Printer Image

AEM Cold Air Intake Helps 2012 - 2016 Chevy Sonic Make More Horsepower

AEM Chevy Sonic Cold Air Intake 21-788C

The AEM 21-788C cold air intake system has been engineered to up the power by an estimated 10 hp in 2012-2016 Chevy Sonic models.

While the small turbocharged engine in the Chevrolet Sonic produces a significant amount of horsepower for its diminutive displacement, AEM engineers determined that the motor could generate even more power and so developed the 21-788C cold air intake.

AEM Synthetic Air Filter Cleaner 1-1000

Non-woven filter media like that used in AEM’s cold air intake System benefit from a cleaning with AEM’s proprietary Dryflow synthetic air filter cleaner.

While now called the EcoFlex, the 1.4-liter turbo inline-four in the Chevrolet Sonic produces 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, it actually had its roots as an Opel (GM's German subsidiary) engine. First introduced in 2008, the EcoFlex features a light-weight, cast-iron engine block with an aluminum cylinder head. With dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) that actuate four-valves per cylinder, it offers the opportunity to improve its breathing that AEM engineers seek.

In AEM dyno testing a stock Sonic 1.4 turbo generated 103 rear-wheel horsepower and 109 ft-lb of torque. With the AEM 21-788C air intake system installed in the same 2015 Sonic, rear wheel output jumped an estimated 10 horsepower to 110 and torque increased from 109 to 113 ft-lb.

Central to the performance of the AEM 21-788C air intake system is the seven-inch conical air filter manufactured from non-woven synthetic filter media. The air filter is located in the original air box space and is protected by a heat shield which is designed to reduce intake air temperature and increase horsepower.

AEM Chevy Sonic Cold Air Intake 21-788C Dyno

Dyno chart for AEM cold air intake system 21-788C for the Chevy Sonic.

The kit comes complete with a seven-inch AEM low restriction air filter paired to a gunmetal gray powder-coated intake tube. The AEM 21-788C air intake system comes complete with all the hardware for a professional appearance. The kit also accommodates all factory emissions including the mass airflow sensor. No drilling is required as the air filter system uses the existing mounting brackets.

The do-it-yourself installation of this cold air intake system takes just about an hour, and requires no more than a handful of tools, most commonly found in just about everyone's toolbox.

The best news is that the AEM 21-788C filter element can be used for about 100,000 miles (depending upon the conditions) between cleanings. The process is simple with an application of AEM 1-1000 synthetic air filter cleaner that loosens and dissolves dirt and grime build up on the filter. After which you simply rinse the filter with water and reinstall in your vehicle.

AEM Air Intake System 21-788C fits the following Chevy Sonic models:

For a list of all AEM cold air intake systems for the Chevy Sonic, visit the Chevrolet Sonic Air Intakes page. Use the Search by Car or Truck tool to find additional AEM performance upgrades for a specific vehicle. To find an AEM dealer near you, visit the AEM Dealer Search.

AEM Blog Home