has been a widely debated topic for a long time. However, the turbocharger has won by a large margin, according to automakers. It’s not about horsepower as much as it is about fuel economy. The usage of turbochargers rather than superchargers has been driven by regulations for ever-improving fuel economy, rigorous greenhouse-gas emissions limits, and customers’ need for good fuel efficiency.

Numerous V-6 engines have been replaced by more economical turbocharged inline-four engines that give similar power and often more tire-spinning torque. While turbo-six engines have replaced many V-8 engines in higher-performance sport and luxury vehicles. 

Turbocharged Or Supercharged Indian Automobiles

Turbochargers are found in many vehicles, although superchargers are less common.

Turbochargers are common in SUVs, therefore the XUV, Safari, and Scorpio all have turbocharged engines. Some sedans, such as the Swift Dzire and Ford Figo Aspire, have turbochargers.

Superchargers, on the other hand, are uncommon since they are difficult to install. It is only seen in high-end vehicles such as Mercedes, Range Rover and a few American muscle cars.

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