January 17, 2006
AFM Power PipeAFM Power PipeC&L TrueFlo
(No Tune)(SCT Tune)
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
2500123.43259.31n/an/a129.45271.95
2600129.84262.28n/an/a134.14270.97
2700135.70263.97n/an/a140.51273.33
2800142.48267.26n/an/a146.88275.51
2900147.91267.87n/an/a151.75274.84
3000152.54267.05n/an/a155.44272.13
3100157.32266.53159.55270.33160.09271.23
3200162.27266.34{{{164}}}.66270.26165.24271.20
3300167.95267.29170.08270.69171.32272.67
3400175.66271.34177.69274.48178.73276.09
3500184.24276.46186.73280.20188.36282.65
3600193.37282.12195.24284.83196.52286.70
3700199.07282.{{{57}}}202.61287.60203.10288.30
3800205.16283.56208.19287.75208.38288.01
3900212.37286.00216.64291.74215.63290.39
{{{4000}}}220.67289.74224.42294.67223.65293.66
4100227.26291.11231.01295.92231.49296.53
4200234.04292.67237.57297.08238.39298.11
4300242.17295.79245.38299.71245.76{{{300}}}.17
4400247.78295.76252.42301.30252.35301.22
4500253.89296.33257.86300.96257.95301.06
4600257.58294.09261.94299.08261.64298.73
4700260.96291.61265.23296.39265.53296.73
4800265.00289.96268.{{{62}}}293.92269.08294.43
4900269.45288.82273.72293.39273.12292.75
{{{5000}}}273.03286.{{{80}}}277.46291.45277.09291.06
5100276.56284.81281.01289.39280.64289.01
5200278.61281.40283.08285.92282.62285.45
5300279.66277.14284.40281.83283.98281.42
5400280.27272.60284.52276.73284.64276.85
5500280.14267.52284.95272.11284.11271.31
5600279.16261.81284.32266.66284.28266.62
5700279.26257.32283.83261.53283.61261.33
5800279.31252.93284.28257.43283.92257.10
5900278.16247.61283.97252.79283.68252.53
{{{6000}}}277.22242.67284.24248.81282.86247.61
6100n/an/a284.30244.77276.30237.95
JLTK&N AirChargerK&N AirCharger
True Cold Air(No Tune)(SCT Tune)
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
2500129.16271.36n/an/an/an/a
2600133.56269.80125.53253.58n/an/a
2700139.71271.76133.60259.88n/an/a
2800146.15274.14140.05262.70145.38272.70
2900151.91275.13144.95262.53150.04271.74
3000155.42272.09150.44263.37154.36270.25
3100159.53270.28156.17264.58159.46270.17
3200164.46269.92161.86265.65164.48269.95
3300170.61271.53167.35266.34169.66270.02
3400178.47275.69174.67269.82176.83273.16
3500188.00282.10182.54273.92185.06277.70
3600197.06287.49192.15280.33194.17283.28
3700203.88289.40199.60283.33201.08285.43
3800208.81288.61204.53282.69207.35286.58
3900215.06289.62212.15285.70214.92289.43
4000223.53293.49221.10290.31223.30293.20
4100231.67296.77227.32291.20229.56294.07
4200239.70299.74234.44293.16236.38295.60
4300246.84301.49241.54295.02244.08298.13
4400253.66302.79247.24295.12250.81299.38
4500259.21302.53252.42294.62255.78298.53
4600262.70299.94256.18292.50259.24296.00
4700266.65297.97259.87290.40263.26294.19
4800270.38295.84264.01288.88267.70292.92
4900274.62294.36267.53286.75270.94290.41
5000278.78292.84271.79285.49275.12288.99
5100282.39290.82275.03283.23278.07286.37
5200284.64287.49278.06280.85280.20283.01
5300285.92283.34277.96275.45282.17279.62
5400286.46278.62278.60270.97282.05274.33
5500286.22273.32278.03265.51281.79269.09
5600286.10268.33277.47260.23281.80264.30
5700285.85263.39276.88255.13281.30259.20
5800285.45258.49276.77250.63281.26254.69
5900285.59254.23276.55246.19281.95250.99
6000285.37249.80275.19{{{240}}}.88282.19247.02
6100285.78246.03245.79211.76279.94241.04
MACMMRComplete
Cold AirAnnihilatorMMR Annihilator
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
2500n/an/an/an/an/an/a
2600129.48272.02132.11266.85129.03271.07
2700133.81270.30139.10270.58133.80270.27
2800140.25272.82145.54273.00139.85272.03
2900146.91275.57150.72272.96146.35274.52
3000152.14275.53154.93271.24151.53274.43
3100156.18273.43159.25269.81155.65272.49
3200160.52271.95163.94269.07159.72270.60
3300165.19271.13168.84268.72164.66270.26
3400170.96272.09176.48272.62170.58271.49
