A turbocharged engine, more commonly known as turbos, is a mechanical engine that boosts an internal combustion engine's output of power by forcing additional compressed air into the engine combustion chamber during combustion. Turbos are most often used in sports vehicles to enhance acceleration and power; however, they can also be found in many different makes, models, and applications. The term "turbo" refers to the fact that the engine incorporates a turbocharger. A turbocharged engine runs much more quickly than an uncharged engine, which is what gives it the ability to accelerate to high speeds. Turbochargers are extremely useful in applications where increased acceleration is desired, such as sports cars, and it is necessary to maximize the effect of such an application by optimizing the size of the turbocharger for the specific application.
There are three main components that make up a turbocharged engine:
The compressor, the turbocharger, and the damper. Turbos create lift by increasing the pressure and volume of a cooler gas than the ambient air. This increase in pressure and volume results in a temporary boost in airflow capacity and performance. This is generally done through an optimized intake geometry. Intake vents allow a turbo to properly intake cool, denser air for optimized turbo lag. The benefit of this is that a smaller amount of fuel is wasted during turbo lag.
Turbochargers are engineered to optimize the exhaust gases, specifically to produce more horsepower through optimizing the angle and discharge of fuel. Commonly known as superchargers, these engines mount the air/fuel line directly to the motor, bypassing the block and using a displacement device to create an exhaust gas flow that is supercharged. These engines are commonly used on stock automobiles to produce a supercharger-like effect without completely removing the factory engine. Some turbos, called turbo kits, do not need any aftermarket modifications to work.
Turbochargers have become extremely popular for two main reasons.
First, turbochargers are extremely loud; this makes them great for loud, sporty cars and drivers.
Second, turbochargers are extremely flexible, being able to work with different induction systems and different lengths. Many turbos can work with a full-time restriction. Many turbochargers require a large diameter pipe for optimal benefits.