Ask The Editors: Just How Super Is a Supercharger?
April 30th, 2012 by Jason Giacchino
Am considering having a Pro Charger supercharger installed on my UTV for duning but fear that doing so will destroy my machine’s trail-friendliness. Is the horsepower increase enough to make most machines too much to handle in technical terrain?
The short and easy answer is “possibly”. In reality, it depends on what model and size UTV you would be modifying, whether or not you were going any further with your build (fuel mapping, exhaust system, big bore kit, clutching and so on) and just what you consider technical trails.
Typically adding 30-40 pounds to the UTV, a supercharger can produce unrivaled horsepower gains. Just how much are we talking here? Well 40 to 50% gains on high quality pump gas! No other single mod delivers as much power per dollar as a supercharger. On the flip side at $4000- $5000 for the kit alone (plus installation), we can’t exactly call it “cheap horsepower” either.
Superchargers work on the concept of forced air induction: specifically through an impeller connected to the engine’s crankshaft (unlike a turbo, which relies upon exhaust pressure and hence delivers power with a deliberate lag).
As far as power-spread goes, you do have some control of how the increased power is distributed; namely in the form of your fuel delivery and ignition mapping. It’s not that far fetched to imagine tuning your UTV to deliver maximum top-end (aftermarket ignition box to raise the rev limiter) for long days out in the dunes and to then detune the maps for meatier bottom end delivery for the trails. Just expect increased throttled response in all situations!