First thing the first. Performance
means = Power + Acceleration / Fuel performance
Many people thinks performance is a synonymous of HP increase, and that is only a small part of what really is.
The first thing I try on a car is installing a “turbonator”, not the electric supercharger, I mean something like the F1-Z Double Turbine into the ignition airflow pipe.
Depending on the car, it could increase up to 5HP. This little tweak can improve the low speed car torque, enhance the air flow in the ignition body, also throttle will feel lighter and more flexible. Fuel-efficient rate will increase from 5% to 15% above.
If you combine the turbine with a K&N direct air filter like this one:
Not only you will gain up to 10HP more, also your engine will roar as tiger since more air will go through the throttle body causing better mix into the piston cams.
Modifications above are in most states legal, except for the K&N direct air filter in California, perhaps those are cheap modifications.
Now, there are some other modifications in the exhaust system you can try that are not necessary legal but you can always ask your exhaust pipe mechanic to make them removable (using flanger), so you can re-place the old parts anytime you need.
I said “re-place them” because this consists in remove a couple of things from the exhaust pipeline like for example:
- Catalyst (both if applicable)
Also you can upgrade the stock manifold to a direct high performance pipe system like this:
If you really like to make people bit the dust, and if budget is not a problem for you, go and look a real turbo kit like this JDM Racing Stage 2 T3 T4 T04E Turbo turbocharger Intercooler Kit Upgrade 70HPS | eBay
Keep in mind that regular Kia engines are not made for racing performance, so some internal engine modifications should be made, since the cast head and block are not enough tough for high pressure, so you may need to reinforce both, also replace pistons, rods, rings and may be even the cams. This including professional labor will cost around $5000.
My recommendation, start from the minimum available modification such as the first two, then if you’re not satisfy go through the other ones.