Top 5 BMW E9X M3 Cold Air Intake Systems

Intake systems are amongst the most underrated modifications that make up most of the project cars today. A naturally-aspirated vehicle like the BMW E90/E92 M3 can make use of an intake system because it can supply more clean and oxygen-rich air into the car’s engine. It can boost the horsepower and torque created by the BMW S65 V8 engine, and although the numbers won’t be astronomically high, this extra boost can be helpful in specific ways.

An aftermarket intake system replaces the restrictive stock intake of the BMW E90/E92. By doing so, you’re allowing the S65 engine to breathe better, thus improving the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. This is arguably amongst the best mods you can get for your car simply because aftermarket intakes, if installed correctly, can keep feeding your vehicle with clean and fresh air, which inevitably keeps the engine’s health in check.

We know that there are tons of BMW intake systems out there, and going through each of them is incredibly tiring. So we did the work for you! To help you in your search, we’ve conjured a list of what we think are the best aftermarket intake systems that are suited for the BMW E90/E92 M3. 

The purpose of this article is to assist you in narrowing down your choices and to help you come up with an idea of what aftermarket intake system would suit your preferences the best. All of the intake systems mentioned below are derived from our own opinion, the highly-regarded BMW M3 forums, and the customer reviews of each product. Scroll down to see all of them!

#1 Dinan High Flow Intake

  • Manufacturer: Dinan
  • Unique Feature: Carbon fiber construction
  • Horsepower Gain: 8hp
  • Compatibility: BMW E90/E92 M3 (2008-2013)

Carbon fiber seems to be a popular material of choice for most aftermarket parts manufacturers concerned with improving a high-performance car like the BMW E90/E92 M3. Dinan, one of the leading BMW tuners in North America, decided to make an intake system made of carbon fiber. This material of choice is considered because of its high tolerance to heat. It’s also light and durable, ideal for vehicles like the BMW E90/E92 M3. 

Chances are, you’ve probably searched for some BMW E92 M3 Dinan intake, and we can’t blame you! Previous and current Dinan High Flow Intake owners love the intake because it provides a noticeable improvement to the engine. With a larger cross-sectional area than the stock intake, the Dinan High Flow Intake can provide more air to your car, which ultimately translates to an increase in horsepower and torque output. 

Dinan High Flow Intake Features:

  • Carbon fiber structure
  • Increase in horsepower (8hp @8,200RPM) and torque (5lb-ft @8,200RPM)
  • Has a 30% larger cross-sectional area than the stock intake
  • Sealed airbox for maximum insulation
  • Backed with Dinan 2-Year Limited Warranty

#2 GruppeM Carbon Fiber Ram Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: GruppeM
  • Unique Feature: GruppeM/K&N proprietary air filter element
  • Horsepower Gain: N/A
  • Compatibility: BMW E90/E92 M3 (2008-2013)

Picture this: a leading BMW car tuner and an air filter manufacturer known for creating reliable air filters suddenly decided to work together. What would you get? A premium air intake system that guarantees noticeable performance improvement. GruppeM, together with K&N Engineering, created an intake system that doesn’t only looks good but also provides an evident boost in the BMW E90/E92 M3’s performance. 

The GruppeM Carbon Fiber Ram Air Intake System, as the name suggests, makes use of carbon fiber weaves. This air intake exploits a phenomenon called the “ram air effect,” wherein the air undergoes an increased pressure before it enters a system. This increases the density encountered by the intake charge. Not only that, this intake system uses a proprietary air filter element made exclusively by GruppeM and K&N, so there’s no wonder why this premium BMW E90/E92 M3 GruppeM intake costs a lot.

GruppeM Carbon Fiber Ram Air Intake System Features:

  • Carbon fiber filter case
  • Uses a GruppeM/K&N proprietary air filter element
  • Utilizes the “ram air effect” to force air into the engine more effectively
  • Aesthetically pleasing carbon fiber weave
  • Backed with GruppeM Limited Lifetime Warranty

#3 Eventuri Carbon Fiber Air Intake System 

  • Manufacturer: Eventuri
  • Unique Feature: High flow urethane conical air filter
  • Horsepower Gain: 8hp-10hp
  • Compatibility: BMW E90/E92 M3 (2008-2013)

Eventuri is a well-known provider of high-performance intakes for high-performing cars like the BMW E90/E92 M3. Like most intakes on this list, the Eventuri Carbon Fiber Air Intake System uses a carbon fiber weave to construct the inlet tube and the inlet scoop. Although this BMW E92 M3 Eventuri Intake may cost you around a thousand bucks or more, many previous users can vouch for this bang for the buck intake system.

