Replacing the front silencer with a straight pipe does make sense in terms of both power and turbo spool up, and normally the car will not get much louder. That said, it will tend to exaggerate any leaks present in your exhaust system, most notably the exhaust manifold/turbo/downpipe assembly. Just ask Mark A...
You can fit a K & N drop in filter (or a cheaper, possibly better, JR one ) no problem. You can't get a bolt on kit for the 8v tho' because of the position of the air flow sensor. Just remember to get your air/ fuel mix adjusted as the CIS can't do it automatically and you'd end up running very weak.
I've heard talk on TSN, though, about using the alloy lower half of the K-Jet metering head from an early-Eighties BMW 320i, and bolting a cone air filter to the inlet of that. Never seen one in the flesh (at least not that I remember), so I can't give you any more pointers...
Sorry about caps lock
wot about wheel spacers and 40mm lowering springs then. Or no need for wheel spacers,with standard 185/65H15 tyres .Has any one tried Hankook k406 optima tyres wot are they like for longlife / grip etc..
No need for spacers if you're running 185/65s. You can run 195/60s in there too without problems it's when they get wider than that you get rubbing. This thread in the C900 forum is also about lowering springs if that's of help.