Lancer Evo X Intake

Lancer Evo X Intake Upgrade Guide

There are few automobiles as well-known and recognizable as the Mitsubishi Evo X. In the early 1990s, the Mitsubishi Lancer rally variant evolved into the Evolution, which made its North American debut in 2003. The Evo X of the tenth generation was powered by a 4B11 engine. One of the most easily modifiable engines ever built, and it accepts bolt-on improvements like intakes quite well.

It is common for Evo X owners to start with performance intakes as the initial update on their vehicle. In addition to being relatively easy to install and inexpensive, they also add power and improve the sound quality of a vehicle. Exhaust modifications can have a big impact on the Evo X’s 4B11.

In the past, we’ve discussed the best Evo X performance mods and Evo X coilover improvements. Everything you need to know about an Evo X intake upgrade is covered in this new tutorial. Discuss the advantages, advantages, power gains, and more.

What is a performance intake?

For a variety of reasons, performance intakes are a popular choice for Evo X owners. In addition to increasing power and torque, this mod also helps with fuel economy and turbo spool. As contrast to the stock airbox, the huge cone-shaped filter brings in more air, and its design allows for less turbulent and more efficient airflow.

The turbocharger compressor side is directly connected to the intake in turbocharged vehicles. Air enters the turbo and is compressed before being injected into the engine via the intercooler. Intakes are only as effective as their ability to provide the coolest air to the engine can be ensured. Increased power and better fuel economy are also possible while driving in cooler temperatures because colder air contains more oxygen than hot air.

Short Ram vs Cold Air Intakes

Short ram and cold air are the two most common forms of Evo X intake improvements. In order to get the air to the engine more quickly, short rams use a smaller amount of piping. They are made to be as unrestrictive as possible in order to get the most airflow possible through them. Short ram intake filters are particularly vulnerable to damage from the hot air in the engine compartment because of their placement.

Depending on the model, cold air intakes may relocate the filter to the engine bay’s floor, the headlamp, or the fender, depending on the design. Some people refer to the Evo X’s performance intakes as cold air intakes, but that isn’t fully accurate. The stock airbox filter will be retained in most Evo X intakes. Although not technically a cold air intake, they do give a significant reduction in intake temperature over conventional short rams.

Heat Shield vs Airbox

There are two primary types of performance intakes: those that include a heat shield or those that have a full airbox. Because it completely separates the filter from the motor, the airbox is the better choice. As a result, airflow and temperature are more reliably controlled, and the MAF scale and calibration are more reliable.

Only the bottom of the filter is protected from heat and turbulence by the heat shield. Because the standard intake scoop is missing, it is difficult to draw cool air from the engine compartment. Airboxes and heat shields are fundamentally the same when it comes to performance. However, the airbox comes at a much higher price.

Benefits of Evo X Intake Upgrades

There are many benefits to an Evo X intake upgrade, including:

  • +5-25whp
  • +40-56whp (with boost controller)
  • Increased fuel economy
  • Increased turbo responsiveness
  • Increased turbo sounds
  • Reduced turbo spool

The most important aspect of a Lancer Evo X intake improvement is the boost in horsepower. Installing an intake on an Evo X can provide anywhere from 5 to 56 whp. The addition of a boost controller creates a significant amount of variation. Gains of more than 25 whp are unlikely with just the intake and tuning. Even yet, dynos have showed improvements of up to 56whp when using a boost controller and tuning. For an essentially stock vehicle, this is quite an accomplishment.

With an Evo X intake improvement, drivers will notice a decrease in spool time and an increase in throttle response. Since the factory airbox and panel filter impede airflow, it’s important to replace them. To help the turbocharger work better, a larger performance intake lets the engine breathe easier.

Gas mileage

Drivers who install an Evo X intake modification typically see a gain in gas mileage of a few mpg at the very least. The 4B11 reduces power to an all-wheel-drive system, reducing fuel economy. A new intake won’t make up for the loss, but it will go a long way toward making up for it. In order to get better gas mileage, drivers who install new intakes must also moderate their driving style.


The louder the turbo sounds, the more noticeable an aftermarket intake on the 4B11 will be. A noticeable increase in the volume of the bypass valve can be heard, as well as an increase in air induction. Due to the open nature of the heat shield, intakes with only a heat shield will be noisier than those with a full airbox.


When installing a new intake on the Lancer Evo X, tuning is a must. Under full throttle, the engine will operate in a lean state unless it is properly tuned. Pre-ignition, misfires, and knock in the engine are all possible outcomes of this. Make sure your Evo X tuning solution is in place before installing your new intake.

