Whether you’re doing it to keep up with racing, or you love driving ahead of everyone else, adding a supercharger – and maybe, combined with a cold air intake – can significantly improve the horsepower your car’s engine outputs. But individually, how much horsepower does a supercharger add?
The whole myth about horsepower gains in ICE vehicles can be traced to marketing tactics from aftermarket auto parts manufacturers. However, in the real sense, the stock horsepower of an engine can neither be increased nor decreased. There’s actually a lot to understand about supercharges and horsepower gains in ICE vehicles.
Interestingly, this article clearly details everything you need to know about adding superchargers to a car, and how much improvement it can contribute to the engine’s horsepower.
Can a Car’s Horsepower Be Increased?
Not just in these recent times, but over the years, many drivers have always sought ways to improve the power they get from their cars’ engines.
This does not imply that the stock components of modern cars do not deliver sufficient power for all kinds of driving, but some people just want more power from their car’s engine.
To achieve this, products like superchargers/turbochargers, cold air intake, and a couple of other aftermarket auto parts started gaining popularity. These products are designed to “supercharge” the engine to deliver its peak performance without overheating.
When an engine is unlocked to deliver so much power without providing an additional cooling mechanism to prevent overheating, then the engine would most likely break down much earlier than speculated. Also, once an engine is allowed to overheat, its performance and output would drop drastically.
Many aftermarket auto parts manufacturers have always advertised that their products can increase a car’s engine horsepower, but this is not entirely true. Talking about superchargers, particularly, hereunder is what you should know.
How Much Horsepower Does a Supercharger Add?
Firstly, what is a supercharger? It is an air compressor component for automobiles. The function of superchargers is to increase the pressure and/or density of air being sent into the combustion chamber for air-fuel mixtures. By so doing, the engine gets more oxygen-rich air, which makes the engine run much better.
A supercharger has similarities with a cold air intake. Hence, you could install a supercharger and never bother about having a cold air intake installed, too. Talking about how much horsepower a supercharger may add to an ICE vehicle, it is important to note that superchargers do not add any horsepower.
An engine with 350hp would always have 350hp regardless of how many “tuneups” the engine undergoes. However, a car with a peak of 350hp may be running with 150hp, normally, without any aftermarket addition.
Then, when a supercharger is added, the car may utilize up to 200hp or 250hp, due to the presence of “Cooler” air.
So, practically, the supercharger did not increase the engine’s horsepower, it simply made the engine use more of the stock horsepower by introducing oxygen-rich, cooler air. However, with the engine utilizing more horsepower, you’d notice a significant gain and efficiency in how your car engine performs.
In a clear context, superchargers improve engine performance, as well as help engines utilize more horsepower. Installing a supercharger can see you gain up to 50% more horsepower from your car engine.
Hence, some drivers would say, if you picked up an older model of car, you can make it outrun a newer model by installing a supercharger. The reason is simple, your older car runs with more horsepower than the newer model.
However, if your older car’s peak HP is 250 and the newer model’s HP is 350 or more, even with a supercharger – at the same speed level – your car won’t outrun the newer model. Do you understand it now? It’s all about the maximum horsepower your car’s engine can deliver.
In conclusion, how much horsepower does a supercharger add? You may experience up to 50% HP gain when you install a supercharger, but the stock horsepower of your car’s engine won’t be altered.
If the engine in your car is designed to run at a peak power of 250HP, adding a supercharger won’t take it above 250hp. Instead, the engine may start using up to 200hp as against 100hp or 150hp it has been utilizing when the supercharger wasn’t installed.