What is a Turbocharged Engine?

Turbocharged engines offer vehicle owners an exciting opportunity to enhance their driving experience. But what exactly does it mean to have a turbocharged car? 

The term “turbo” or “turbocharged” may immediately call to mind speeding down the open road with full horsepower. Although a turbocharged engine does provide more power, its performance benefits go beyond just speed. A turbocharger is a device that, when attached to the engine, harnesses exhaust gas to increase density in the air in a process called forced induction. Forced induction optimizes the engine’s overall efficiency so that drivers can enjoy improvements to horsepower, torque and acceleration, and even fuel consumption.

How do Turbo Engines Work?

A turbocharger helps a car’s engine get more air into the combustion chamber, upping the horsepower and making it more powerful. A turbocharger has two main parts: a turbine and a compressor. Both are mounted together and placed on the engine’s exhaust stream. When the car speeds up, the turbine’s blades spin faster, pulling more air in.

At the same time, the turbine prompts the compressor to work. The compressor – true to its name – compresses that air, condensing oxygen in that air to create a higher density, higher pressure air stream. That air is then forced into the engine, allowing more fuel to be injected into each engine cylinder for ignition. This process gives smaller engines a bigger power boost, comparable to the horsepower and torque of a larger engine – but with better fuel efficiency.


Benefits of Turbocharged Vehicles

Turbocharged vehicles offer several benefits for drivers in the market for a new car or SUV, including:

  • Power increase: The main function of a turbocharged engine is to significantly boost overall performance, particularly in terms of power, torque, and acceleration.
  • Fuel efficiency: Turbocharged engines can improve a vehicle’s performance by using less fuel to deliver the same amount of power. When a vehicle is equipped with a turbocharger, a smaller engine can perform at the same level as a larger engine that would typically consume more fuel.
  • Noise: Turbocharged engines tend to be much quieter than non-turbo engines. The way turbocharged engines take in air muffles the sound.
  • Environmental benefits: Turbocharged engines can help vehicles produce fewer emissions due to more efficient combustion, lessening their environmental impact.
  • Driving experience: Turbocharged engines offer an added boost to horsepower, torque, and acceleration – giving them a sportier feel and enhancing the fun factor for recreational drivers.

Turbocharged vs. Supercharged Engines

Many people confuse turbocharged engines and supercharged engines. In fact, they are two different types of systems that share a similar goal of increasing power and efficiency. Here are some differences between the two:

  • Turbochargers use turbine and compressor fans to derive power from exhaust gas due to the forced induction process. By contrast, superchargers are powered directly by the engine, typically using a belt pulley and gear system to create forced induction.
  • Turbocharged engines can contribute to improved fuel efficiency thanks to their ability to harness energy more effectively. Although supercharged engines offer a similar power boost, they do not provide the same fuel advantages.
  • Turbochargers are generally less costly than superchargers to manufacture and those cost-savings can be reflected in a vehicle’s retail price, making them a more affordable option.

Subaru Turbocharged Engines

Subaru was among the first automobile manufacturers to add turbocharged engines to everyday vehicles. Typically, turbocharged engines were only seen in sports cars. During the late 1980s, Subaru revolutionized the process, merging turbocharged engines with all–wheel drive (AWD).

Turbocharged Subaru engines give drivers even more powertrain choices, helping them do more with their vehicles. Whether that involves increased fuel efficiency or more horsepower to haul a boat or trailer on your next adventure, a turbocharged Subaru engine boosts the power of your vehicle without adding extra weight or bulk.

Explore Our Range of Turbocharged Subaru Vehicles For Enhanced Performance

Subaru offers a diverse lineup of models available with a turbocharged engine: the adventure-seeking Outback, the fun and sporty WRX, the convenient and stylish Legacy, and the spacious Ascent. Whatever style of vehicle you prefer, Subaru has the right option if you want to experience the thrill of driving with a turbocharged engine.