What Air Intake?
As you may have already heard, one of the more crucial elements towards achieving some performance gain is to improve the air intake system. While the physics are true that more air and fuel equates to more power, I personally believe that this must be done in a logical approach.
In the past, I have experimented with cold air intakes, short ram air intakes, drop ins and open pod filters. But while the latter has more surface area for better airflow, the open pod filter is usually housed within the engine bay and thus, the intake air is more than often hotter air. This results in a negative effect towards combustion as warmer air is less denser per unit volume and therefore, less oxygen is fed to your engine, decreasing its efficiency and power output. From my personal experience, the open pod made more noise than anything else and in my previous ride, there was a huge loss in low end torque and power especially on a very hot day. Hence, I do not recommend open pods, especially for a small engine.
Yes, many manufacturers claim a lot from dyno figures etc. but have you noticed that dynos are done with the bonnet open with huge fans in front to cool the car? In my honest opinion, this is not a practical set up because no one drives with the hood open.
Moreover, if you look at the intake design of supercars, you will also notice that none of them used open pod filters. Obviously, these engineered cars that roll out of mega factories at ridiculous prices would have been highly engineered for performance application. Look at the engine bay of the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta (pictured above), the most powerful, road legal Ferrari to date. So, go figure...