Turbo is simply derived from the word Turbine. A turbocharger is exactly that. A small turbine with a shaft connecting two wheels, the compressor wheel and the turbine wheel.
Turbocharger is the need of the century. It helps increase fuel economy and reduce the emission of CO2 in cars. It uses the exhaust air to speed up the turbine wheel which is connected to the compressor wheel.
With the spinning, a dense air with high temperature is created, which in turn will send it to the air cooler. This compressed high pressurised air helps the engine to burn more fuel and giving the turbo boost. It became very popular in the 1970's along with the popularity of Formula 1 (F1) races.
A turbocharged engine is different from a naturally aspirated engine which simply draws the air at atmospheric pressure during intake. Hence, a smaller turbocharged engine can produce more horsepower and torque than a naturally aspirated engine with higher displacement. For example, the top selling premium hatchback Baleno from the stable of Maruti Suzuki has two engine variants.
One, a 1.2 litre naturally aspirated engine, putting out 82hp and 113Nm. However, the 1.0 litre turbocharged petrol engine puts out an impressive 100hp and 150Nm for the smaller engine displacement. With all the advantages there is one crucial disadvantage with these Turbochargers. If used without an air cooler, it can cause defects to the engine itself. Also an engine with a turbocharger has more components and should one of them fail or suffer a defect, the whole system will stop working. Proper Installation and maintenance are important for effective functioning of the turbochargers in cars.