Product Review: C6 Induction K&N Cold Air Kit…and a little more


Product testing can sometimes be a “multitasking” sort of undertaking and this product test is no different.

We had a chance to jump into Mayhem Performance to see what we could do with one of the most common upgrades late-model owners grab off the shelf on day one.

This 2006 Chevrolet Corvette was commissioned by the owner to do a little more than just swap out a cold-air intake so lets give you a little background first….the owner had done his due diligence and perused the internet looking at the various builder across the country and what they had to offer – packages, parts, goals for power at the rear wheels and like so many of us out there it’s not always something realistic to ship your Corvette off to the other side of the country – along with a huge check for massive upgrades…this Corvette owner was no different.

So after the owner and shop agreed to a price for the project the tech was off and running….it was a simple plan, more air in and more air out.

Lets start with more air in and the focus of this product review – K&Ns Corvette 6.0L Cold Air intake

K&N’s Chevrolet Corvette cold air intake kits increase horsepower and acceleration by dramatically reducing air flow restriction caused by the original factory design. K&N performance Chevrolet Corvette cold air systems are usually installed in 90 minutes or less and it goes without saying the obvious items that come on the K&N box – Designed to bring in cooler air with less restriction, Guaranteed power gain, outstanding engine protection, easy installation, over sized high-flow reusable air filter and their “Million Mile” limited warranty – yes that last paragraph is from their PR page, but I thought I’d toss it in…now back to the story

Most do not just slap on a cold air kit and leave “well enough” alone and that’s the little extras that come with this story, but lets also start with what else was going under the hood.

Mayhem Performance worked with their customer to put together this list of budget-minded performance parts for the Corvette with the goal of showing how choosing parts wisely can provide power and torque increases for a minimal investment.

Prepare your wallet for a little impact…we’re by no means talking about the speed parts equivalent of a SEMA build, intelligent choices mean that going fast can be cheaper than you might expect and yield honest real-world power numbers.

Though the primary focus in doing the research for this story was to find out how the K&N Cold-Air system would perform, parts packages and what you choose to install either by a shop or yourself is something we wanted to insert. So here is the list of items that went into the C6 – Brian Tooley camshaft $389.00 #32734132, SLP Headers #30124 $1399.95, Corsa Cat-Back #14469 $1519.00, 160-degree Lingenfelter Thermostat #LPE310015204 $19.95, NGK Plugs #739-TR51X $8.99 times eight and a L.O.F. for good measure (approximately $75 in parts) plus custom dyno tuning from HP tuners (two credits are $100). The package photo and price is substantially lower than most – $7000 including labor…that’s where this guy comes in.

We actually bribed “Mr. Happy” to smile for this photo…this cost us $10 bucks at the local burger joint

After the time to get all the parts installed, it’s time to get it on the dyno…that’s what you wanna really know.

1st the dyno run WITHOUT any modifications…313.4HP at 6000rpm and 312.0LB-FT of torque at 4500rpm

Now back to the focus of this product test the K&N cold air system…we ran the C6 on the dyno WITHOUT the K&N cold-air, but post modifications…

That yielded the expected jumps in HP and torque…up 64.9HP and 45LB-Ft But like good ‘ol Bill Mays…WAIT THERE’S MORE – we dropped the K&N system in place of the stock unit in about 10 minutes, re-tuned the car via HP Tuners, pulled the dyno straps tight again and made a run…

Click To See Final Numbers

Results: Before and after is just what K&N promised and just a tick less than advertised and surely due to the enhanced cam and exhaust that is part of the underlying story within this content…pick you parts carefully and you will yield power on the ground – 8.7HP and 6.6LB-FT of torque to be exact with the K&N unit in place and I would bet dollars to doughnuts that on a stock C6 the 10HP they claim is 100% percent accurate.

Not using the K&N filter on this project would be no different than dropping a 500CFM 2-Barrel on your 383 with the big cam and wondering why it won’t make power…it’s all about creating the right combination to make real world power and torque gains on the dyno, the street and on the track…and the K&N system delivered it’s promises and helped this little C6 make just that – more power.

– the Janitor





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