The Eventuri Carbon Fiber Air Intake System is a premium intake system that boasts a smooth flow intake tube. They’ve managed to keep the airflow laminar by redesigning an intake tube that doesn’t have any internal surface. This carbon intake tube works with some other components like a high-flow urethane conical air filter, carbon air scoop, and a debris shield to provide your S65 V8 engine with as much laminar volumetric airflow as possible.

Eventuri Carbon Fiber Air Intake System Features:

  • Carbon fiber intake with no internal surfaces
  • Includes carbon fiber inlet scoop, a debris shield, and breather adapter
  • High flow urethane conical air filter
  • Flexible material
  • Reduces inlet air temperature

#4 aFe Magnum FORCE Stage-2 Si Cold Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: aFe Power
  • Unique Feature: Pro 5R performance air filter
  • Horsepower Gain: 6hp
  • Compatibility: BMW E90/E92 M3 (2008-2013)

BMW intake systems don’t always have to cost you a fortune. Some intakes are affordable yet effective enough in delivering a boost in performance to your car. An example of a low-cost aftermarket intake system is this one from aFe Power that we’re about to feature. It costs just around half a grand, and it produces around six extra horsepower for your BMW E90/E92 M3. 

The Magnum FORCE Stage-2 Si Cold Air Intake System prioritizes power and user convenience overall. It’s got a roto-molded XLPE housing that’s resistant to heat soak, a clear sight window for hassle-free filter inspection, and the Pro 5R air filter that features a filter with a media that gets progressively finer as the air goes through every layer. The Pro 5R air filter is also washable and reusable, so don’t worry about getting a newer air filter anytime soon. Overall, this BMW M3 E92 aFe intake is a cheap yet efficient way of promoting better performance for your vehicle.

aFe Magnum FORCE Stage-2 Si Cold Air Intake System Features:

  • Roto-molded XLPE housing and intake tube
  • Black Vacuum Formed Cover made from ABS plastic
  • Clear sight window
  • Uses a washable and reusable Pro 5R air filter
  • Backed with aFe Power 2-Year Limited Warranty

#5 aFe Black Series Stage-2 Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake System

  • Manufacturer: aFe Power
  • Unique Feature: Oval air filter
  • Horsepower Gain: 12hp
  • Compatibility: BMW E90/E92 M3 (2008-2013)

If you’ve got more funds to spare for a budget-oriented BMW M3 intake system, then you’ve gotta check out the Black Series Stage-2 Cold Air intake system from aFe Power. This one is a little bit pricier than the Magnum FORCE, but the benefits you’d get from this intake are the real deal: double the amount of the previous aFe Power’s horsepower.

The Black Series Stage-2 Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake System differs a lot from the Magnum Force. With this intake, you can get 12hp and 9lb-ft of torque, along with an oval air filter with progressively finer porous media. This intake also makes use of the stock airbox. So, to settle the difference: if you want convenience without compromising your car’s performance, pick the aFe Magnum FORCe. However, if you prefer sheer power over comfort, then opt for the Black Series.

aFe Black Series Stage-2 Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake System Features:

  • Provides extra horsepower and torque of up to 12hp and 9lb-ft
  • Outflows the stock intake by up to 41%
  • Uses a washable and reusable Pro Dry S filter
  • Carbon fiber construction
  • Backed with aFe Power 2-Year Limited Warranty


There is not much you can do to improve the S65 V8 engine aside from getting upgrades like intakes, exhausts, pulleys, and ECU upgrades. BMW made this naturally-aspirated engine so well that it can function very effectively without the help of so many modifications. 

This is one of the reasons why many car enthusiasts consider the BMW E90/E92 M3 as a complete all-around car.

But if you’re really persistent about improving the amount and the quality of the airflow that’s going into your engine, then it would be in your best interest to put aftermarket intake systems on your M3 mods shopping list. Not only does it significantly improve your BMW E90/E92 M3’s engine fuel efficiency to some degree, but it also makes your mute Bimmer like an exotic-sounding vehicle.

About Bryce Cleveland 543 Articles
Bryce founded Dust Runners Automotive Journal in 2014 as a way to write about the cars he found interesting. He currently owns a 2003 Honda CRF450R Supermoto, 2018 Yamaha MT09, 2005 Nissan Titan, and a 2012 BMW 135i. Follow him on Instagram for more @bryce.cleveland.

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