Let's face it, we have all wondered what the major differences between a turbocharger and a supercharger are. They both can potentially add serious Horsepower & Torque to your Ford Mustang while maintaining everyday driveability, but how do they make their power? Is there an upside to running a turbo vs a supercharger? We are here to finally answer this age-old question!
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Turbochargers and superchargers are known as forced induction systems. This means that either of these power adders will compress the air flowing into your engine, which in turn provides more power. This act of wizardry will crank out additional torque and horsepower into your Mustang's engine. The main difference between the two is how they produce boost levels and introduce it into your engine.
A turbo will use the spent exhaust from your Mustang to produce its energy. The exhaust gases pass through the exhaust pipping and a turbine housing which will itself spin the compressor wheel. It tends to take some time for the turbo to produce boost, which is referred to as "turbo lag", and can result in your Mustang lunging forward after the boost is built during spirited driving. Also, the size of your turbocharger can impact power with a smaller one producing more boost faster, resulting in less turbo lag. The turbocharger is considered more efficient overall than a supercharger due to the lack of parasitic loss.
A supercharger's power output comes from a drive belt directly connected to the engine's crankshaft. Superchargers compress air, creating boost by forcing air directly into your Mustangs engine. A supercharger can add as much as 46% more HP because the increased air will allow more fuel to be added to the combustion chamber. A supercharger will not experience any lag, the power arrives as soon as you hit the throttle.
The impeller design inside a supercharger compressor is very similar to a turbocharger's compressor impeller. The centrifugal supercharger compressor creates its boost via a very rapidly rotating impeller that draws air into the center of the supercharger compressor.
The roots type supercharger is two counter-rotation meshed lobed rotors. During each rotation, a specific fixed amount of air is trapped and moved to the outlet port where it is compressed.
The twin-screw supercharger is two counter-rotating screws. During each rotation, a specific fixed amount of air is trapped and moved to the outlet port where it is compressed.