All Blown Up: Every Supercharged Car and SUV Available for 2020
As forced induction becomes the norm, supercharging remains outside of it.
With ever-tightening fuel-economy standards clashing with consumers' desire for ever more horsepower, automakers have turned to forced induction—artificially stuffing more air into the engine—to extract more power from smaller-displacement—and thus ostensibly more efficient—engines. This has driven the proliferation of ever-shrinking engines with turbocharger; when trundling at normal speeds, a small turbocharged engine sips fuel like, well, a small engine, but when power is needed at higher rpm, the turbo spools up and delivers more air and enough "bang" to forget all about the displacement. Supercharging, the other primary form of forced induction, mostly skips the fuel-economy play for raw power, and solves turbos' low-rpm power lag with instant-on air supply for the engine's intake. Both are fun, but there's little else that rivals the punch of a supercharger. Interested? Read on for the supercharged cars you can buy today:
Chevrolet | Camaro ZL1
For its top-of-the-line Camaro ZL1, Chevrolet is still relying on a supercharger to boost its 6.2-liter small-block V-8 to 650 horsepower. And what about the C8 Corvette? As we write this, Chevrolet is still in the process of launching the Stingray and isn't ready to talk about the go-faster versions. Looking at the engine bay—not to mention Corvette history—we're pretty sure the Corvette will turn to an engine-driven blower for more power, although it's possible the Vette could go turbo.
Dodge | Challenger Hellcat, Charger Hellcat
The Dodge Boys use a supercharger to boost their 6.2-liter V-8 to tire-melting Hellcat levels. The Challenger Hellcat can be had in 717- and 797-hp Redeye versions, while the Charger Hellcat offers 707 and 717 horsepower in the Daytona 50th Anniversary Edition.
Ford | Mustang Shelby GT500
With Ford's EcoBoost line of engines finding their way into nearly every product the automaker builds, one could make a case that the blue oval has embraced turbocharging earlier and to a greater degree than its key competitors. However, for the top-of-the-line Mustang Shelby GT500, it's supercharging all the way. The blower boosts the GT500's 5.2-liter V-8 to 760 horsepower, enough to carry it to an electronically-limited top speed of 180 mph.
Jaguar | F-Pace, F-Type, XF S, XJ
While Jaguar has embraced turbocharging for its four-cylinder offerings, it still relies on an engine-driven blower to boost its V-6 and V-8 engines. The results are pretty spectacular: V-6s producing up to 380 horsepower and a V-8 that maxes out at 575, the latter with an organ-rearranging 516 lb-ft on tap. Supercharging give the Jags the right-now power they need to preserve the brand's legacy of space, pace, and grace.
Jeep | Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
If there's a drawback to the Hellcat V-8 in Dodge's Challenger and Charger, it's that you can't lay all that power down without turning the tires to dust. The 707-hp Grand Cherokee Trackhawk has all-wheel-drive, giving the driver a better shot at harnessing all that power—and that's no easy task, because with a supercharger, all that power comes right now.
Land Rover | Discovery, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Velar
Land Rover, which uses the same engines—because it's the same company—as Jaguar, is transitioning away from blowers. You'll note that the new Defender even uses electricity to boost its straight-six engine. But most of the other big Landies, as with Jaguars, use superchargers to boost their V-6 and V-8 engines, with horsepower as high as 575 in the Range Rover Sport SVR.
Lotus | Evora
The British brand best known for their lightweight sports cars isn't immune to the extra pounds that a supercharger adds. Lotus's latest sports car, called the Evora GT, uses an engine-driven blower to boost its Toyota-sourced V6 to 416 horsepower—and that's plenty for a 3,175-lb sports car.
Volvo | S60, V-60, XC60, S90, V90, XC90
Of all the automakers on this list, Volvo has the most supercharged cars . . . but they're only supercharged some of the time. Volvo's T6 engine uses a supercharger to boost low-end power, then declutches it and lets a turbocharger take over at higher rpm. (The idea here is that, with its instant delivery of extra power, a supercharger mitigates the low-rpm "lag" in a turbocharger's delivery of boost.) The T8 powertrain adds an electric motor for extra boost.
Every Supercharged Car and SUV Available for 2020
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Dodge Challenger Hellcat
- Dodge Charger Hellcat
- Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
- Jaguar F-Pace
- Jaguar F-Type
- Jaguar XF S
- Jaguar XJ
- Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk
- Land Rover Discovery
- Land Rover Range Rover
- Land Rover Range Rover Sport
- Land Rover Range Rover Velar
- Lotus Evora
- Volvo S60
- Volvo V-60
- Volvo XC60
- Volvo S90
- Volvo XC90