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Hello I picked up a 2018 1.6t manual about 3 months ago. My first manual and turbo car and I've been having a lot of fun, but I've been wondering about performance parts and bolt ons. As soon as I got the car the first thing my buddy told me was to get a downpipe and a RaceChip tune, but I wanted to do a bit more research before spending more money on a car i just bought. So after 3 months of research i still have quite a few questions.

As far as i can tell the manual gearbox in the 2018 gt is the m6cf3-1. Finding this part# took an eternity and I'm still not 100% its the right one so please let me know what the actual gearbox is if its not the m6cf3-1 as I'm getting the information from amazon and transend. Assuming is is the m6cf3-1 according to wikipedia said transmission is only rated for 203lb-f of torque and the car already makes 195lb-f stock. So when people are claiming to be making 300,400,and even 600 hp out of the g4fj are they using a different transmission? or are the transmissions more robust than Hyundai's ratings? or is wikipedia just full of it. either way what kind of power should I be targeting for a m6cf3-1 or what transmissions should i be looking out for to swap into my 2018 gt?

In terms of intakes I've looked at ram air intakes and cold air intakes. I know these don't add much if any horsepower but i understand that they are necessary to get the most out of a tune and are helpful when adding more performance parts later. Also the intercooler resonator delete seems solid to get better airflow, turbo response and sweet induction noises. But If the transmission can only take 203lb-f of torque would adding all these intake mods push it over the edge and break my transmission? Is it a waste of money to add all these intake mods if I can only add 8 more hp safely? or will just doing one intake mod be enough without damaging my transmission?

For exhaust mods I haven't done as much research as other areas as i am fairly happy with the stock exhaust sound and I daily the car so i don't want it to be obnoxious. But i understand that when you add intake mods and/or induction mods its also a good idea to open up the exhaust as well to support the increased flow from the intake. Also my catalytic converter could be stolen at any time so I would like to know what the best options are if that were to happen. High flow cat, exhaust resonator delete, and muffler delete I've all looked into but i don't really know what's best or if I need to modify the exhaust at all if i can only barely increase the power without damaging the car's transmission.

Thank you for reading this whole spiel and please feel free to reply with suggestions and corrections. As this is my first real "performance" car and I'm brand new to driving manual any advice you guys can give me will be invaluable. I'm not looking to make a crazy amount of power currently but i would like to know that I have space to grow if I want more power in the future. Mostly i want to learn as much as i can working on my own car. Also since it is my daily reliability is paramount. I know performance and reliability are usually opposed so i would like some advice on striking a balance and what mods are good for power but wont compromise my reliability.
Thanks again, cheers :)

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I hv a Racechip S on my Nov '17 Kona 1.6T DCT, and I find it works a treat, in terms of low-mid range response.
Can't answer yr Q on the Manual gearbox, no knowledge about that.
Intake - I have K&N panel filter, a li'll louder on turbo spool, but I think that's it.
Intercooler resonator delete, I hv that too. I find it actually improves throttle response slightly in mid-high rpm range, also noticeably louder on acceleration.
Odd thing is, I bought 2 IC-resos, one for this car, other for my Kia Cerato GT ("Forte" 1.6 Turbo - which I've since sold), there was no difference whatsoever for the Kia.
I haven't done anything to the exhaust. Not sure what you have State-side, but in Australia, the Kona 1.6T came equipped with a single cat, while my Kia had 2 (1 metered, the other not).

Personally, the best mod I've found for my Kona was
1) Racechip
It's plug-and-forget. Only needs to be unplugged prior to dealer servicing, and leaves no trace.
If you're after fine-tuning and adjustments, I think the later tuning boxes like JB4 may be more to your liking.

2) Throttle Controller
I hv the SAAS S-Drive, bought from ebay below.
Mind, it does NOT give you more power, just the "illusion" of it.
It changes the throttle response vis-a-vis foot pressure on accelerator pedal, so for eg. if you needed to push down with yr foot say 10mm, for x throttle response, you can change it to say 5mm of downward pressure.
Some may say, just step harder when you want to accelerate. Me, I simply find the illusion works, and I'm happy for it!
S Drive for Hyundai Kona 2017-onwards SAAS Electronic Throttle Controller 9348391022371 | eBay
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