What is a turbocharged engine and how does it affect your drive time?

February 20th, 2020 by

When you hear the term “turbocharged”, you probably automatically associate it with the word “fast”. And you wouldn’t be wrong – this type of engine has a reputation for letting you really put the pedal to the metal. However, do you know exactly how a turbocharged engine works and what it does for your drive time? Toyota of Clermont is here with answers.

2020 Toyota Supra

What are turbocharged engines?

Turbocharged engines are typically found in vehicles built for speed, like the new Clermont Toyota Supra. It’s got a turbocharger under the hood for its inline-six engine, and rumor has it that the 2021 model year will bring TWO turbocharged engine options to the market for drivers to choose between. But to really understand how this type of charger can benefit your drive time, let’s take a closer look.

  • A turbocharged or “turbo” engine has the ability to enhance fuel efficiency and boost your car’s power (again, why it’s so popular for drivers who like to get where they’re going fast). Here’s a basic breakdown of what goes on under the hood in this scenario:
  • Turbine power is used to create forced induction – basically, extra compressed air is pushed into your engine’s combustion chamber.

Turbocharger, supercharger, or both?

The extra air being pushed into the chamber means that in turn, more fuel will be pulled into the chamber. This improves power and gives your engine a boost because the extra fuel combusts at a faster rate than an engine that uses “normal” aspiration.

However, turbocharged engines haven’t always been called by that name – they were originally designated as turbosuperchargers because back in the day, “supercharger” meant any engine that used forced induction (or forced compressed air) to boost power and fuel efficiency. However, there’s a distinction between the two types of chargers now – here’s the lay of the land:

  • A turbocharged engine uses a turbine that’s powered by the engine’s exhaust gas to subsequently force that extra compressed air into the combustion chamber.
  • A supercharged engine, on the other hand, uses a mechanically-driven process. This type of charger is usually powered by a belt attached to a crankshaft.

And just for reference’s sake, a twincharger is an engine that uses both.

Which one should you aim for when trying to boost horsepower in your vehicle? Here are some key points to consider before decking out your Clermont Toyota:

  • Turbocharged engines do have lag. Why? Because there’s a brief period of time between when you demand increased power (or when the throttle opens) and the actual act of pushing the extra compressed air into the combustion chamber. Why? Because turbochargers rely on that exhaust gas to power the turbine, and when your Clermont Toyota is idling or traveling at a low speed, it takes a bit more time to build up the exhaust gases needed.
  • Supercharged engines aren’t without disadvantages, either. This type of charger puts the engine through extra wear and tear since it’s mechanically-driven. Additionally, it uses some of the horsepower that the engine is initially creating to create MORE horsepower. You’ll come out ahead in terms of power, but not without extra wear on the engine. These types of chargers also create more excess heat, which makes your engine work harder to stay cool.

Ready to check out a turbocharged engine in person? Come down to Toyota of Clermont and see what’s under the hood of a 2020 Toyota Supra! We’re open seven days a week at 3575 Vineland Road.

Posted in New Toyota