What's Better: Turbochargers Or Superchargers?


What's the difference? Is one superior? Is there an overall preference? Here are some facts about one of the great gearhead topics: turbochargers vs. superchargers.

Thanks to Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained, there are some benefits and drawbacks to each laid out on the table. What it really boils down to is your personal preference and what kind of power you're looking for. The downside is that they usually have lag, and generate a lot of heat.

Turbochargers. They're great because they turn exhaust gas that would otherwise be wasted into power. They also allow small engines to make big power and provide a swell of torque a naturally aspirated engine wouldn't usually have.

Superchargers. They're a favorite because they force air into the engine by drawing power from the engine, not the exhaust. That makes the effectiveness of the supercharger increase as the RPM increases. And unlike turbochargers, superchargers generally don't change the trajectory of the torque curve. You get the perks of driving a naturally aspirated car with more horsepower. Their downside is that they suck power from the engine to run, making them inefficient.

So after that brief explanation, what's your choice?