The AEM Performance Cold Air Intake System produces horsepower and torque gains by replacing your vehicle's restrictive factory air filter and air intake housing. This air intake system was designed, tuned and dyno-tested to fit the Mazda MX-5.
Air enters the system through an oversized AEM Dryflow synthetic washable air filter for outstanding air flow, filtration and performance. The air filter is located in the original air box space and is protected by a heat shield which is designed to reduce intake air temperature and increase horsepower. Attached to the heat shield is an aluminum coolant overflow reservoir that replaces the stock reservoir so that the air intake will fit properly. The air intake tubing is constructed from mandrel-bent aluminum featuring a durable gunmetal gray powder coated finish. This air intake system was developed to accommodate the engine's factory emissions control devices including the mass air flow sensor and PCV hose. The tapered cylinder shaped AEM Dryflow air filter is made from an oil-free, synthetic filter media that can be used for up to 100,000 miles before cleaning is needed (depending on driving conditions). The air intake system is easy to install with commonly available tools.
Sorry, not CARB approved, not for sale to California.
More of a visual than a horse power addition. Some where on the website, Brian mentioned that intake HP increases were less than 1 HP, so they stopped working on those. There might be an intake audio improvement with the elimination of the sound tube, but that would probably require a sophisticated recording. I like it. It cleans up the engine compartment the way a 60s sports car person thinks it should look like. Yes, its more subjective than any actual number.
I've had 4 cars that I've tracked...two Club Miatas that were decked out for the track. On my NC I didn't do any work under the hood...it was just handling and safety (i.e., Ohlins, brakes, wheels, rollbar, seats, harnesses, steering wheel, tires, etc). On the track (i.e., Sebring, Homestead, Palm Beach, & Daytona) I always felt like my NC was missing something. Some would say HP, and I'd have to agree, but I'm talking about the engine sound was just missing something that is hard to explain.
On my ND2, I started with the engine...headers, mid pipe and exhaust from Goodwin and I've been very happy with this exhaust system. I felt like the sound was 70-80% there for what a "4-banger" could do.
With this CAI, I feel that under the hood the engine just looks better (matters to me), and I do feel that the CAI brought the feel of the engine and the sound up an additional 10% (sound, not HP). This is subjective of course. I feel that once I get this car's ECU tuned, it will be the "best it can be" in terms of performance, sound, feel and breathing ability.
Worth it to me? $400? Absolutely. I'm happy.