Intercoolers increase the efficiency of the induction system by reducing induction air heat created by the supercharger or turbocharger and promoting more thorough combustion. This removes the heat of compression (i.e., the temperature rise) that occurs in any gas when its pressure is raised or its unit mass per unit volume (density) is increased.
A decrease in intake air charge temperature sustains use of a more dense intake charge into the engine, as a result of forced induction. The lowering of the intake charge air temperature also eliminates the danger of pre-detonation (knock) of the fuel/air charge prior to timed spark ignition. This preserves the benefits of more fuel/air burn per engine cycle, increasing the output of the engine.