3500178.79276.17185.04277.67177.17273.68
3600187.80281.80194.20283.33186.73280.21
3700196.60286.82201.49286.01195.48285.19
3800203.58288.97206.88285.94203.04288.21
3900209.60289.69214.46288.81208.49288.15
4000217.95293.50222.21291.77215.06289.62
4100224.69295.02228.65292.91224.08294.22
4200231.20296.16235.65294.68231.10296.03
4300238.61298.38243.39297.28238.54298.30
4400246.19300.70250.21298.66245.69300.10
4500252.82301.78255.32298.00252.32301.18
4600257.64300.71259.16295.{{{90}}}257.81300.91
4700261.82298.94262.15292.95261.71298.82
4800265.31296.48266.29291.38264.85295.97
4900269.52294.90270.53289.97268.76294.07
5000273.58293.23273.87287.68272.93292.54
5100277.99292.00277.93286.21277.08291.06
5200281.12289.51280.26283.07280.03288.39
5300283.36286.20281.58279.04282.59285.42
5400284.48281.91281.84274.12284.12281.55
5500285.29277.48281.75269.05284.52276.73
5600285.10272.25281.56264.07285.52272.66
5700284.70267.01281.25259.16285.43267.70
5800284.30261.96281.49254.90285.05262.65
5900283.52256.74281.06250.20284.90257.99
6000283.61252.47281.16246.11284.60253.35
6100283.25247.94274.82236.64284.68249.20
MRTMRTPowerHouse
(No Tune)(SCT Tune)Pipeline
RPMHPTQHPTQHPTQ
2500n/an/an/an/a94.37204.67
2600122.01246.44n/an/a133.26269.19
2700136.07264.68138.98270.35139.95272.23
2800142.12266.59145.16272.27146.35274.52
2900146.96266.16150.25272.12150.91273.31
3000151.85265.84154.21269.97154.99271.35
3100157.48266.80159.12269.59159.67270.52
3200161.58265.20163.25267.94164.56270.09
3300168.39268.01168.98268.93170.70271.68
3400176.53272.68176.86273.20178.02274.99
3500185.00277.60185.95279.03186.75280.23
3600194.24283.38195.19284.76195.66285.45
3700201.71286.33202.46287.39202.87287.96
3800207.42286.69207.91287.36208.26287.85
3900213.13287.02214.25288.54215.74290.54
4000220.93290.09221.35290.63224.05294.18
4100228.07292.16228.59292.82230.78295.63
4200236.51295.75236.00295.12237.85297.43
4300243.04296.85243.28297.15245.45299.79
4400248.80296.99250.50299.01252.33301.20
4500252.37294.55255.09297.72257.73300.80
4600256.71293.11259.02295.74261.41298.48
4700258.97289.39262.43293.26264.90296.02
4800263.00287.77266.41291.51268.37293.65
4900267.06286.25270.57290.01273.02292.64
5000270.87284.53274.40288.23276.20290.13
5100274.90283.10278.49286.80279.65287.99
5200277.49280.27279.75282.56281.34284.16
5300276.75274.26281.02278.49283.12280.56
5400278.44270.82281.29273.59283.70275.93
5500277.18264.69280.80268.15283.57270.79
5600277.51260.27280.39262.98283.18265.59
5700276.01254.33279.94257.95282.90260.67
5800276.82250.67279.70253.28282.79256.11
5900275.85245.56279.56248.87n/an/a
6000275.03240.75279.82244.94n/an/a
6100n/an/an/an/an/an/a
TuneableWestern
InductionMotorsports
RPMHPTQHPTQ
2500128.04268.99129.63272.34
2600133.15268.97133.89270.47
2700139.39271.15140.19272.70
2800146.24274.31146.70275.17
2900151.29273.99152.56276.29
3000154.99271.34156.43273.87
3100159.39270.04160.10271.25
3200164.85270.56164.32269.70
3300171.24272.53169.41269.63
3400178.09275.09177.54274.25
3500187.50281.36187.28281.03
3600196.42286.56196.74287.03
3700203.37288.68204.52290.31
3800208.48288.15213.06294.48
3900214.14288.37218.14293.77
4000221.51290.84223.11292.95
4100229.88294.48230.37295.11
4200236.75296.05238.91298.76
4300244.70298.88246.39300.95
4400251.79300.55252.84301.81
4500257.10300.07257.59300.64
4600261.16298.18261.22298.25
4700264.50295.57264.45295.52
4800269.10294.44268.12293.37
4900272.83292.44272.13291.69
5000276.86290.82275.96289.87
5100281.00289.38279.91288.26
5200283.42286.27282.21285.04
5300284.97282.40283.14280.59
5400284.95277.15283.90276.13
5500284.93272.09284.24271.43
5600284.49266.82284.23266.57
5700284.13261.80283.68261.39
5800283.46256.68283.06256.33
5900283.34252.22283.18252.08
6000282.32247.14282.50247.29
6100n/an/an/an/a

