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I am thinking of buying a performance air filter for my 2001 SEAT Ibiza (6K2). The reason I'm considering this is because my stock filter needs replacing and I figured I might as well do it right the first time. Now since the stock filter sits on top of the engine I need a new place to stick my performance filter.

There are some pictures on the Internet of people having performance air filters, but none seem to explain why they placed it in the place that they did. What are the criteria I should keep in mind when picking a location for my filter? Obviously, you don't want it near the exhaust pipes or anything else that doesn't have good ventilation.

I found an image online of a filter that seems to be surrounded by heat shields. Why would one want to be doing this? Doesn't this cause worse air flow?

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You want to be getting as much cold air as possible, as colder air is denser and thus gives your engine more oxygen for a given volume (and thus more power/better efficiency) - that's why the filter in the picture is surrounded be shields, to prevent it drawing in warm air from the engine bay - I'd assume that area in front that filter is open to atmosphere (e.g. through the car's grille)

On that basis, you want it as far from the hot things as possible - forward and low is usually best in most small car engine bays - but beware of going too low, as you don't want to ingest water if you go through a deep puddle, so make sure it is somewhere protected from splashes...

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