Boost Controller

When it comes to power gains from an Evo X intake upgrade, boost controllers have a significant impact. When used in conjunction with an intake, a boost controller can add 25-36 whp to your system. Allows tuners the ability to run higher levels of boost while maintaining a more efficient curve. It’s an added cost on top of the intake, but the horsepower-to-dollar ratio is excellent.

Best Evo X Intakes

Everyone has been eagerly awaiting our suggestion list, so here it is! If we included every Evo X intake improvement available, we’d have a long list. We’ve compiled a list of the best four 4B11 replacements in terms of quality, affordability, and power improvements. There are no short ram intakes on the list because they are often not worth the money when compared to performance intakes. Let’s get this show on the road!

1) ETS Evo X Intake

The first item on our list is the Evo X intake from Extreme Turbo Systems (ETS). It’s one of the most popular and highest-flowing intakes on the market. In addition to a high-flow K&N filter and a billet velocity stack, the intake pipe is CNC bent mandrel. In the racing fraternity, the ETS is one of the most highly regarded and respected intakes. It has been utilized on some of the fastest Evo Xs in the world.

When compared to other methods of supplementation, using ETS results in the greatest improvements. Drivers should expect between 10 and 20 watts of power with a simple tuning. Dyno results have shown that the ETS intake can produce 56whp with a 22 PSI boost controller and an appropriate tune. That’s with the stock turbo; an improved turbo will increase the power even further.

Using the ETS intake on the Evo X is strongly recommended. The price nearly doubles when ordered with a 3.5″ large MAF housing for turbo designs that are larger than stock. If you already have a stock turbo, the less priced variant should suffice.

2) AMS Evo X Performance Intake

Second on our list is the AMS Evo X Performance intake system. High-flow K&N cone filters are available in polished silver or wrinkled black for the AMS. Similar to the ETS, it is highly regarded and recommended within the Evo X community.

Adding an AMS performance intake and a tune will result in a moderate 10-20whp increase. In contrast, a boost controller and tune can make a huge difference, much like with the ETS. With a manual boost controller set at 21 PSI and a tune, AMS promises up to 45whp. A heat shield rather than an airbox, the AMS intake is still a very good intake system capable of delivering adequate airflow and performance.

3) AEM Evo X Cold Air Intake

For the 4B11, the AEM Evo X Cold Air Intake is the first intake that has an airbox rather than a heat shield. Except for the opening that connects to the factory intake, the AEM is contained in the airbox. This enables for the most exact MAF scaling from your tuner and creates the cleanest and least turbulent flow possible.. It also helps to keep the intake cooler because it is isolated from the rest of the engine compartment.

Anyone living in a CARB-restricted state will appreciate the AEM cold air intake’s CARB certification. Washable AEM dryflow filter with 100,000-mile life expectancy.

Adding an AEM intake and a tune will increase power by 10 to 25 whp, and adding a boost controller and a tune will yield even more power gains. AEM was one of the initial intake upgrade options for the Evo X, and it has proven itself over the years. Because of its excellent build quality and reliable functionality, it is still extremely popular.

4) Cobb Tuning Evo X SF Intake

Cobb Tuning’s Evo X SF Intake is the final item on our list. Cobb Tuning has made a name for themselves in the world of Evo X upgrades, and their intake does not let them down in that regard. It is equipped with an airbox and a velocity stack to ensure the smoothest possible flow. It doesn’t need to be replaced with the intake piping, thus it may be installed in a matter of minutes.

Like the AEM, the Cobb Tuning SF intake is CARB legal. With a tune and a boost controller, it will gain 5 to 15 horsepower. Cobb provides free off-the-shelf Accessport maps compatible with their SF intake for their product. Custom tuning is not required if you already have an Accessport because you may use the Accessport’s maps instead of spending money on custom maps with this intake.

Evo X Intake Upgrade Summary

If you’re seeking to get into 4B11 mods, an Evo X intake upgrade is a good place to start. Even without a boost controller, it provides substantial power improvements, especially when paired with a boost controller. Evo X intake upgrades enhance gas mileage and eliminate turbo lag, while increasing horsepower and torque.

For performance intakes, we looked at four different possibilities, and the list isn’t arranged in any particular way. The ETS is an excellent choice, especially if you’re intending to construct a turbocharged engine and need a 3″ MAF housing. In terms of quality and performance, the AMS is a viable alternative to the ETS. Both the Cobb Tuning and AEM intakes are equipped with airboxes, which means that they will provide the optimum flow and the lowest intake temps.

It’s really impossible to go wrong with any of these input alternatives, as they all come at a similar price and level of quality. Do you have any first-hand knowledge of Evo X air intake conversions? You might want to think about it.

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