**Disclaimer: This review/installation guide is only that, a guide. If you run into challenges or think this may be too over your head, please contact a mechanic in your area to do it for you. By following this guide, you agree that robspace.net or any associates or affiliates are not responsible for any damage that may be caused to you, your car, your tools, or anything else you can think of.
Intake modifications are one of the most common, easiest, and lowest cost modifications that many auto enthusiasts make to their vehicles. They come in many shapes and forms, from a simple replacement tube utilizing the same air box, to a full cold ram-air setup that moves the entire filter into the wheel-well to totally isolate it from the engine bay. Some even choose to create their out of various parts and pieces, such as a gatorade cap that happens to take the place of an air silencer on a 1994 Honda Accord SOHC, in white, with euro tail lights. Why yes, that was a little too specific, wasn’t it?
I also now have a video posted detailing the installation overview, as well as the wonderful turbo sounds that this intake helps to produce.
I installed this intake into my 2018 Audi RS3 in a matter of minutes, and can attest that this was probably the easiest modification that I’ve made thus far. Aside from not having any instructions included in the box, I really had no challenges. I did give Nik at CTS Turbo a call right before the installation to ask a few basic questions, and he offered to literally sit on the phone with me during the install just to prove how dead-simple it was. Frankly, the most time consuming part of the entire process was putting together the powder coated metal box that lives where the air box used to be, and even that wasn’t difficult at all. I’m going to write up an install guide in the next few days, complete with pictures, to help anybody who may be leery of doing this themselves. All in, including dropping the only screw that needs to be removed from the car, it took me about 20 minutes to complete the installation.
I did a quick jaunt out to the interstate where I knew I could open the taps safely up to the speed limit. Having easy access to a clover-leaf style set of on/off ramps helps tremendously with catching multiple pulls over a very short period of time.
The first thing I noticed was the sound of the turbo. The engine sound was also more pronounced. This pronunciation is significantly different then the exhaust note, and it comes on more quickly. It’s not obtrusive at all, as these sounds only show up when you’re producing boost and approaching high revs. You can still get them while in comfort, but you have to try (see the video for more of these sounds!). The other upside is that the car sounds more like it is in a stereo concert, as opposed to the monotone of only the exhaust note. Now you can clearly hear the engine up front, inclusive of the turbo spooling and the exhaust from behind.
The butt-dyno says that something feels more responsive, however when you’re already pushing 360+ at the wheels, an extra 6-10 isn’t terribly noticeable. I will say that I did notice some increased throttle response which I rather enjoy, especially in the lower RPM band.
Standard highway cruise had no whistle, no additional drone, no rattle, nor any other adverse effects. I was pleasantly surprised to pick up another 1-2 MPG in initial tests. Long term results will show more accurate fuel economy bumps, but I do expect this to continue right in that range.
The CTS Turbo meets many check-marks in my quest to continue the transformation of the 2018 Audi RS3 into a completely street-able daily driver track capable car. There may be other intakes that make a bit better power, or are made from more exotic materials, however the value for money is a no-brainer, to the point that people were advertising that they were buying this “for now, until a carbon fiber comes out”. To be perfectly honest, having cash in hand for one of the $1,000+ intakes, I’d probably buy tires. Give me another $1k? Intercooler, Brake Rotors, Springs and Rear Sway Bar, Tune… the list goes on.
All that said, This is a worthwhile, simple, relatively inexpensive modification that will reap rewards in the engine bay as well as pay dividends in the amount of happiness that is derived from pressing your right foot a bit further down to the floor.