0 comments / Posted by Marvin Roane

CAI vs SRI Thumbnail


A new intake is one of the most common mods you'll see people do when they start modifying a car. Some are looking for performance, some are looking for louder induction noises, some only care about the looks! You'll see things from upgraded and fully enclosed carbon fiber air intakes, to 3" shorty titanium intakes, and everything in between. We can all agree that an intake is sick regardless of what you go for, but how do you know which one is right for you?

Eventuri Mk8 R Cold Air Intake


First off, what is an intake and why do you want to change it out? Let’s start with a basic understanding on how an internal combustion engine works. In order to obtain the explosive energy needed to propel your car, at least 3 ingredients are needed: fuel, spark, and oxygen. Luckily our atmosphere is full of the latter and feeding your engine more air is usually the easiest path to starting to make more power. By upgrading your intakes diameter and eliminating restrictions from the factory system, you can feed more oxygen into your engine where that extra air is mixed with fuel and spark for more aggressive combustion to get the whole system moving. You can achieve even greater benefits by getting colder air into the system as well, since colder air is more dense then hotter air.


That is where a cold air intake, or CAI, and short ram intake, or SRI, come in. Essentially have the same end goal of more power, but slightly different ways to go about it. Let’s dive into each one and take a closer look.

Unitronic Mk7 Cold Air Intake


CAI's increase power by pulling in cooler fresher air from as close to outside of the engine bay as possible. The air outside of an engine bay is generally colder, denser, and carries more oxygen for better combustion, equaling more power. Installation could be a little more involved, but generally not too bad. They will be louder than stock but not as loud as a SRI.

Injen Mk6 Short Ram Intake


SRI's try to allow more power by removing restrictions like resonators and added air boxes used to reduce noise and reducing the amount of travel distance and turbulence of airflow from the filter to the intake manifold. So that means it's going to be pulling more air from the engine bay where air temps may be a little warmer. Installation is generally easier than a CAI but it's still sitting in the warmer engine air where heat soak could affect performance. You'll also notice that SRI's are a bit more cost efficient than full CAI systems as they tend to be a more streamlined design.

Neuspeed MQB P-FLO Intake


So that is a brief overview regarding a CAI vs SRI. Both great options depending on what you are looking to do. If you still have some questions, feel free to hit us up and we can help you get the right option for your needs!


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