Understanding the Different Types of Turbochargers

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A lot of cars today are using turbocharged engine parts to provide high performance and good fuel efficiency at the same time. Unlike naturally-aspirated ones, turbocharged engines can use energy from the pressure within the exhaust parts to add more horsepower to the engine. The result is a nice boost in performance without extra fuel consumption.

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There are different variations of turbochargers used by different manufacturers. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at 3 of the most common kinds you can find in modern cars today. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Single Turbocharger

Single-Turbo or single turbocharger is the most conventional type. It is relatively small, highly configurable and can be used to add as much extra power as needed depending on the setup. This engine part also comes in different sizes, with larger turbos more suitable for boosting power at a high RPM range.

Cost effectiveness and simplicity are the two main advantages of single turbochargers. They also allow smaller engines to produce the same power rating as bigger, naturally-aspirated ones. On the other hand, it is difficult to configure a single-turbo engine without having to deal with the turbo lags and slower throttle response that’re symptoms of this low-end engine performance part.


Twin-Turbo is basically an improved single turbocharger. Instead of just using one configuration of turbocharger to boost power in a certain RPM range, two turbos are used in tandem to allow both the low-end and high-end of the engine to be improved.

On the market today, one of the most remarkable implementations of twin turbochargers is found in none other than BMW’s renowned engine. The Variable Twin Turbo technology in BMW diesel engine parts combines a large turbo with a small turbo in such a way that power can be distributed evenly. The result is negligible response lag and an immense boost in performance.

BMW’s implementation of Variable Twin Turbo as a standard component of their engine parts also sets the bar for energy efficiency, especially in diesel automobiles. The BMW Twin Scroll technology used in its petrol engines is no less interesting, which brings us to our third type….

Twin-Scroll Turbocharger

The previous two types of turbochargers we covered are known as single-scroll turbos. These engine parts use a single scroll or chamber to compress air and provide boost. In a twin-scroll turbo, gas in the exhaust system is fed to two separate scrolls working in tandem, creating an even greater power boost at immense efficiency.

The BMW Twin Scroll technology mentioned earlier is a good example of this. In a V6 engine, for example, force from one side of the V can be fed to one scroll, while force from the opposite side is channeled to another. This results in a faster pressure buildup and better power production, but at a smaller form factor.

The twin-scroll turbocharger part works very similarly to a twin-turbo setup, but since only one turbocharger is needed – the separate chambers are configured internally – both vehicle and parts manufacturers can conserve space and weight with this system, as BMW has done.

There are still other turbocharger parts used in today’s best car engines, but we’re going to save them for another discussion. Combined with smarter engines, better power management and efficient power delivery, turbochargers have helped make automobiles more powerful and more efficient at the same time.