Being in the performance business we often get asked by our customers, “Which one is better: a supercharger or a turbo?” If this were 20 years ago the answer would be pretty cut and dry, as you’ve probably heard the old adage that Superchargers are better for low end power and Turbos are better for top end power………but does that type of advice still hold up true today?
If you have been around cars a long time, you may still think that Superchargers are more responsive than turbos, that turbos are less reliable, and the list probably goes on and on. So let’s examine the available scenario given two commonly found Ecotec motors:
2.0 Liter LSJ Supercharged Ecotec (205hp @5,600rpm/200tq @4,400rpm)
-2004 to 2007 Saturn Ion Redline
-2005 to 2007 Chevy Cobalt SS
2.0 Liter LNF Turbocharged Ecotec (260hp @5,300rpm/260tq @2,000rpm)
-2007 to 2010 Pontiac Solstice GXP
-2007 to 2009 Saturn Sky Redline
-2008 to 2010 Chevy Cobalt SS
-2008 to 2010 Chevy HHR SS
-2007 to 2010 Opel GT
These engines make a good comparison for many reasons, some of which is their shared displacement, frequency of use, and relevance to our business. Some of you might not agree that we are comparing apples to apples, but we pretty much are and we pretty much aren’t. On the surface these cars are both 2.0 Liter displacement, and while the cam phasing and fuel delivery may vary between the two engines the real apples versus oranges here is the supercharger and turbo.