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Seduction by Induction

May 13, 2019 2 min read

m52 x3 induction kit air filter
In terms of hardware, the basis of almost all power upgrades - and indeed, most people's first thing on their list of things to modify, is an induction kit / intake, (depending on your terminology).

There's a seemingly endless list to choose from ranging from a 'filter on a stick', semi-enclosed to fully-enclosed, foam filter, cotton gauze... so what makes the m52 X3 different and why should it be your MQB induction system of choice?

We strive for perfection when we produce products and the X3 was no different; it had to produce maximum power and torque, increased induction noise, be resistant to heat-soak, have capability to support future modifications, improve engine bay aesthetics... do it all, basically.

At its heart is the huge cotton gauze filter you can see. With a bell-mouth backplate, airflow is presented with the least turbulence and resistance, whilst the mammoth filter surface area provides minimal pressure-drop, but exceptional filtration capability.

The airbox enclosure itself is also generously proportioned to ensure maximum airflow via the three intake points (X3). Two across the slam-panel, including the original intake point and a third on the airbox lid itself, capable of flowing enough air for at least 600bhp!

A lot of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulations were performed to achieve the optimum airflow utilising the triple-intake system; the result of which showed that whilst the additional intake on the airbox lid aided top-end performance, it also created unwanted deflection to the main two entry points, once in the main chamber.

The solution to this was to design and install a deflector plate to the entry point of the upper intake. As you can see from the CFD simulations shown, this smoothed out airflow and ensured that the entire filter surface area was being utilised.

We're sure some of you reading this are thinking yeah that's great, but what about heat soak?! Well, we've thoroughly tested that too. Numerous revisions were made to the position, size and shape of the opening - the current production version obviously offering the best combination.

Heat-soak tests were performed back-to-back against at the OE intake at a 25º ambient temperature. This showed it took over 2-minutes before the opening had an adverse affect and even then, by only a maximum of 5º. Once moving again, this drop recovered within a matter of seconds. In all other scenarios, it provided an improvement to the fully enclosed setup - including a slightly louder induction noise and increase in peak power.

The X3 also includes a revised silicone coolant hose to re-route the OE hose away from the standard position (which apart from being unsightly, also blocks some of the third entry point). This can easily be changed in-situ and without having to drain / replace your coolant system.

Installation is also very straightforward, utilising all the OE mounting points but is supplied with full fitting instructions. If you're not confident of tackling this yourself, our team of highly-trained technicians will happily help take care of installation  at our Essex-based m52 HQ workshop.