Superchargers v/s Turbochargers: All You Need To Know

The terms ‘superchargers’ and ‘turbochargers’ have become quite a part of the car vernacular. Every car buff knows about them. Every one of you might have heard about them. From the first look of it, both the words do intend to showcase, that they are some sort of performance enhancers.

“But, what are they?”

“What do they do?”

“How do they work?”

“Which of them is better?”

But when it comes to the set of questions stated above, that is where many of us tend to remain silent. That is because, no matter how popular these two terms are, they still tend to lack an easier level of understanding for many.

Well, do not fear, for we are here. Read through this article to know and understand all you need to know about ‘superchargers’ and ‘turbochargers’.

We, at Mak Performance, love explaining each and everything that you should know about cars and the added performance that they are capable of.

Forced Induction

Before we get into the heated Coke vs Pepsi debate let’s get to the basics of forced induction, the principle on which chargers are based.

Forced induction fundamentally refers to pushing more than normal amounts of air into your engine’s cylinders. 

The more air that’s pushed into your engine’s cylinders, the more power it is capable of. Turbochargers do this very same thing by compressing the air flowing into your engine.

What Are Turbochargers?

Turbochargers are forced induction devices that use the vehicle’s exhaust steam to turn a turbine and turn on a compressor. This compressor, in turn, forces more air into the engine, which means more fuel. The entire output of this process is - more power.

The addition of a turbocharger to an engine can increase its speed to 150,000 RPM (Rotations Per Minute).

Advantages of Turbochargers

  • Efficiency: While the superchargers tend to borrow some of your engine’s powers and capabilities, a turbocharger is truly committed to reuse. The turbochargers use the energy from the exhaust that’s generated by the engine. Hence, making the turbochargers much more efficient.

  • Improves Economy: Vehicles consisting of a turbocharger tend to have an improved fuel economy than their supercharged counterparts by up to 20-40% at times.

  • Quieter: Turbochargers are usually the quieter of the two. While the superchargers tend to get noisier, turbochargers get the job done in a much discreet manner.

  • No Mechanical Drag: A turbocharger simply uses the exhaust fumes and generates power out of those. It doesn’t draw power from the engine, hence eliminating the chance of developing a turbo lag.

Disadvantages of Turbochargers

  • Turbo Lag: No turbocharger fan can lie about this. The turbo lag is one of the most irritating things that can ever happen to a car enthusiast. Turbochargers tend to take some time to “spool up” before they come into action.

  • More Maintenance: Many turbochargers’ users have complained of the higher level of maintenance that turbochargers usually require than their supercharged counterparts.

What Are Superchargers?

A supercharger works on the same forced-induction principle as does the turbocharger. It is a unit that bolts to your engine. When the engine starts spinning, it makes the supercharger force more air into the engine. A supercharger works typically well where the end goal is to increase the horsepower and the torque of the vehicle. 

Advantages of Superchargers

  • Instant Power: Unlike a turbocharged vehicle, cars with superchargers don’t need to “spool up” before the power kicks in. It’s like instant power on your feet with the press of a pedal.
  • Long Term Commitment: Many supercharger users will agree that superchargers turn out to be a better long-term option with lesser maintenance.

  • Linear Power Delivery: A supercharger tends to be calmer and collected when it comes to power delivery. Supercharged engines won’t make you do a 180-degree turn and burn up your rear tires.

Disadvantages of Superchargers

  • Less Efficient: The superchargers tend to borrow some power from the car’s engine. This tends to affect the overall performance of the engine as the revs climb up.

  • Fuel Economy: Due to a supercharger’s primary requirement for it to use an engine’s power, it affects the engine’s fuel efficiency.

  • Irritating Noise: Superchargers tend to be much noisier than turbochargers. This makes them create a whining noise. While some of you might like it, some find it irritating at times.

Supercharger vs Turbocharger: Which one is better?

Now that we have gone through all the geeky stuff, let’s come down to the most awaited question in the world of cars - which one of them is better?

The answer to that question is - turbochargers.

Yes, while superchargers have their own set of advantages, the turbochargers take the game away by a much wider margin. The reason? Fuel efficiency.

Auto companies and manufacturers tend to opt for a turbocharger over superchargers because of their ability to provide better fuel efficiency. The turbochargers are winning the popularity race due to a plethora of factors. The addition of a turbocharger has allowed many car manufacturers to replace many V6s with more efficient inline-four cylinder engines.

Moreover, many V8s have been replaced with V6 turbos in high-end cars.


Well, the conclusion of this entire article lies down to your personal taste. While some of you might like to go for a straight-line drag race, while the other lot might like to hit the local race track. Depending on your personal choice and your utility, both these devices can work wonderfully. 

While the turbochargers tend to be preferred by many, nothing can beat the instant power of the superchargers. Whereas, the turbocharger and the adrenaline that it brings after spooling up is a feeling that remains unmatched to this date.

Now, when it comes to superchargers, Mak Performances offers the best of the lot. Check our website today to choose from the best superchargers for your Mustang GT.