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Turbochargers increase the air throughput of an engine by compressing the air required for combustion. By fitting a turbocharger, power, torque and efficiency can therefore all be increased compared to a naturally aspirated engine with the same displacement.
The turbocharger consists of two rigidly connected turbines, one of which is driven by the hot exhaust stream. Due to the rigid connection, the other turbine – which is referred to as the compressor wheel – is propelled at the same time, causing it to compress the inflowing fresh air. The compressed air is subsequently cooled down in an intercooler in order to reduce its volume and get more air – meaning more oxygen – into the combustion chamber. Besides increasing power output, turbocharging primarily has the effect of saving energy and lowering emissions.