A turbocharger (more commonly known simply as a turbo) is a device that forces air into the engine to enhance performance.
A turbo is made up of two turbine wheels within an outer housing.
Exhaust gases exiting the engine cause one of the wheels to spin which in turn makes the second wheel spin.
This compresses the air entering the engine which allows the engine to generate more power.
Turbocharged engines are generally more fuel-efficient than non-turbo engines as they create more power with the same amount of fuel.
Turbochargers assist the engine in creating more power and torque (turning power)
Turbocharged engines tend to be more fuel-efficient and produce less emissions than non-turbo engines
Due to the process that makes a turbo work there can sometimes be a delay in the power boost from the turbo – called “turbo lag”, though this has largely been eliminated in modern cars.
In automotive terms a turbocharger and supercharger are generally referred to as two different devices. They are both a form of “forced induction” as they both force denser air into the engine, but they do so in a different way. Read our information on superchargers.