Top 5 Best Intakes for Lexus IS350

Even if the Lexus IS350 is a luxury car, many people still consider it an average luxury sedan. It’s got great specs. Although it is slightly beaten by its European competitors like Audi A4, the BMW 3-series, and the Mercedes Benz C-class, it still has something unique to offer: aftermarket modifications. Remember, the Lexus IS350 is still a JDM car, and with that comes a vast array of potential modifications, like an intake system.

The Lexus IS350 benefits a lot from an aftermarket intake system. Yes, the car is beautiful and has an impressive 3.5L V6 engine capable of 306hp and a torque of 277lb-ft at 4800RPM, but many car enthusiasts find it relatively lackluster. Luckily for them, there’s an easy way to increase both the horsepower and torque output of their Lexus IS350: by installing it with an aftermarket intake system. 

If you’re among the gearheads who want to juice up their Lexus IS350 with a little bit more power, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve scoured the forums and shops all around the internet and gathered the best aftermarket intake systems that fit exceptionally on a Lexus IS350. Benefits are guaranteed: performance output, sound, improved fuel economy, all of them tick the box. Check the list out to see what appeals to your taste!

#1 Spectre Performance Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: Spectre Performance
  • Features: Spectre Performance air filter
  • Power Gain: 13.68hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2006-2012)

To start the list of the best intakes for Lexus IS350, we have an intake system that can give your car incredible horsepower. Spectre Performance designed their air intake kit to ensure that your engine performs at its peak while protected from harmful debris that floats in the air. Its high airflow design is intended to supply the machine with as much air as possible, allowing the engine to be at its optimum fuel-burning capacity.

The Spectre Performance air intake kit is composed of individual parts. First, a polished low restriction piping allows the rushing air to go into the engine as fast as possible. Second, Spectre Performance’s very own 3” clamp-on air filter that is washable and reusable, engineered to guarantee better airflow and filtration than the typical paper air filter. And third, 

A powder-coated heat shield keeps the hot air inside the engine bay away from the ambient cold air that’s gushing into the intake system.

If you see the elephant in the room, then you know why Spectre Performance’s air intake kit deserved its spot on this list. The 13.68hp boost is insane! By just fitting in an intake system, you get a significant increase in horsepower output, which is quite useful, especially if you like to hit the gas and go from 0 to 60 in just 5.3s. And with the Spectre Performance air intake kit, you’re bound to beat that stock record.

 #2 aFe Power Takeda Stage-2 Cold Air Intake System

The Takeda Stage-2 cold air intake kit has been one of most Lexus IS350 owners’ favorites for a couple of good reasons. This intake system is among the best intake for the 2014 Lexus IS350 because it offers a substantial increase of 13hp and 11lb-ft torque to the car. It’s not something as impressive compared to what turbochargers and superchargers produce, but for the casual driver who just wants to upgrade their Lexus IS350, this is an incredible gain.

aFe Power developed the Takeda Stage-2 cold air intake system compatible with two air filters: the 5R filter and the Dry-S filter. They differ in some ways, but they both give off the same horsepower and torque output. Let’s see the difference between the two.

5R Filter

  • Manufacturer: aFe Power
  • Features: Black powder-coated tubing
  • Power Gain: 13hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2006-2020)

A Takeda Stage-2 cold-air intake with a 5R filter features a performance conical radial flow air filter that is 5” tall. This air filter uses five layers of fine mesh cotton media, progressively organized to provide maximum airflow and performance with little maintenance. The Takeda Stage-2 5R filter also utilizes black powder-coated piping, which is ideal if you want to use this cold-air intake system for a very long time without maintaining its appearance.

Because of its powder-coating, the piping is resistant to scratches, wearing, and fading. Aside from the protective benefits, it makes the piping aesthetically appealing too.

