Although the K&N replacement panel filter I’d installed as part of the Cappuccino’s post-purchase service was a worthwhile upgrade I later came across a few nice cold air induction options available for the Cappuccino and I couldn’t resist trying one out. After a bit of research I decided to go for the Apexi Power Filter – it shares the cone filter style of the terrifyingly expensive Suzuki/Monster Sport Compe-PX kit ( though the Compe-PX is a dual cone setup rather than the Apexi’s single) and seems to be readily available both new and second-hand, unlike the rare (but still awesome) ARC Super Induction Box.
I was lucky enough to find a very nice second-hand Apexi through SolDave (via ClubCappo) which looked like it had hardly been used and even came with the original Japanese instructions. The setup comprises of a very nice cast aluminium collector (which plumbs straight into the standard Cappuccino airbox piping) onto which is bolted the cone filter element, a heatshield and two brackets for hanging. The overall feel is of a very high quality setup and, looking at the Compe-PX, I do wonder what the extra money for gets you (apart from the Suzuki/Monster Sport badges of course!).
Installation is very easy as the brackets supplied with the kit are designed to sit on the standard airbox mounts – it’s a simple a case of removing the entire airbox from the car (including undoing the top box from the intake pipe) and refitting the Apexi in its place. Loosening the bolts which hold the brackets on the filter makes it easier to line everything up, as does attaching the intake pipe to the collector before pushing the cone down and into place.
There is one caveat to this easy install – I found it impossible to successfully mount the Apexi with the heatshield attached as it would either catch on the upper suspension crossmember or partially block the cold air feed from the front of the car. In the end I removed the heatshield entirely (the polished finish was a little too “bling” for my own taste anyway) and will most likely fabricate and fit a smaller version if there are heat issues in the future.
The effect of the Apexi was obvious with the first trip out after it was fitted – the car revs much more freely now (especially noticeable when blipping the throttle during heel-toe etc.) and any turbo-related noises are much more prominent than before. I love that I can now hear all the various spooling noises as I potter around, though I’m wondering if the Apexi has made the chatter too loud for a shy & retiring chap like myself… typical!