Comparison of Turbo’s and superchargers


Staff member
Deal, Kent UK
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Both work on the same principle they blow air into the engine under pressure. Both have a turbine which spins up depending on the engine speed and the higher the revs the greater the volume of air is forced into the engine. But there are some major differences between the two and which is best for your project?

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i dont think you can compare or even talk about them in the same breath,

fitting , the way they work and results are completely different
Which is better if you could only have one?

Personally I'm a turbo man, they seem to be more fun and give a massive kick!
For those that dont already know
It is a bit different for deisels but for petrol -
super chargers are mechanically driven and give a more linear power increase as the "drive" is proportional "

Turbos are run by exhaust gases so dont work untill the vanes are moving at the optimum speed .Turbo lag is the time it takes before this.
However once they are moving they generally produce a greater power increase
As much as my current car is turbo... its actually one of the very few turbo car's I have had. Actually, from 20+ cars this is only my second turbo charged car. They've all been big displacement naturally aspirated.. I much prefer the linear power delivery of a big N/A car or supercharger, just my own personal preference. It's why my RS6 is setup as much as possible to have as little turbo lag as possible... it helps being a large displacement direct injection engine of course, as its not completely gutless off-boost... highly strung 4-banger turbo's with a massive in-rush of boost, I can see the appeal but they're just not my style. It's why I've always preferred the VAG 3.2/3.6 VR6 over 1.8T / 2.0T cars running similar power.
Why would a supercharger be better on a drag car then?

Superchargers are designed to have more torque lower down the rev range. When you drag, you want as much power/torque as possible earlier in the rev range to accelerate quicker. On a turbo drag car, more than likely, the turbo will be massive, so turbo lag will be common unless running an antilag/launch control. Even then, antilag and or launch control can be implemented on a supercharged engine.

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