Friday, November 20, 2009

Product Review: K&N Typhoon air intake for Toyota Yaris

An air intake system is a great modification to nearly any vehicle. It allows the car to breathe better and, in theory, make more power. And hey—it sounds good, too. Recently, I received a K&N Typhoon Air Intake System for my 2007 Yaris from Truck Champ Truck Accessories (yes, they sell parts for all kinds of vehicles, not just trucks).

I know K&N makes great products—I've been using their air filters for years (my Yaris actually had a K&N panel filter before this install). I'd installed a K&N AirChrager Intake Kit on my dad's 2006 Corvette last summer. However, I've been curious about this specific Yaris intake for some time. See, unlike most other intake systems for the Yaris, K&N's Typhoon employs a metal heat shield designed to keep power-robbing warm air away from the filter. Speaking of power, K&N claims 4.56 more horsepower than with the stock intake; they also include a dyno graph.

From the get go, you can tell this is a well-made, well-thought-out unit. Everything is packaged nicely; the parts are of high quality metals; and many parts even have part numbers stamped onto them to avoid confusion during installation. The kit includes instructions with a useful exploded view of the system, a listing of parts (with part numbers and description), and step-by-step installation instructions. You'll want to follow those instructions carefully, as there are a surprising number of parts to this intake, when you include all of the brackets, nuts, bolts, washers, etc.

K&N has added a few nice touches to this kit. First, it includes nylon lock nuts for all of its bolts, ensuring a long-lasting hold. Also, the metal drilling and cutting is first rate—from the black-coated aluminum intake tube, to each bracket. K&N really did its homework, as all of the brackets fit perfectly, the screws thread seamlessly, and it all goes together very well ... with one minor exception.

My review sample has a small section of weatherstripping that didn't want to conform to the heat shield's contour (see picture). I tried reinstalling the weatherstripping a few times, but it kept popping up in the area with the red box. However, with the hood closed, this section of weatherstripping conforms to the shield's edge, since the hood should create a seal. I may apply a bit of adhesive to make sure it stays put.

So the real question: Performance. Compared to a stock Yaris, the Typhoon system roars at wide open throttle; it sounds fantastic. Like most intakes, there's no major difference at idle or at cruising speed. But mash the throttle, and it's hard not to grin!

Without putting the car on a dyno, I can't comment about actual power. However, K&N is a reputable company and actually guarantees that this intake will make power. I will say that throttle response is notably improved. And again—it sounds great!

Want to hear it?

Combine this with one of the many available exhaust systems on the market (FYI, I am running a Thunder axleback), and you'll have a great sounding Yaris with a bit more pep, too.

This is a very high-quality intake made by a reputable manufacturer that puts real research and development into their product. And although there was a minor issue with the weatherstripping, it's an easy fix.

The K&N Typhoon for the Toyota Yaris (part number 69-8612TFK) retails for$449.00, but is available at Truck Champ Truck Accessories for $321.04.

K&N Engineering
Truck Champ Truck Accessories


Anonymous said...

Very cool.....nice raspy snarl. My Accent SE has the optional AEM short ram intake on it. The sound was definitely more snarly, even if the power increase was modest. I actually felt the best benefit after adding the Borla Turbo muffler. The Borla seems to complement the intake, sounds rich and sporty, and now the car really does seem noticeably faster.
Post a video after your little Yaris gets the exhaust mods.

Andy Lilienthal said...

I actually have a Thunder axleback system on the car now.

Mike said...

Nice, I put on a K&N Typhoon on my Gen 1 Scion xB. Best $120 I put in my car. K&N says I get 8.1hp from it. When I first installed it, I just did a simple drive around to look for leaks or weird sounds and just loved the sound after turning it off. SHHHRRROOOOOOOOOOSSSSSHHHH. So gratifying, then later on a few days later my friend said when I drove past him he heard that I put an intake in my car. I didn't think anyone could "hear" it. So I listened closely the net time I drove, and heard that throaty BLPPPPPP as I downshifted, and I understood. I understood how right installing the Intake was....oh and how my friend could hear it.

Anonymous said...

hey man, nice work with the article ;-)
I´m from europe and we have here yaris with 1.8 engine. Do you have the same or 1.5? Just asking in case I will order the airintake form US and most of these intakes have "for 1.5l yaris" in descriptions. Ty for answer :-)

Andy Lilienthal said...

Yes, I have the 1.5-liter engine.