Technology has come a long way since we first started enjoying the race and collector car hobby, and it’s really apparent in the new offerings by Chrysler. Modern Mopars offer options that were only dreamed about during the ’60s, and the third-generation Hemi engine benefits from advanced metallurgy, computer controlled fuel injection and ignition timing, and efficient combustion chamber and cylinder head design, making it the most powerful (and most fuel efficient) V-8 ever produced by Chrysler. And while there have been many changes since the muscle car era, some things stay the same. Internal combustion engines will always make more power if you can get air and fuel efficiently in and out of the engine, and the third-generation Hemi is no exception. Bolt-on goodies like headers and cold-air kits help get air in and out of the engine, and are common upgrades.

Unlike the ’60s and ’70s when Mopar lovers struggled to get the aftermarket to take notice and make products for our cars, modern Mopar performance cars like the Challenger, Charger, Magnum, and 300 have a wealth of aftermarket support. There are plenty of companies making high-performance, bolt-on parts for these cars, and it has never been easier to upgrade your Mopar. And while the variety of products seems to be a good problem to have, there is a downside to so many products being available. Specifically, how do we determine which of these parts actually works best, installs easiest, gives the highest power gain, or will last the longest? We decided it’s our job to take the guesswork out of the decision making process for our readers, and this month we will install and test six cold-air intake kits on our ’06 5.7 Hemi-powered Dodge Charger and give you all of the results.

Mopar Performance Kit $334.95
JLT Performance Kit $259.00
AirAid Kit $242.90
BBK Kit $279.99
Spectre Performance Kit $149.99
Trick Flow Kit $241.95

Modern cold-air kits come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but most on the market essentially serve the same purpose. The cold-air intake kits we tested were priced between $150 and $335, which seemed like a pretty wide gap to us. Is the $335 kit worth more than twice the cost in terms of fit, finish, torque, and horsepower? We’ll let you decide based on the numbers. As far as installation time, all of the cold-air kits we tested were fairly simple to install using basic hand tools. Even the most complex cold-air kit we tested could easily be installed in an hour by a mechanically-inclined car owner. We obtained all of the cold-air kits we tested from Summit Racing Equipment, and all of the kits were in stock and ready to ship when we called them.

To begin our test, we strapped our ’06 Charger police edition (humorously dubbed Project Good Cop around the office) to the Dynojet chassis dyno and made a couple of pulls to establish a baseline. Next we installed each of our six cold-air kits in random order, and made dyno pulls to measure the improvement. The good news is that each of the kits we installed made more power than the factory airbox, so no matter which one you decide is right for you, the performance of your Hemi engine will improve.


Any time we test products, we first establish a baseline from which we can measure improvement. On the chassis dyno, we made two pulls on our Charger to determine the car’s rear wheel horsepower and torque. Since we’re testing cold-air kits, all dyno pulls were made with the hood down, engine at normal operating temperature, and two high-velocity fans blowing at the front of the car to simulate the car actually moving down the road. On its baseline pull, our Charger made a peak torque number of 340.28 lb-ft and a peak horsepower of 276.81. With our baseline established, we bolted each kit in on the Charger and the results are listed in the following pages alphabetically.


The AirAid kit incorporated the largest filter of all the kits we tested, and was also one of the most complex kits to install. As a byproduct of the complexity, the AirAid kit did isolate the filter more completely than the other kits we installed and tested. When the results were tallied, AirAid was highest in average torque, second in terms of peak torque, and within two horsepower of the top horsepower number.

RPM x1000 hp ft-lb
3.50 209.72 314.71
3.60 217.41 317.18
3.70 222.88 316.37
3.80 229.28 316.90
3.90 251.73 339.00
4.00 266.61 350.07
4.10 269.36 345.06
4.20 268.59 335.88
4.30 279.49 341.38
4.40 285.15 340.37
4.50 286.82 334.76
4.60 288.31 329.19
4.70 287.74 321.54
4.80 288.90 316.11
4.90 289.45 310.26
5.00 283.32 297.62


BBK’s kit is designed to be simple and was one of the quickest of the six to install. This kit also blocks more of the air around the framerail, directing more cool air from the inner fender to the air filter element. The BBK kit made the second highest average torque and improved peak power by 10.29 horsepower. This kit also incorporates an oval shaped filter instead of the conical filters provided with the other kits.

RPM x1000 hp ft-lb
3.40 200.63 309.93
3.50 206.14 309.34
3.60 213.02 310.77
3.70 221.61 314.57
3.80 237.28 327.96
3.90 248.91 335.21
4.00 257.42 338.00
4.10 265.41 340.00
4.20 271.28 339.24
4.30 279.45 341.32
4.40 282.10 336.73
4.50 284.09 331.58
4.60 281.10 320.95
4.70 281.98 315.10
4.80 284.28 311.06
4.90 287.10 307.73
5.00 284.06 298.38

JLT Performance

The kit we got from JLT Performance was colored to match our Dodge Charger, and many of the parts were pre-assembled. These features made the JLT kit both attractive, and the easiest of the six we tested to install. The JLT kit also aims the air filter toward the cool air coming from the inner fender, which is sure to help efficiency. Making a peak gain of 14.89 horsepower, the JLT Performance kit ranked first in peak horsepower and made an additional 7.89 lb-ft of torque over our car’s baseline.

JLT Performance
RPM x1000 hp ft-lb
3.20 140.71 230.95
3.30 145.56 231.66
3.40 149.64 231.15
3.50 156.94 235.50
3.60 173.02 252.43
3.70 177.28 251.64
3.80 211.37 292.14
3.90 214.20 288.47
4.00 250.64 329.09
4.10 270.12 346.02
4.20 278.43 348.17
4.30 282.24 344.73
4.40 283.82 338.78
4.50 286.80 334.74
4.60 284.73 325.09
4.70 285.06 318.55
4.80 286.36 313.33
4.90 287.76 308.44
5.00 291.40 306.09

Mopar Performance

Designed by the factory, we expected the kit from Mopar Performance to be well engineered, and it was. This kit uses factory provisions and hardware, high-quality clamps, and also is the only kit to contain a seal between the airbox and intake tube. The Mopar Performance kit made the highest average horsepower numbers, and was within one lb-ft of the highest torque, and within two horsepower of the highest power number. This is likely the best all-around kit we tested, but also the most expensive and the only kit to top 300 bucks.

Mopar Performance
RPM x1000 hp ft-lb
3.40 173.41 267.88
3.50 174.69 262.14
3.60 204.75 298.69
3.70 221.83 314.88
3.80 219.25 303.03
3.90 244.67 329.49
4.00 266.26 349.60
4.10 270.98 347.12
4.20 274.82 343.67
4.30 280.25 342.31
4.40 285.27 340.52
4.50 285.10 332.75
4.60 285.57 326.06
4.70 285.72 319.29
4.80 286.46 313.44
4.90 290.09 310.94
5.00 290.22 304.86