Stock Airbox or CAI?

I’ve gone and relocated the Auber Temperature probe from the exhaust manifold to inside the Airbox.  I stuck the tip of the probe between a couple of pleats of the stock air filter and then went out for a drive to see what it recorded.

At the start of the drive I was thinking that the current setup of stock airbox with Darintake mod holes cut into it was doing a fine job at allowing the air to stay close to the outside air temperature

I then stopped for a little while to see how the temperature responded.  Knowing that the exhaust manifold is right beside the airbox, how hot that gets from prior testing, and the fact that I have a bunch of holes in the bottom half of the airbox that allow hot air coming from the exhaust manifold to easily enter the airbox, I was thinking I was probably going to see the temperature in the airbox start to climb – which it did.

Audi B5 S4 airbox filter temperature test
Airbox filter temperature

I was hopeful that once I started moving again and cooling air started to pass back through the engine compartment that the temperature inside the airbox would come down quickly.  It did come down relatively fast, though I was hoping for faster.  It also did not quite make it back to the starting temperature, but with a bit more driving I expect that it would have.

This experiment has prompted me to think more about the possible benefits of a Cold Air Intake (CAI) in comparison to using the stock airbox.  Alternatively I’d like to try and modify the airbox further so that the lower intake holes only open when the additional airflow is needed, similar to the valve on the bottom half of the RS4 airbox.  I’m wondering if always allowing hot air from the engine compartment into the airbox is the main driver for the temperature rises I recorded during this drive.

I conducted some additional tests documented in this post.