I recently purchased a used Carbonio air scoop for a great price. The cosmetic condition is not mint but completely workable. If you’re not familiar with the Carbonio intake for the FSI, it’s basically a carbon fiber replacement for the stock air scoop with a drop in air filter. I am not running the drop in filter. It has been the subject of many debates because it only replaces a portion of the stock intake and costs more than many full replacement intakes.
The claims are that the stock intake and filter combination is a big restriction and that a filter on a stick style intake can flow much more air. I’m not convinced that the stock intake is a huge restriction, much less the stock filter. Maybe the ribbed tubing after the airbox, but I don’t see the stock airbox being too bad at airflow. My only knock against the stock airbox is that they made filter replacement more difficult than necessary. The stock airbox has a nice feed of cool air from the front grill. However, the scoop that it uses to feed the intake is designed with a split, diverting some of the air downward to deflect debris and water. This may also allow the intake to get air from the engine bay though. The Carbonio scoop gets rid of that split scoop and funnels all the air into the airbox. While more debris and water may make its way into the interior of the airbox, the filter is there to stop it, just as a filter on a stick intake would.
The improvement I see with the Carbonio scoop is that the design should allow for positive intake pressure when the car is moving, basically a ram air setup. That slight positive pressure will help overcome any restrictions in the stock intake. The Carbonio scoop also draws all air from outside the engine bay, unlike the stock scoop. I don’t know how much of a difference this truly makes, just thinking out loud.
You’ll notice that the intake looks yellowish. This is because this is an older, used intake and the resins used in the carbon fiber have yellowed. I don’t know if the newer Carbonio intakes do this but older ones were quite notorious for yellowing in the heat.