We experience some stellar gains on a ’00 Corvette with an Airaid Cold Air Intake.
*photos by the author
It’s not really a secret that a paper filter is not conducive to high flow. Sure, they catch small micron debris that attempt to pass through the filter, but it’s a little ridiculous. As a result, they get clogged up easily, aren’t reusable, and – most importantly – they choke the car from making power. The popular gauze design filter has been the most popular among enthusiast for many reasons. They provide an extremely effective protection from harmful particles while providing excellent flow and power potential.
This is not where the struggle for power ends, either. Many factory intake systems have an internal maze, expansion chambers, or baffles to help quiet the air down as it passes through the intake. This is all fine and dandy on your daily-driven Chevy Cruze, but if you own a Corvette, you probably want to hear that big, American V8 ingest precious oxygen. By eliminating the restrictive factory intake and filter LS owners can expect a pretty healthy gain – or at least the comfort of knowing their intake is no longer a restriction.
If you’re a regular reader of the mag, you’re more than likely familiar with the recipient of this Airaid Cold Air kit PN#250-292. Our guinea pig for this experiment was a 2000 Corvette equipped with a later example of the LS1 sourced from a ’04 GTO, including its MAF sensor. It should be noted that this particular kit was designed for the 2001-2004 C5, and if you own a ’97-00 version of the C5, you must first update it with the later-style MAF for this kit to work.
For the sake of this test, Greg Lovell of AntiVenom installed a factory Corvette intake back onto the ‘Vette that belongs to his wife, Rashelle. It previously had a differernt brand intake on it. We strapped the automatic Corvette to the dyno and performed a couple baseline runs. The only time we took to cool off was the time needed to install the new intake assembly. Folks, that only took us about 20-minutes.
Once the new intake was installed on the car, we made our first dyno run and laughter erupted from garage. We couldn’t believe our eyes and made another backup run to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. Sure enough, the gains we saw were shown bellow and happened right before this author’s eyes. Now we don’t want to go as far as saying these results will be typical, but you will certainly see results. Intake systems in modern GM performance vehicles have gotten exponentially more efficient over the years, but the C5 Corvettes always seemed to struggle in that department. That’s good for you in the bang-for-your-buck department!
Any good cold-air kit on these cars will find you realistic in your expectations for around 10rwhp or more. To see a gain of over 30rwhp was absolutely stellar. While we can’t sit here and say “expect 30+rwhp from your Corvette,” what we can say is you should expect a very high quality, affordable, cold air system that will give your car great gains. It can be installed in your driveway in under half an hour by even the most limited-skilled shade tree mechanics with it’s simple construction and detailed instructions. We were impressed, and so should you.
Kevin’s career got its start by snapping shots of what he referrs to as his “bread and butter” – automotive shoots. With over 10 years of experience behind the lens, four LS-powered vehicles and countless builds, the former GM High-Tech Performance, High Performance Pontiac and Mopar Muscle associate editor and staff photographer is excited to be contributing to the late-model GM hobby again.