The concept of high-performance air filters is that they provide less restriction, allowing the engine to draw in more air and fuel, resulting in increased power and efficiency. While the power gains may be small, tests have shown that aftermarket air filters do work. The main benefit of a high flow air filter is that it doesn't need to be changed as often as a standard filter. All you have to do is clean it every two years or so, as they don't clog as quickly.
This type of filter can increase your horsepower by 3-5 HP and torque, and can also lead to higher fuel efficiency. A cold air intake, if available, will make the most of the performance gains. Cotton gauze filters use a multi-layer design with four or six layers of pleated cotton filter media to act as a physical barrier against contamination and debris. K&N filters use a depth charge to provide filtration for your engine rather than barrier filtration like other filters use.
Foam filters are mainly used in high-performance vehicles because they do an excellent job of trapping dirt, debris and other contaminations. Millions of disposable air filters and their packaging waste end up in landfills every year, however, these washable air filters last the life of the vehicle and help reduce unnecessary waste. In tests, aftermarket air filters improved performance compared to the original new and dirty filters. The K&N filter produced the largest gains with around four horsepower and five pounds. The pleated design used by K&N is specifically designed to provide a large capture area, this and the addition of what they describe as their “magic sauce”, also known as filter oil, helps create an air filter that is extremely popular in the world of high-performance cars. Deep-load filtration means that the pores of a K&N filter won't clog as quickly, allowing for more efficient filtration and longer life than normal air filters.
Both ITG and Pipercross make foam filters with a Tri-Foam design, which uses different thicknesses of thicker foam to create an air filter that can be used for different applications. So while you may not feel the extra power when you hit the accelerator, tests have shown that aftermarket air filters do work. They can increase your horsepower by 3-5 HP and torque, lead to higher fuel efficiency, reduce waste from disposable air filters, and provide better filtration for your engine.