Hey, guys. Stephanie with AmericanMuscle.com, here with my review of the Airaid Cold Air Intake with a SynthaMax Dry Filter, available for the 2015 and up V6 Mustang. The Airaid Cold Air Intake is going to be for the S550 V6 owners out there who are looking for a top-of-the-line, closed element cold air intake that also keeps the direct cold air feed that Ford has created from factory but that doesn't necessarily require a computer retune. A cold air intake is oftentimes one of the first mods for many Mustang owners, but there are a handful of different options out there and factors to consider like open element or closed air box. The Airaid is one of the options that are available out there right now that brings some of the most benefits to the table without requiring a tune.
Speaking of gains, let's break the numbers down first before getting into the intake. We already ran a baseline run and got some numbers on the books, so we're going to run the car again with the Airaid installed. Now we did pair a 93 Octane Bama performance tune with the intake even though the intake does not require a tune, but we wanted to see the full potential that the intake has. A cold air intake by itself will only net a few horsepower at the end of the day, and we're talking single digits here, so even if an aftermarket intake does not necessarily require a tune, we always recommend a tune if you're looking for any gains or improvements from your Mustang.
Our baseline run with our 2015 V6 gave us numbers of 241 horsepower and 235 foot-pounds of torque at the rear wheels. With the Airaid intake and the 93 Octane Bama Performance Tune, the car made 259 horsepower and 249 foot-pounds of torque making for a peak gain of 18 horsepower and 14 foot-pounds of torque. Now keep in mind that we did pair the intake with a tune, so a lot of these gains can definitely be attributed to that tune. And I always say this, but peak gains are nice to know, but the real thing I look for is going to be differences through the curve here or in your driving rpms, which is what you're actually going to notice performance-wise when you're driving. And throughout the curve, we're seeing gains of 21 horsepower in the 6100 rpm range and 20 pounds of torque right in the 3600 rpm range.
So the low end torque gain is something that you're going to notice more than the upper rpm power gain. The torque gain is something that you're going to feel every gear that you run above 3600 rpms. Now, like I just said, keep in mind that a lot of the gains that we were seeing are due to the tune that we paired with the intake. So with this intake, we're seeing power being made up top where the factory air intake system and filter become restrictive. Without a tune, like I said before, you'll see a 2-3 horsepower gain, but you also have to keep in mind that the more that you mod the car, the more restrictive the factory intake becomes.
Another thing to note here is the low intake air temps, and those can be attributed to the sealed air box, which I'll talk about in a minute. If we take a closer look at the Airaid itself, one of the main differences other than the construction is the dry Synthamax filter. Normally you see a filter that is reusable but that needs to be re-oiled. This filter here is not a normal cotton element filter. It's a synthetic nano-fiber material that filters particles that a normal cotton element filter cannot, and they don't need oil either. Also you have a choice of color here with the option of either a blue, red, or black filter. The intake is roto-molded plastic construction throughout, even with the enclosed filter housing and the intake tube for smooth air delivery to the engine.
Speaking of the intake tube, this is one of the larger intake tubes for the S550 V6. One of the big things that I wanted to point out with this intake though is the housing here. First of all, it's enclosed, which you're only going to see from the other option of C&L right now. The enclosed air box is going to protect the filter from elements within the engine compartment as well as help keep warm air from inside the compartment from being used by the engine. And like I mentioned earlier, we saw some of the lowest intake air temps with this intake on the Dyno due to this style of housing.
It is a one-piece roto-molded box that also has a unique shape. The shape of the air box improves the air flow around the entire filter, and this leads me to the other cool thing about the housing, and that's that it taps into the factory cold air duct, which brings cool air in from the grill instead of using warm engine compartment air. This is a really nice feature, in my opinion, and gives this intake a benefit that you don't see from many other aftermarket intakes for the S550 V6s. It also has a nice Plexiglas lid that is removable so you can get to the filter easily or see the filter without having to take the air box apart.
