How Much Horsepower Does a Turbo Add?

Turbos are excellent additions to any car. They can add horsepower and torque, and in some cases, they can even improve fuel economy.

Turbochargers add horsepower to an engine. Many stock turbocharged vehicles now come with horsepower figures over 300. Turbocharged cars that have been modified can produce over 1,000 horsepower.

But how much HP does a turbo add? And how do you choose the right one for your car? This article will answer those questions and more.

How Much HP Does a Turbo Add?

How much horsepower a turbo does add depends on how big the turbo is and how much boost it is delivering. A small turbocharger might add 10-15 horsepower, while a larger one could add 70-150 horsepower or more. Percent-wise turbochargers can increase the power of 10%, up to 50%.

Turbochargers can add significant horsepower to an engine; how much horsepower they add depends on the size and design of the turbocharger, engine displacement, and boost pressure.

A naturally aspirated engine relies on atmospheric pressure to force air into the cylinders. But a turbocharger uses exhaust gases to spin a turbine that forces air into the engine. That means more air and more fuel can be crammed into the cylinders, making more power.

How much power? It depends on the size of the turbocharger, the engine’s displacement, and how much boost pressure is used. But a good rule of thumb is that a turbocharged engine will make about double the power of a naturally aspirated engine of the same displacement.

A twin-turbo will add even more horsepower, of course.

Choosing the right turbo for your car is essential. You need to make sure that it is sized correctly for the engine and that it can handle the amount of boost you plan to run.

It would help if you also considered how much power you want to add. If you’re just looking for a little more power, a small turbocharger might be all you need. But if you’re looking for significant power gains, you’ll need a larger turbocharger.

Also read: Does Straight Piping Increase HP?

How Turbochargers Work

Stock turbocharged vehicles usually come with a small turbocharger designed to provide enough extra power to make the car feel peppy without adding so much power that it becomes unmanageable.

Larger turbochargers can be added to an engine to increase power output, but they also come with some trade-offs, which I mention further down.

Turbochargers are devices that use the exhaust gas from an engine to spin a turbine, which in turn powers a compressor. This compressor increases the air pressure entering the engine, resulting in more power output.

Turbochargers are devices that increase an engine’s power by forcing more air into the cylinders. This allows more fuel to be burned, which results in more power.

Turbochargers are used in many engines, including cars, trucks, trains, and boats.

Turbochargers work by using a turbine to increase the air pressure entering the engine. The exhaust gases from the engine power the turbine. The faster these gases flow, the more power the turbine has.

The turbine spins a compressor, which increases the pressure of the air.

This high-pressure air is then forced into the engine cylinders, mixing with the fuel. This mixture allows the engine to burn more fuel, which results in more power.

Turbochargers can make an engine up to 50% more powerful. They are often used in racing cars and high-performance vehicles.

Turbochargers can also be used to improve the fuel economy of a vehicle.

By forcing more air into the engine, the turbocharger can help the engine to run more efficiently. This can lead to better fuel economy and lower emissions.

Turbochargers are not without their drawbacks, however. They can add complexity to an engine, and they require regular maintenance. Turbochargers can also fail, which can cause damage to the engine.

Despite these drawbacks, turbochargers are a very effective way to increase an engine’s power.

They are used in many vehicles, from cars and trucks to trains and boats. Turbocharging is a proven technology that has been used for many years.

What Is Turbo Boost?

A turbo boost is when a turbocharger forces air into an engine and pushes out more power than it could on its own by increasing positive pressure created by the turbocharger. The increased air pressure combined with more fuel results in a more enormous explosion inside the engine, creating more power.

Turbo boost can be defined as an increase in engine power. When the throttle is opened, more air enters the combustion chamber, increasing how much fuel will combust, how quickly it will combust, and how hot it will burn.

This causes a pressure drop in the exhaust manifold to draw more exhaust gas into the intake system, resulting in greater volumetric efficiency.

Turbochargers use vanes to compress the intake air, which speeds up how quickly it enters the combustion chamber and pulls more air in.

This all happens in a concise period of time so that the turbo doesn’t have enough time to cool down, and this is where the term “lag” comes from.

The turbocharger is constantly spooling up and down to match the throttle input, which can cause a slight delay in how quickly the power is delivered.

What Is Turbo Lag?

Turbo lag is the delay between when you step on the gas and when the engine actually speeds up. It’s caused by the time it takes for the turbocharger to spin up to speed. The longer the delay, the more pronounced it feels.

Turbo lag can be a real annoyance, making your car feel sluggish off the line. But it can also be a real performance advantage. That’s because turbocharged engines produce more power than naturally aspirated engines of the same displacement.

Larger turbochargers can significantly increase power output, but they can also make the engine less responsive at lower engine speeds and add turbo lag.

The Benefits of a Turbocharger

The biggest benefit of a turbocharger is that it allows an engine to produce more power without increasing its size. This means that a smaller, lighter engine can be used which results in better fuel economy.

Turbocharged engines are also capable of running at a higher compression ratio which increases their efficiency.

A turbocharger can add a significant amount of horsepower to an engine. The size of the turbo, the engine’s displacement, and how much boost is being used all play a role in how much horsepower is added.

Some turbos can add up to 70-150 horsepower to an engine, while others may only add 10-15 horsepower. Many aftermarket turbos are available, which can provide even more power.

The Drawbacks of a Turbocharger

The drawbacks of a turbo are that it can add to the vehicle’s initial cost, and it can also require more frequent maintenance.

Installing a turbocharger on a non-turbocharged car can be tricky and not recommended for the common DIY-mechanic. Instead, we recommend you consult a certified mechanic.

Large turbochargers also make the car less responsive, driving on low RPM, creating what’s called turbo lag.

Adding a Turbocharger to a Non-Turbocharged Car

So how do you go about adding a turbocharger to your car? It’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot of engineering goes into making sure the turbocharger is compatible with the engine. And you need to make sure the rest of the car can handle the extra power.

That’s why most factory-built turbocharged cars are designed from the ground up to be turbocharged.

If you’re thinking about adding a turbocharger to your car, it’s best to consult with a professional. They can help you choose the right turbocharger for your engine and ensure it’s appropriately installed.

Are Turbos Bad for Your Engine?

Turbochargers are an essential part of the performance equation for many engines. They offer a significant power boost without adding much weight, and they can do so without sapping fuel economy the way a supercharger does.

But there’s a catch: a turbo can decrease engine performance and lifespan if not correctly sized or matched to the engine.


Turbocharging has become very popular in the last few years as automakers have been looking for ways to increase fuel economy. Many new cars and trucks now come with turbocharged engines, and this trend will likely continue in the future.

If you’re looking for a little more performance from your car, a turbocharger might be the answer

Adding a turbocharger to an engine that wasn’t designed for one can decrease performance and lifespan. That’s because the turbo has to be appropriately sized and matched to the engine, and if it’s not, it can create too much pressure, leading to engine damage.

It’s best to consult with a professional before adding a turbocharger to your car.

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Robin Söder

Robin has always been passionate about cars ever since young age. Over the years, Robin has worked on thousands of cars and gained invaluable experience in the process. He is considered an expert in his field and is often consulted by other mechanics for advice.

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