I paid $140 for the Cosmos CAI.
I have to say Im very pleased with it. There was a power gain, and it improved the sounds of the car above 3K.(it actually totally changed the sound of the car) Unforunately, I think the sound of the intake is obnouxious above 6K... and I guess thats the price you pay to have $140 CAI unit over a $300 unit.
My friend has the Dinan carbon fiber CAI and side by side the bends are viturally identical. I believe that is the key to smooth airflow, and thus I consider the cosmo kit an equivlant to a Dinan style CAI. It snarls like your sucking air to make 400 ponies instead of 200. Just seems out of place to me.
I've never tried a different CAI so I can't say there is a difference between them all. Whether on a budget or not, you should try to look for a true CAI that goes into the brake duct area, which delivers cooler air then the short stalk CAI with the heat shield compartment.
Just my 2 cents
1996- BMW 328IS
<img src='http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v242/gws226/TEX/neverleanedsig.jpg' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
Performance: Zimmerman Cross Drilled Rotors-- PBR Deluxes-- Cosmos CAI---- Turner Pulley Kit--- Fan Delete mod---
Beauty: 18 polished M-Parallel replicas, Inpro Euros w/ Enchanced Angel eye kit, 20% tint
Clear corners/sidemarkers ---- Eurospec (Depos)
To do list:
UUC System U TDM- 3/05
M50 manifold converstion 3/05
off to the tuning shop for custom software 4/05
Cams/lightened flywheel, throttlebody........ well lets see what happens