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Best Cold Air Intake for Camaro V6

As people search for ways to improve the performance of their V-6 Camaros, perhaps one of the easiest modifications to make is to add a cold air intake. Cold air intakes are relatively inexpensive and much easier to install than other engine modifications.

A cold air intake will allow your V-6 to “breathe” better by supplying cooler, less restrictive airflow into the engine’s combustion chamber. Cooler air is more oxygen dense and that equates to more power. So read about what we feel are the best cold air intakes for your V-6 Camaro and enjoy the increased power and added fuel economy that these systems will provide.

Best Cold Air Intakes for Camaro V6 – Top Picks:

 K&N 69-4523TPK&N 69-4520TPCold Air Inductions
501-1036-10-B
K&N 69-4535TPVolant Cold Air
Intake 15136
Spectre Performance
SPE-9981
OEM Part Number69-4523TP69-4520TP501-1036-10-B69-4535TP159819981
Torque Increase11.77 ft. lbs. of torque11.46 ft. lbs. of torqueNo data11.76 ft. lbs. of torque22 ft. lbs. of torqueNo data
Horsepower increase15.63 HP13.45 HP16 HP21.33 HP18 HPNo data
Airflow increaseup to 50% up to 50%No dataup to 50%No dataup to 50%
Filter TypeWashable, reusable, oiledWashable, reusable, oiledNo dataWashable and reusableCleanable and Reusable
Oiled Filter
Washable, reusable
Vehicle applications year2012-20152010-20112010-20112016-20202012-20132012-2015
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4 Benefits of Adding a Cold Air Intake

1. Increased Acceleration – a cold air intake can add 5-20 horsepower to your 323 horsepower V-6. With the added horsepower, acceleration will be improved because colder, denser, oxygen-rich air is delivered to the engine with less restriction than the original factory-installed intake system. The result of this cooler air being added will allow your Camaro to reach your desired speed even faster than before.
Best Cold Air Intake for Increased Acceleration: Spectre Performance SPE-9981

2. Better Fuel Economy – most stock air intakes systems, especially the system that came from the factory on your Camaro, are more focused on a quiet ride than fuel economy. Your V-6 develops its power by mixing air and fuel in the combustion chamber. A more restricted airflow causes the engine to burn more fuel to compensate for this restricted airflow. It just makes sense that delivering cooler, denser air will allow for lower fuel consumption, increasing your vehicle’s miles per gallon.
Best Cold Air Intake for Better Fuel Economy: Volant Cold Air Intake 15136

3. Aggressive Sound – an increased, more aggressive sound, although it does nothing for the actual engine performance, is one of the great benefits of adding an aftermarket cold air intake system. Almost everyone enjoys that throaty rumble as they accelerate away from a red light or stop sign. With the addition of a CAI, heads will turn to see the backend of your Camaro as it disappears into the distance.
Best Cold Air Intake for Aggressive Sound: Cold Air Inductions 501-1036-10-B

4. Long Lasting Filters That Save You Money – stock intakes usually contain a disposable paper filter that, although they do a satisfactory job, must be disposed of and replaced as necessary. Aftermarket filters included with cold air intake systems, while still requiring periodic cleaning (usually somewhere between 25,ooo and 50,000 miles), can be washed, dried, and/or re-oiled and reused.
Best Cold Air Intake for Long Lasting Filters: Any of the 3 K&N Typhoon CAI Systems Reviewed

K&N 69-4523TP

K&N 69-4523TP

The body style says it is a sports car. When you sit in the driver’s seat and grip the steering wheel you feel like you’re in a sports car. When the light turns green and you step on the gas… so much for being in a sports car. That V-6 just can’t perform like you wish it could because it can’t breathe. The K&N 69-4523TP Cold Air Intake can fix that.

With a guaranteed increase in horsepower, this intake system has been dyno-tested to increase airflow into you engine by 50%. Along with all of that additional airflow comes increased acceleration and throttle response. The improved engine sound will make people wonder what you have under your hood.

Installation is easy and can be accomplished in less than a hour with just basic hand tools. The filter is maintenance free for up to 100,000 miles and K&N backs their intake system with a 10-year/Million Mile warranty.

Pros

  • Increased horsepower (15 HP) and throttle response
  • Low maintenance, 10-year/million mile warranty
  • Made in the USA
  • Better fuel economy
  • CARB compliant

Cons

  • Some parts may require slight modifications
  • Satisfying sound but not loud


K&N 69-4520TP

K&N 69-4520TP

K&N has been a long-time industry leader in cold air intake systems and the 69 Series Typhoon Systems will only build on K&N’s reputation. And like all K&N intakes, this one comes with K&N’s 10-year/Million Mile Warranty.

