After much testing, brainstorming, research, and data review. We found the best intercooler for your X3!
First off, C&R is an industry leader in cooling solutions dating back to the 80s. They supply much of Indy Car, Formula 1, Nascar, V8 Supercar, and many Off Road series. With roots in Australian off-road competition and Safari competitions they know exactly what we demand.
The best intercooler on the market today tested by us on the dyno and on track at pro level short course is now available from WSRD. The ability to maintain and control charge temps in turbo applications is critical for power and reliability especially when using or limited to lower octane. C&R implemented a core they developed for Formula 1 to use on the Can-Am X3 platform as natural airflow is sacrificed for packaging (intercooler top mounted horizontal in rear of car). A tube and fin core design offers lightweight, efficient heat transfer with much less physical size, and high flow.
We have tested the best bar and plate core from Garrett in a much larger footprint (12"x10"x4.5"), which requires mounting the core higher in the bed and modifying the intake cover. Not a perfect bolt on affair, but this angle does promote more airflow over and through the core. The C&R core measures at 10x10x2.67 which conveniently mounts in the stock location without modification. In testing we did mount the intercooler at a more steep angle to help natural airflow.
- Stock intercooler weight: 5.9lbs
- C&R intercooler weight: 6.6lbs (uses factory shroud and fan)
- Garrett intercooler weight (with shroud): 18.6lbs
Testing on the dyno; all pulls are made with fan override switch, from 7mph to 75mph: (temperatures are measured in Fahrenheit)
- OEM intercooler with 2019 fan: 20-22* temp gain
- Garrett intercooler with 2018 fan: No temp gain
- C&R intercooler with 2019 fan: 0-2* temp gain
- OEM intercooler: untested
- Garrett intercooler: starts at 83* and equalizes/heat soaked between 173-192*
- C&R intercooler: starts at 86* and when equalizes/heat soaked between 145-163*
It is extremely important to note here that the stock intercooler flows air effectively. Peak horsepower numbers on the dyno will likely be the same. Power at the end of the pull and/or while out in the dunes or the trails when you are pushing the car hard will be where this intercooler shines.