Head to head: Turbocharger vs supercharger © Getty Images

Head to head: Turbocharger vs supercharger

Jeremy Clarkson eat your heart out; BBC Science Focus Magazine puts turbochargers and superchargers head to head in a true battle of the engines!

Turbocharger VS Supercharger
150,000-280,000rpm COMPRESSOR SPEED 30,000rpm
60-75kW EXTRA POWER 40-130kW
106dB NOISE 116dB
£2,400 COST £3,000

Both increase engine power by compressing the intake air. This allows more fuel to be burned for each piston stroke. A supercharger uses a turbine driven by the engine, which uses some engine power. Turbos are powered by the otherwise wasted exhaust gas pressure. They are more efficient but more complex, and are less responsive when you accelerate.


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