Just got done doing the initial testing on our prototype cold air box for the 2010 MS3. We put a box together that is a bit different from our existing boxes on the previous generation vehicles.
Previously, we closed out the entire front corner of the engine compartment with the box. With the 2010, the fuse block is in that vicinity and there’s a large wiring harness that crosses over the boundary region where we profiled for the box edge. We were also curious to see if we could build an efficient box that would allow our customers to retain access to the headlight assembly and fuse block for quick bulb and fuse changes.
We’ve done three extended runs on the 2010 MS3 with Cold Air Box and come to some interesting conclusions. In previous tests on the MS3 and MS6, we found that the dynamic pressure zones under the hood of the vehicle can be counter-intuitive as to the areas that provide cold air and/or allow ingress of hot underhood air into the filter.
The first run with a box that had multiple areas of access to the hot zones in the engine compartment was surprisingly successful. On a 51F day, we hit a 40+ degree max differential between underhood (immediately outside the box) and filter surface temperatures. Not bad! On the hotter days (86F) this summer when we were running the tests on our MS6 we hit around 35 degrees max thermal delta.
The next test we performed was with a number of the holes and reliefs in the box (clearance around the silicone coupler, closeout to the headlight assembly and a clearance hole for the recirculation valve) shored up and sealed off, we took the car out for another run this morning (waiting specifically until the outside air temp hit 51 again). We were hoping to get to ambient air temperature, which would have been a 60 degree temperature differential. Just like the MS6 tests last year, we got close, but stopped short at 5 degrees above ambient for a maximum in the box to out of the box temperature differential of 51 degrees F.
Wanting to see that 5F disappear, we went berserk and busted out our mad Scotch packing tape fabrication skills and sealed the entire box off to body and inner fenderwell. Absolutely no change. Which was honestly a relief. The simpler we are able to make the design, the more margin we have to spend on the aesthetic design and provide our customers with design that looks as seamless as possible with the factory underhood environment. Justin did a great job with the initial mockup, matching the contour of the factory intercooler cover, but we’ve got a ways to go. Next step is to pull the box out, bust out the bondo and shaping tools to fine tune the look and feel of the box. Meanwhile I’ll be chucking some delrin up in the lathe to knock out some fittings and fasteners as well as fabricating some finished brackets to ensure a solid fit with the OEM airbox grommets, battery box and radiator crossmember.
Finally, I need to make some phone calls and get some quotes on a pre-preg Carbon Fiber lid as well as a Dry Carbon lid. We’d love to make this a reality, but the numbers confirm or deny the reality of that option.
I know you’ve all waited a long time for this and it’s been for good reason -we want to raise the bar with this design and we’re excited to make it a reality.