Sports cars gain a great deal of their power from chargers or blowers as they’re sometimes called. The introduction gives a very brief explanation of how these devices work. With this understood, the main focus of the article is to explore the differences, advantages and disadvantages of superchargers and turbochargers.
What is a charger?
Chargers compress air before feeding it into the engine. Compressed air contains a lot more oxygen, so the combustion process happens much faster. This gives a huge boost to the rotators which make the wheels spin and burns a hell of a lot of fuel in the process! In this way, cars with chargers are able to accelerate up to 4 times faster. There are two main types of chargers: Turbochargers and Superchargers. Both use different systems to deliver pressurized air and, as a result, have their own pros and cons.
What’s the difference?
The main difference between a turbocharger and a supercharger is the design. A turbouses gases from the engine in a turbine. Once these gases have been compressed sufficiently, they are forced into the engine. This can create an RPM of 200,000, nearly 10 times that of a normal engine.
A supercharger does not use a turbine or the engine gases. Instead it pressurizes atmospheric air and transfers it directly to the engine usually via a belt connected to the crankshaft.
How do they compare?
Now we all know the basic difference between these two types of blowers, its possible to compare them in different areas of performance.
The simple design of a supercharger means that they rarely malfunction and, if they do, they are relatively easy to replace. A turbo, on the other hand is made up of several parts. This means there is a lot more opportunity for things to go wrong and, if they do, it’s not always easy to fix or replace parts. The turbine also creates very high temperatures in the engine which can often lead to problems.
Both types of blowers are able to create a similar amount of boost meaning that both mods will provide a similar max speed. However, depending on the type of speed needed, it's important to pick the right mod. The turbine system of the turbocharger means that the engine boost can be slightly delayed at low speeds and in low gears. This can great a fast jerk forward known as turbo lag. A supercharger, due to the direct belt system, delivers an instantaneous boost in any gear. This is why the best superchargers can go 0-60 faster than the best turbochargers. However, maintaining a high speed is easier and more efficient with a turbo.This means that superchargers are commonly used for racing cars such as dragsters when it’s all about accelerating as fast as possible over a short distance. Turbos are more commonly used in race cars travelling longer distances such as Nascar and Rally.
Winner: Turbocharger for long distance. Supercharger for short distance.
By using either type of blower, expect to spend a lot of money on fuel! A charger’s ultimate goal is to feed more oxygen into the engine so that the combustion rate happens much faster. Combustion is a reaction that takes place between Oxygen and Fuel which gives the engine its power. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that a charger feeds in much more oxygen per second so a lot more fuel is used up. However, Turbochargers are certainly more efficient because they recycle gases from the engine. Although there will be little difference in the amount of fuel used up, Turbos will typically have much lower carbon emissions.
Turbochargers and Superchargers are both powerful mods that can create huge boosts to car engines. That’s why, when you hear a sports car accelerating, the engine roars loudly. That is the sound of compressed air being fed into the engine. Both types of blowers deliver a similar power and boost to speed. However, making the right choice is purely circumstantial. If you want to accelerate fast over a short distance and don’t mind about carbon emissions, then definitely choose a supercharger. However, if you’re interested in maintaining high speeds over long distances and are prepared to handle more potential engine failures then turbocharger is the right choice. Either way, be prepared to spend a lot of money on fuel and enjoy the sound of the engine roar as you shoot off ahead of all the other cars on the highway.