It has been dyno-tested to deliver better airflow than the restrictive stock Camaro system with no ECU (electronic control unit) tuning. It has a large cotton-gauze filter that requires no maintenance for up to 100,000 miles (depending upon individual driving conditions) and is washable and reusable. In 90 minutes or less you can have the system installed and be up and running.

It will increase horsepower, improve acceleration and deliver the sound like you have a tiger under your hood.

Pros

  • Increase in horsepower of around 15HP
  • 10-year/Million Mile Warranty
  • No ECU tuning required
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Some customer complains about pipe and heat shield quality
  • Subject to whistling sound while shifting gears
  • Not CARB compliant


Cold Air Inductions 501-1036-10-B

Cold Air Inductions 501-1036-10-B

The 501-1036-10-B has the goal of keeping incoming air as cool as possible to maximize your engine’s performance. The intake is made of high-quality aluminum, not heat absorbing plastic. The tubes are then ceramic coated inside and out to keep radiant engine compartment heat from affecting the system and then the tubes are powder-coated black. In addition Cold Air Inductions has thermal insulated the air box to further prevent heat transfer. The air box lid has a clear window so that you can inspect the filter without having to open the air box.

Engine performance is improved and the intake will deliver a deeper sounding engine roar.

Pros

  • Increased power and acceleration
  • Increased fuel economy
  • Delivers a deep, throaty rumble
  • Ease of installation

Cons

  • Fits only 2010 and 2011 Camaro
  • Not CARB compliant


K&N 69-4535TP

K&N 69-4535TP

This 69 Series Typhoon system has a bright aluminized intake tube that will look great under your hood. It will deliver a horsepower gain of up to 21HP. The oversized conical filter is a bright red cotton-gauze and is washable and reusable.

This K&N system will improve acceleration, throttle response, and engine sound. With no filter cleaning required for up to 100,000 miles and a 10-year/million mile warranty, you’re under very little monetary risk if you are not happy with the results you get from this system.

Pros

  • Ease of installation
  • 50% improvement in airflow
  • Dyno-tested
  • No ECU tuning required

Cons

  • Not CARB compliant
  • Oiled filter may damage MAF sensor


Volant 15136

Volant Cold Air Intake 15136

The Volant 15136 provides quicker throttle response and improved fuel economy. It has an insulated air box, molded polyethylene ducts, with high-grade silicone connectors and stainless steel clamps for durability. There is a choice of filters available with this system: a classic Primo filter with no maintenance for 35K-50K miles, and a oil-free PowerCore filter with no maintenance required for up to 100K miles.

Volant claims their cold air intake will give you about 18 extra horsepower and 40 lbs. of increased torque. Gas mileage will improve 1-3 miles per gallon. The horsepower and torque estimates may be a bit on the high side, the MPG gain is probably very close to the truth.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Marine grade stainless steel clamps
  • Improved throttle response especially in the higher gears
  • 50 State legal

Cons

  • Only comes with a one-year warranty
  • Molded polyethylene construction
  • Air box is not able to be secured (free standing)


Spectre Performance SPE-9981

Spectre Performance SPE-9981

This Spectre CAI has been designed to provide 50% better airflow to your engine and boost both horsepower and torque. It comes with a red oiled filter that requires no cleaning for up to 100,000 miles. And it will not void your vehicle warranty. It has polished aluminum tubes and a powder coated heat shield that looks very stylish under the hood.

The SPE-9981 provides a smoother pathway for air to reach the combustion chamber, resulting in an increase in usable power. Engine noise is loud enough that this may be the only modification you need if engine sound is one of your top priorities.

Pros

  • Priced less than much of the competition
  • Easy installation – 90 minutes or less
  • Loud, but not overly so

Cons

  • Customer complaints concerning tube being too short to fit securely
  • Low quality clamps
  • Not CARB compliant


Final Thoughts

A cold air intake is perhaps the easiest way to improve a Camaro V-6 engine’s performance. It is fairly inexpensive and easy to install, you don’t need to be rocket scientist to get the job done.

Besides the performance issue, the sound that you will hear coming from under the hood will put a smile on your face. For a small investment you are able to turn that V-6 engine into a fearsome sounding beast of a muscle car.

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