Dry-S Filter

  • Manufacturer: aFe Power
  • Features: Polished aluminum intakes
  • Power Gain: 13hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2006-2020)

A Takeda Stage-2 intake with a Dr-S Filter, on the other hand, features a similar 5” tall conical radial flow air filter. The only difference is the media used for the filter. The filter uses three layers of highly porous synthetic media, which can filter the air significantly. Another apparent difference between the 5R filter and the Dry-S filter is the piping. In the case of the Takeda Stage-2 with a Dry-S flow, it utilizes a polished aluminum piping.

The polished aluminum is ideal for people who want to keep their pipings to look classic. The polished aluminum looks sweet, but it may tarnish after a very long time if it’s made with aluminum alloy.

#3 AEM Cold Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: AEM Engineering
  • Features: AEM Dryflow air filter
  • Power Gain: 7hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2016-2016)

For an F-Sport air intake for Lexus IS350, we got the AEM cold-air intake kit. It fits both the base trim and the F-Sport trim, which is somewhat neat if you ask us. AEM’s cold-air intake kit is ideal for people who just want a gradual increase in horsepower and torque while keeping that fantastic underhood sound. And for a reasonably affordable price, AEM’s cold-air intake sure is a bang for the buck.

So what makes this cold-air intake so desirable? Dyno-tuned and designed to fit a Lexus IS350 perfectly, this cold-air intake kit features an oversized Dryflow synthetic filter for oversized air filtration. And since this is a cold-air intake, it is positioned out of the original airbox space to keep it away from the heat that might affect the cold-air rushing into the engine. The engine hates help from hot air. Trust us on this one.

Aside from the air filter, the piping on this intake is pretty rad too. This intake’s piping is constructed out of a mandrel-bent aluminum, powder-coated with gunmetal gray powder-coating, leaving it with an excellent finish. Not only that, AEM’s cold-air intake works well with the OEM emission control devices like the MAF and the PCV hose, so that’s a plus.

#4 K&N Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: K&N Engineering
  • Features: Oversized air filter
  • Power Gain: 12.06hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2006-2011)

Try asking a car enthusiast this question: “What’s the most famous brand of cold-air intake or filters?” There’s a 9/10 chance that they’ll answer K&N, and to be honest, we can’t blame them. K&N is at the forefront of making cars and other vehicles breathe better with the help of their quality intakes and filters. Heck, even their face mask can give your face additional horsepower (you think we’re kidding? Check out their face mask!)

K&N Engineering’s cold-air intake can give you great benefits like a noteworthy increase in horsepower and torque output, top-tier air filtration, and low maintenance parts. This cold-air intake can potentially give your Lexus IS350 an extra 12.06hp, something useful for making the car more powerful. Their oversized air filter is a great deal, too, since it’s proven and tested to filter the incoming air entirely exceptionally.

The main reason why K&N’s cold-air intake deserves a spot on this list is because of its reliability and quality. Check any of their product reviews, and you’ll see many previous customers expressing their satisfaction with their products. If you don’t know what kind of air intake to purchase for your car, it’s safe to say that you should go and pick the best-seller, right?

#5 K&N Typhoon Cold Air Intake Kit

  • Manufacturer: K&N Engineering
  • Features: Replacement air filter
  • Power Gain: 12.57hp
  • Compatibility: Lexus IS350 (2013-2020)

Here’s another one from K&N Engineering, and this time it’s suited for the latest models of the Lexus IS350, specifically the models 2013 to 2020. Just like the previous cold-air intake from K&N, it can provide a substantial boost of horsepower and torque to your car. However, both intakes differ in some ways.

Instead of using a conical air filter, the Typhoon cold-air intake kit uses a flat replacement air filter. And although the Typhoon doesn’t have a heat shield, it utilizes a more free-flowing intake pipe liberated from all of the unnecessary pipe restrictions that keep the airflow mediocre. And on top of that, the Typhoon gives off more power than the cold-air intake for lower year models.

The Lexus IS350 is an excellent and reliable luxury sedan. By using an aftermarket mod like an intake system, you can unshackle some of the car’s hidden potential performance gains, giving you a significant increase in horsepower and torque output, plus some other cool benefits too.

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