Discussion

Well, there you have it. The most thorough cold-air intake evaluation we've ever seen published. The good news is, if you're in the market for an '05 Mustang cold-air, you have a lot of innovative products to choose from. The bad news is, you have a lot of comparison shopping to do. As you examine each kit and hone in on your needs, keep a few things in mind. Above all, make sure you spend the money for a quality kit. Several in our test offer OEM fit and finish with good hardware and tuning that should last the lifetime of your Mustang. Before you buy, ask yourself, "How will this thing look after 10,000 miles?"

Once you're past that initial step, hone in on the finer points of the '05 CAI. We saw several different tubing materials in this comparison. Racers may lean toward the plastic housing to cut down on the heat transfer to the inlet charge. Street-only Stangers may enjoy the aluminum-tubing kits for strength and longevity. As for the size of the inlet pipe, the 4-inch tubing is clearly for the racer who will be making more power in the future. We don't see anything wrong with a larger kit on a street-only car, but we don't see any real gain.

We found that shielding is practically mandatory on these cars. Unless you drive in 30-degree weather all year, there is at least some (and likely a lot) of benefit from shielding the intake charge from fan turbulence and underhood heat. The '05 Mustang is a hot-running little beast that can use all the fresh air you can get into it. You don't want this byproduct of combustion to get back into the engine and run the risk of throwing off the tune or adding to detonation. Again, we recommend only those cold-air kits that offer shielding--it's that important.

Some kits do not come with the tamperproof Torx bit for removing the mass-air from the stock housing. A small point, but enough to separate one cold-air from the another. It's also proves how much thought the designers put into their systems. Now that all of our readers will probably ask for it, we hope all the cold-air manufacturers start including this little part to make the install easier.

We can't comment on how the cold-airs affect the driveability of the car. This would have been especially interesting on the kits that specify "no tune" because of the finicky reputation the '05 computer has garnered. That test will have to wait, or you can check the Internet message boards for feedback on your cold-air of interest. Also keep in mind, we're reporting wheel horsepower, not quarter-mile times as in the good old days of 1995 [Editor Turner probably remembers this...]. Check with regular '05 Mustang racers to see what they believe are the best kits for maximum acceleration.

And, remember--with most of these kits, additional tuning to your Mustang will be necessary before you can enjoy the added benefits of a larger volume of fresh air. At first, this may seem like an additional unnecessary cost. But, we think the '05 Mustang should have a tune to smooth out that annoying drive-by-wire throttle control. Mix that with an additional 25 rwhp from your new cold-air, and you'll really start to appreciate your new Mustang.