As far as price point with this intake, this is one of the higher quality options. It has one of the best fit and finishes out of all of the aftermarket cold air intakes for the S550 V6, and so it doesn't come as a surprise that this intake is going to cost a little bit more than the average cold air intake option. It costs a little over $350, which actually isn't even the most expensive option on the site. And like I mentioned earlier, this particular intake does not require a tune, which means that you can just bolt it up and go if you want to, but if you're looking for gains and improvements in drivability, then just know that any improvements you see from the intake can be greatly amplified by running a tune, just as a side note.
As for the install, it's nothing too difficult, and the intake will come with all of the items that you'll need including clamps, couplers and hardware. All you really need to complete the install is a 10 mil, a flathead for the plastic pins, and some pliers to remove the hose clamps. This is probably one of the easier mods that you can tackle with your new Mustang and will probably take about a half hour or an hour tops, and I'm going to call it a one out of three wrenches on our scale.
You can start by disconnecting the two breather hoses from the inlet tube. Remove the 10 millimeter bolt on the air box that holds it to the inner fender and detach the air box from the lower inlet tube on the side of the rad as you take out the air box. Loosen the clamps on the inlet tube at the throttle body in the air box and then remove the inlet tube. Then you're going to want to ready your new air box by installing the filter adapter. Next install the aluminum fitting for the air hose to the intake tube. Then you're ready to install the air box to the car, starting with the air duct sliding into the factory location and reinstall the factory bolt to hold it down.
Once the air box is in and bolted down, slide the coupler onto the adapter on the air box, then slide the other coupler onto the throttle body. Just make sure that you adjust all the clamps so you can tighten them down but leave everything loose for now. Install the inlet tube into the coupler on the throttle body and then onto the air filter coupler. Tighten down the clamps so everything is tight. Connect the vacuum hoses to the inlet tube, install the air box cover and tighten that down.
Wrapping things up here, I think the Airaid Synthamax cold air intake is an enclosed air box intake that is a well-built intake that taps into the factory cold air duct that Ford has provided for the intake. It looks good under the hood and has a reusable dry air filter that performs better than the normal cotton element aftermarket air filter and the intake does not require a tune. You can check this intake out more online for yourself and for all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.
Increase horsepower and torque.
Airaid Cold Air Intake Systems are computer designed to give your 3.7L V6 engine maximum air flow, which translates to more horsepower, torque and improved fuel efficiency. Airaid intakes are dyno tested and tuned for maximum performance and efficiency.No Tune Required.
This Airaid Cold Air Intake is designed to improve the performance of your 3.7L V6 powered Pony without any computer reprogramming required. By utilizing state of the art computer-aided designs, Airaid Intake Systems offer unmatched fit, finish, and power!Superior Filtration.
Each cold air intake provides superior air filtration, since it includes an Airaid Premium Filter with SynthaMax® technology. SynthaMax® is a synthetic nano-fiber material that traps the smallest dirt particles that ordinary cotton-gauze "performance" filters just can't capture. Airaid Premium Filters, with SynthaMax® can capture particulates down to 2 microns in size. And best of all Premium Filters are washable and re-usable saving you money.Unique Air Box Design.
This Airaid Cold Air Intake features a specially designed one-piece roto-molded intake box that draws cooler outside air from the factory cold air duct while the unique shape improves airflow around the entire filter. Another cool feature is the clear plexiglass lid that not only adds eye catching under hood styling, but makes it easy to check filter condition with just a glance.Application.
This Airaid Cold Air Intake System with SynthaMax filter is specifically designed to fit the 2015-2017 Mustangs equipped with the 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 engine. The SynthaMax filter is available in Blue, Black, or Red. Please choose filter color from the drop down option above.
Note: Coupon codes cannot be applied to this product.
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
- What's in the Box
- (1) Intake Tube
- (1) Air filter
- (2) Silicone Couplers
- (1) Heat Shield/Air Box
- Clamps & all needed hardware
- Installation Info
(approx) 1 Hour
Simple installation for anyone
- Tech Specs
Cold Air Intake Specifications
||Engine Bay |
||High Density Polyethylene
||Computer Tune Required:
- Will it fit my Mustang?