ProCharger Vs. Roots Supercharger: How Should You Charge Your Build?

You’re getting ready to tackle your custom car build and want to make some serious horsepower. No problem; you have plenty of forced-induction options to consider. If you’re working on a Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, or similar performance car, you’re probably looking at a ProCharger or roots-style supercharger to add ponies to your stable. So, which one should you choose to charge up your build?

What exactly does a ProCharger do?

ProCharger refers to the brand name of a popular centrifugal supercharger. Centrifugal superchargers use a rotary impeller to draw air inward. Once inside, the unit cycles the air until it’s high-pressure and forces it into the engine. 

That action introduces forced induction to your engine, the most common way to add big power to your build without resorting to a bottom-up build. As a result, centrifugal systems are extremely popular with hot rodders and custom car builds

A traditional roots-style supercharger is one of the most common alternatives to a ProCharger. Instead of residing adjacent to the engine, a roots supercharger sits atop the motor, like an intake manifold. A roots system uses rotors to pull immense amounts of air into the engine, just like a centrifugal unit. After the system forces air into the engine, the motor compresses the air, completing the forced induction application. 

Is A ProCharger better than a supercharger?

A ProCharger is typically much more affordable than a top-mounted roots-style unit. For instance, some intercooled ProCharger kits could be cheaper than comparable roots-style kits by $3,000 or more than comparable roots-style kits. Also, the centrifugal system is more compact and versatile than a top-mounted unit. 

A ProCharger system like this one on a Coyote Ford Mustang takes up less space than a high-horsepower roots supercharger.
A supercharged Coyote engine | ProCharger

In comparison, a roots supercharger could add more horsepower, and greater torque is often available at lower RPMs.  Specifically, a roots supercharger is a “positive-displacement” application, meaning it’s constantly drawing in the same volume of air, per Driving Line. As a result, the forced-induction benefits are available from the first application of throttle and continue on a consistent, linear pattern. 

How much HP does a ProCharger add?

Depending on the application, a ProCharger could add over 100 horsepower to a stock engine application. For instance, a Chevrolet Corvette with a 6.2L LS2 could produce over 600 horsepower with an intercooled centrifugal supercharger kit, an increase of around 170 horsepower. 

Can you daily drive a ProCharger?

ProChargers are common on high-horsepower daily driver builds. Centrifugal units don’t produce as much heat as traditional roots-style applications, which reduces wear. Moreover, a centrifugal supercharger could add manageable horsepower figures without creating a tricky commuter car that tends to break traction at the slightest throttle.


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What is the benefit of a centrifugal supercharger?

If your next build is budget-minded, a centrifugal supercharger might be one of your best options. For instance, a centrifugal application is cheaper than a traditional roots-style system. Also, builders can mount the self-contained unit left or right of the engine, which means no alteration to the hood. 

Furthermore, a centrifugal unit’s lower heat and higher efficiency make it a fine addition to a performance-oriented daily driver. How would you add horsepower to your build? Tell us in the comments below!