Turbo technology has been around since the 1990s when a Swiss mechanical engineer named Alfred Büchi was the first to be successful with exhaust gas and turbocharging. He is known for his contribution to the forced induction field because of his turbocharger. This breakthrough was the beginning of the gradual introduction of turbocharging in the automotive industry.
In the auto industry, truck engines were the first to get turbo boost while the first passenger cars to receive turbos were the Chevrolet Corvair Monza and the Oldsmobile Jetfire back in the 1990s. However, when the turbocharger was equipped in mass-market automobile in the same year, turbo technology was taken out of the market’s favor because of its unreasonably high price, impracticality, and complexity.
These challenges paved the way for reinventions and development of the turbo engine until turbocharged passenger cars became very popular as turbochargers were introduced into motorsports and changed the speed game for Formula One cars.
Today, automakers equip new cars and truck a turbocharged engine as sports and luxury car owners demand a technology that will boost their engine’s performance. Additionally, turbo technology has specific improvements that are no longer only for performance cars; even sedans are now equipped with a turbocharged engine.
A turbo works through forced induction, and aside from turbos, there is another device called supercharger that functions through forced induction. Forced induction forces more air into the engine, allowing it to run more efficiently and make more power.
Turbochargers and superchargers are both forced induction systems, their difference, however, is how each of them is powered. It is important for a car owner to know how they differ to decide what is better for his or her vehicle.
To learn more about the difference between turbocharger and supercharger, click this infographic from Pure Diesel Power.