On RC car electronic speed controllers, the turbo setting provides an extra boost of power when you apply full throttle. It is typically used only in the straights.
Like boost, turbo timing increases the timing of the motor, but only when you have applied full throttle to the car. This extra timing will increase your top speed, but it will put more strain on the motor and ESC.
Turbo delay controls when the turbo kicks in. You will probably want some degree of delay so the turbo doesn't kick in until you are actually on the straights. If it starts up in the infield it may give you an extra boost of speed when you need to slow down and turn anyways. With the delay, you can ensure that the boost only happens in a long straight.
Once you hit 100% throttle and pass the turbo delay time, the turbo kicks in according to the turbo ramp setting which controls how quickly the additional electronic timing is applied.
Here is the chain of events:
- You apply 100% throttle on the transmitter
- The turbo delay time passes
- The turbo timing begins to be applied, ramping up according to the turbo ramp
- The turbo timing hits its full value
When using turbo and boost, pay close attention to how hot the ESC and motor are getting. You'll want to experiment with them on practice runs, so they don't overheat on you during a race.
See our article on electronic speed control for more on ESC settings.