Everyone wants that one single, easy DIY bolt on mod they can fit on and get a genuine increase in power. Usually an induction kit is the go to mod, as this seems the obvious point to start – more air in, more fuel, bigger bang = more power…but does this actually happen? Does this actually work? What sort of gains are on offer? We decided to find out.
A little about the testing – so to keep things fair, we had to get a totally stock car. Good condition, low mileage, so this wouldn’t skew the readings when testing due to clogging of an OE air filter. We also needed a product we don’t sell, so as such couldn’t be accused of manipulating figures…Andy supplied us with an Orra induction kit, and at time of writing the only way to get ahold of one is from the manufacturers in Italy. Perfect.
As an admin member of the South East Abarth Owners Club, Andy was keen to find out exactly what this kit was good for so he could report back to other enthusiasts about this new product on the market, meaning he was more than happy for us to extensively run the car and datalog it to find out what it was doing for the car…be that good or bad.
We got the car in & strapped it down. A quick scan for potential faults, and checks of fluid levels showed no potential issues.
148.1WHP & 240.6Nm
148.1WHP & 238.4Nm
148.5WHP & 236.5Nm
So very consistent, slight variation between pulls as can be expected. Perfect.
Next up was to remove the factory airbox, and replace with the Orra intake kit. Sounds simple, but this thing was a real pain to fit! Space in the Abarth engine bay is very tight, and this particular kit blocks access to the washer bottle. We’d recommend either a Forge or Ramair kit, however these both do away with the standard engine cover, an aspect that Andy was particularly keen to keep on his car.
With the intake kit fitted, we started the car up and allowed it to warm up. A quick check over the plumbing showed no obvious leaks, so time to run it! We’ll be listing all figures from here on in WHP, as it’s a much more accurate number to use when tuning a vehicle, as it’s the number you can physically measure without any guesstimate!
152.5WHP & 239.1Nm
153.2WHP & 235.9Nm
155.0WHP & 237.7Nm
The car was showing a good improvement in power at this point, holding better at the top end. We noted an increase in power each run, which we felt was more than likely to be the ECU adapting to the increase in airflow, and the drop in intake air temps. With this in mind we suggested the car be left to idle for a while to adapt.
After 20mins, we gave it another three runs.
153.5WHP & 233.7Nm
155.9WHP & 249.6Nm
155.3WHP & 242.3NM
With power starting to trail off by the 3rd pull, there wasn’t any point in running it further. Instead we shut the car down for 15mins to cool off, and disperse some of the heat that had clearly started to build up around the engine bay. An induction kit is no good if hoovering up tons of warm air! We gave it one final run to see if it’d give any more power after cooling down
155.9WHP & 240.2Nm
Given the consistency of the other runs, we figured this was about it & started on the maths to convert these wheel horsepower figures into estimated flywheel numbers.
-20F drop in IAT (Intake air temprature)
So really, the kit has produced the right sort of gains claimed for an intake mod – most kits claim 5-10BHP, and based on this data there’s absolutely no reason to disbelieve them in this case. Certainly a must have mod on even a standard Abarth.
Keep an eye out for Part 2 of this study – we’ll be performing the same testing on a Stage 1 tuned Abarth to see if the effect is much more noticeable on a tuned car!