SPONSORED: The turbocharged engine, explained

Have you heard the term “turbocharged” when describing a car? If you have, you likely associate the term with a car being pretty fast. And you’d be right - this special type of engine gives a boost to power to allow you to put the pedal to the metal. However, how does a turbocharged engine work and what can it do for your drive time? Toyota of N Charlotte has the answers you need.

A turbocharged engine is typically found on vehicles like the 2020 Toyota Supra - you tend to find it on sports cars, but not so frequently on vehicles like sedans and SUVs. It’s designed to boost horsepower and fuel efficiency, which makes it a popular addition to vehicles like the new N Charlotte Toyota Supra.

Turbocharged engines vs supercharged engines.

These types of chargers haven’t always been called turbocharged, though. They used to be called turbosuperchargers, because all chargers that used forced induction used to be called superchargers. However, there is a distinct difference between the two - how they get the power to push that extra compressed air into the combustion chamber.

  • Turbocharged engines use gases from the exhaust system to power a turbine.
  • A supercharger uses a mechanically-driven element to force the extra air - typically, a belt attached to a crankshaft.

And just for reference’s sake, the twincharger uses both methods.

How does a turbocharged engine work?

How does a turbocharged engine work? Here’s the basic layout:

  • A turbocharged engine uses a turbine to create forced induction; that is, it pushes extra compressed air into your engine’s combustion chamber.
  • This extra air in turn means that more fuel will also be pulled into the combustion chamber.
  • The extra air and fuel will combust at a faster rate than an engine that’s normally aspirated (i.e. without the “extras”), which means you get a boost of power.

So which is the better choice for when you’re shopping for a new Toyota at Toyota of N Charlotte? You should decide based on your individual drive time needs, but here are a few important points to take into consideration:

  • Turbocharged engines have some lag. Why? Because there’s a brief period of time between when the throttle opens (aka you demand an increase of power) and when the extra air is actually pushed into the combustion chamber. This happens because turbocharged engines rely on exhaust gases to power the turbine - and when you’re idling or moving at a low speed, it takes a moment for those gases to build up. Some drivers don’t like this lag.
  • Supercharged engines, conversely, don’t have that lag, but they do put more wear and tear on your engine. Since they’re mechanically-driven, they make your engine work harder. They also create excess heat within the engine, which means the engine has to work harder to stay cool. And don’t forget that superchargers require horsepower to make horsepower - you’ll come out ahead in terms of power, but not without a little sacrifice of initial power.

Have questions or want to see a turbocharged engine in person? Come check out the 2020 Toyota Supra at Toyota of N Charlotte! We’re here seven days a week at 13429 Statesville Road, just off I-77 at exit 23.

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