Cars Simplified: Everything Automotive Explained

Turbochargers Versus Superchargers

Turbochargers and Superchargers are two forms of forced induction, but use different means to achieve it. There are a number of differences between the two, and they are sometimes better for certain applications.

Comparison Table

This table will allow you to compare turbochargers and superchargers. Ram air is on this as well since it's another form of forced induction.

CharacteristicTurbochargersSuperchargersRam Air
Improves Power OutputYesYesYes, When The Vehicle is in Motion
Powered by Exhaust FlowYesNoNo
Powered by Engine TorqueNoYesNo
Power LagsOn Some High-Output ModelsNoYes
Needs LubricationOn Some ModelsYesNo
Installs with Minimal ModificationsSomeNoYes
Easily Adjustable (Manual)NoYes (Change Pulley Size)Yes (Increase Intake Vent Size)
Automatically AdjustingWith Variable Vane Option OnlyNoAdjusts With Vehicle Speed
Blow-Off Valve OptionYesYesNo

Power Gain Difference

The amount of power that a Turbocharger or Supercharger has to offer depends entirely on how they are designed, and even the power band shape differences differ, depending on the type, settings, engine, and other factors.