Sam Preston | EP3 Honda Civic Type R

Something has been playing on my mind since buying my Civic at the start of the year – the fact that the hairdryer-esque induction noise on the standard engine sounds and feels horrendously restrictive when in VTEC.

In an attempt to unleash some more of the signature Honda howl we all love, along with potentially unlocking a few more horses in the process, I decided to buy a K&N Typhoon air intake system to replace the standard air box.

To pinpoint any gains in as scientific a way as possible, before fitting the tasty new pipework we headed down to the Sussex-based Devil Developments to get dyno readings both before and after.

A highly respected Ford tuner, Devil Development’s front man Lee is known to have one of the most accurate dynos in the business. This worried me somewhat, as I’d heard stories of standard EP3s only returning around 160-170bhp in the past on these very conservative rollers. It came as a huge surprise, then, to get an initial reading of 196bhp – just one pony off Honda’s claimed figure for my car over 12 years and 107,000 miles ago!

Then came the quick fitting of the new air intake. The sturdy parts in the box instantly felt like they were built to last, and were also extremely easy to fit, which meant that my second (and much, much louder) power run was underway in no time. Although producing an undoubtedly much more fantastic noise on full chat, I wasn’t expecting massive power hikes. You can imagine my face as the second figure came through, then – 211.3bhp – a more than 7% increase over the standard air box!

When K&N says it guarantees performance gains on its products, we now know that it really means it. Although my car possibly has a stronger engine than some other Civics out there, I cannot recommend this affordable modification enough. Even if it’s just for the grin that the induction roar will put on your face every time you reach the redline, it’s more than money well spent.

Possibly the best bit about it is that the car remains as docile and quiet as ever at any part of the rev range before 5000rpm, meaning that motorway slogs are still as pleasant as ever. Until I decide to add a crazy exhaust system, that is…

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