Q: I have seen both terms “supercharged” and “turbocharged” describing high-performance engines. What is the difference between the two and what are they used for?
A: Both are used to increase the amount of air by compressing it into the engine’s cylinders. They are basically air compressors. More air results in more fuel, which ultimately causes more power. The difference between superchargers and turbochargers is how they get their power to compress the air. A supercharger gets its power from a belt running off the engine’s crankshaft, while a turbocharger is mounted in the exhaust system and is powered by the exhaust pressure.