Are Supercars Less Super When They're Turbocharged?

Supercar

The verdict is still out.

Turbocharging is an ugly, nasty word for many but it does allow automakers who need to cut back on emissions to breath a big sigh of relief. It’s happening and nobody can stop it, for better or worse. But back in the 1980s the word "Turbo" really meant something. Think of the Ferrari F40, Lotus Esprit Turbo, and the original Porsche 911 Turbo, the 930. To Porsche’s credit and sheer engineering brilliance, the 911 Turbo has managed to evolve into both a super(ish) car that’s also relatively efficient. It might be the one exception to this very debate:

Are supercars still supercars when they’re turbocharged? Aren’t they supposed to be naturally aspirated? Just look at what Ferrari has been doing: California T and 488 GTB. Both turbocharged. The writing is on the wall as to where Ferrari is heading. McLaren? Its potent twin-turbo 3.8-liter V8 is a hell of a thing no doubt, but imagine if McLaren used, say, a 4.5-liter NA V8 instead. Oh, wait. That was the Ferrari 458. I’m not trying to bash any carmakers here but my concern, I think, is valid. That raw emotion you get with naturally aspired engines just isn’t there with turbo engines. Supercars must have that raw emotion. For now, a few brands are sticking with na engines, like Lamborghini, but I doubt that’ll last forever.

You Might Also Like
McGregor Vs. Khabib – Who Has The Better Cars?
McGregor Vs. Khabib – Who Has The Better Cars?
Weekly Rant: Cars That Sell Out Before They Are Even Revealed
Weekly Rant: Cars That Sell Out Before They Are Even Revealed

But what do you all think? Does turbocharging take away from the supercar experience? On the other hand, have automakers already found an alternative method to extract power from smaller engines via electric boost? Debates like this are awesome.

5 Things You Need To Know About The 2019 BMW X5

After driving the car for the first time, here are our key takeaways.

Watch The BMW M2 Competition Lap The Ring In 7:52

That was supercar territory not long ago.

Kim Jong-un Gets Classy With New Ride

So much for sanctions.

Drifting A 1,000-HP Corvette On Mountain Roads Takes Some Serious Skill

Thought drifting the entire Nurburgring was challenging? Try it in a 1,000-hp Corvette on a mountain road with no safety rails.

Hennessey Heritage Edition Ford Truck Makes More Power Than Anything You’ve Got

This crazy beast is even more powerful than the Ford GT.

Ford Imagines A Future With No Traffic Lights

Stopping at junctions could be a thing of the past in the future.

One-Off Ferrari 330GT Speciale Is A 50-Year-Old Dream Come True

This stunning coachbuilding project is a tribute to legendary Italian designer Giovanni Michelotti.

Students Create 600-HP Honda Civic Hybrid Rallycross Machine

Deep Orange 9 is our kind of school project.

Is The Jaguar XE SV Project 8 Way More Powerful Than Advertised?

Jaguar claims the super sedan has 592 horsepower under the hood.

What's Hot

Related Cars

Starting MSRP
$238,500
Starting MSRP
$252,800

Related Reviews