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Ferrari has known for years that the more air you feed your engine the better. Increased air flow gives increased performance. The Ferrari Enzo includes a new ram-air intake system, high-flow air filters, FXX style headers, high-flowing cats, a new exhaust system with remote-controlled butterfly valves to adjust sound levels on the fly, and a modified ECU that helps power levels reach 700 hp and 527 lb.-ft. of torque

One of the keys to get more power out of your car is getting air into and out of the engine in the most efficient manner. You will want the maximum amount of air coming into the engine, because the more air in the combustion chambers mixed with the correct amount of fuel will result in the maximum power being developed. In the same fashion once the combustion has taken place you want the maximum amount of residual air/fuel gases out of the combustion chambers so that new air/fuel can come in.

So what can slow down the flow of air in and out of your engine? A variety of different designs and components go into a stock car that was not created with maximum power in mind. Remember that the car manufacturer is making a variety of trade-offs when they design and build a car. On one hand they must keep their costs as low as possible, which means that the parts they install might not be the best brands or designs available. They also must appeal to a wide audience in order to sell the most cars. One way is to keep the car as quiet as possible. Unfortunately many of the things they do for keeping sound down also keep the engine power down.

On the intake side of the engine the following things can slow down the air flow and decrease potential power. Starting with the outside air is the air filter. Paper air filters can block out air flow along with the particles you don’t want in your engine. The next item is the throttle body. This device controls the amount of air being drawn in. If it is the wrong size or has restrictions, the air flow is slowed down. Following are the plenum, runners and intake port. Stock devices are usually not as smooth internally as possible and they can cause further restrictions. So on the intake side, have a very effective air filter, followed by the minimum restrictions in the path of the air flow into the cylinders will help maximize the power potential of your engine.

On the exit or exhaust side of the engine we find the exhaust headers, the catalytic converter, various pipes and mufflers and the exhaust tailpipe. The exhaust headers lead the exhaust gases out of the engine. If not designed correctly they can restrict the exhaust gas flow. This might leave some wasted gas in the engine cylinders at the time new fresh air/fuel is being brought in to the cylinders. There is only some much room, and any space taken by exhaust gas that remains means less incoming air and fuel, and hence less power. Because of environmental laws there is not much you can do with the catalytic converter, just kind of accept what you have. However, you can get mufflers and pipes that minimize the exhaust gas restrictions and increase the power of your stock engine.

Each one of the devices mentioned above can be replaced with more efficient products, and in many cases stock parts can be reworked to improve efficiencies and raise potential horsepower.

A bonnet or hood scoop provides the engine with cool air

A bonnet or hood scoop is an air vent on the bonnet of an automobile that either allows a flow of air to directly enter the engine compartment, or appears to do so. It may be closed, and thus purely decorative, or serve to enhance performance in several possible ways.

The main purpose of a bonnet or hood scoop is to admit outside air into the engine’s intake ahead of the air cleaner and carburetor or fuel injection manifold. In most modern automobiles, internal combustion engines “breathe” under-bonnet or hood air or air ducted from under the front bumper through plastic and rubber tubing. The high operating temperatures in the engine compartment result in intake air that is 28°C (50°F) or more warmer than the ambient temperature, and consequently less dense. A bonnet scoop or hood scoop provides the engine with cooler, denser outside air, increasing power.

Ram air

At higher highway road speeds, a properly designed bonnet or hood scoop can increase the speed and pressure with which air enters the engine’s intake, creating a resonance supercharging effect.

A functional scoop presents several possible problems in addition to its benefits:

* The scoop opening increases audible engine noise. This is of concern in areas where local law regulates the maximum permissible noise levels of vehicles.

* An open scoop may admit debris or water directly into the engine, which is a hazard. If the air cleaner element is in place, it will generally prevent debris from entering the engine, although such detritus can quickly clog the air filter. Many scoops for vehicles intended for street use have drainage channels to prevent water from entering the engine, although the channels may be overwhelmed in heavy rain.

* The cooling effect of the scoop’s intake air may complicate engine warm-up and pollution control. During the early days of automotive emissions controls, it was customary for stock air-intake systems to have flaps that would only allow the engine to breathe cool, outside air at or near full throttle.

Because of these limitations, some scoops are designed so that they can be closed by the driver (using a cabin-mounted lever) or so that they remain shut until opened by engine vacuum.

Is cold air intake better than regular air intake?

If you are looking for max horsepower the answer is yes. Cold air is denser and containes more oxygen which means a better combustion resulting in more power. A cold air intake system streams cool, more dense air into the engine, increasing the performance of your vehicle. Auto manufacturers design most vehicle engines to be as quiet as possible. They produce an air box and intake tube with several curves that drop the density of air that advances into the internal combustion chamber. Manufactured air boxes are installed next to the engine bay, confining the air and making it hot when sucked into the box. The result is a mixture of fuel and hot air combustion that restricts the efficiency of your engine.

Throttle body spacer

A throttle body spacer is a small ring that fits between the intake tube and the throttle body. The purpose is to mix the air better with the fuel, creating better mileage and better performance. The throttle body spacer causes the incoming air charge to tumble for better atomization of the mixture downstream in the combustion chamber. A throttle body spacer will yield a much greater fuel burn efficiency, which in turn will improve performance and improve fuel economy!