Whether you're looking for high performing car exhaust systems or want to know what exhausts for sports cars are out there, this guide will help you. If you need more inspiration, check out Bush Tyres' range of exhausts, pipes and catalytic converts.
When looking for an exhaust that gives the best sound, there are a few other factors you need to consider. Firstly, do you also want a performance increase or are you solely focussed on noise? Many sports exhaust systems will not only give you a few more BHP but they sound lovely too.
Replacing the tail pipe
The exhaust pipe that sticks out of your car dictates the pitch of the noise that comes out of it. A wider diameter will give a deeper sound. This is a really quick and affordable way to upgrade your car's sound but don't go too big or you'll create back pressure that will lead to a performance loss.
Axle back exhausts
This is a really simple car mod that won't break the bank. By replacing the exhaust system from the rear axle, you can really change the sound of your car.
An axle back exhaust is usually made up of the muffler (also known as a silencer) and exhaust pipe. While you won't get much of a power gain from this modification, you have a lot of say in how it sounds.
A chambered muffler will give you that coveted deep roar so look at the mid to aggressive systems that will fit your car. The sound waves from the exhaust are bounced around the chambers, which can reduce noise level. If you're after an aggressive sound, look for a muffler with fewer chambers.
An axle back exhaust is typically quite easy to fit as you don't have to go digging too far under your car.
These are full exhaust systems from the catalytic converter to the exhaust pipe at the back of the car. As well as the muffler and tail pipe, you'll also get the mid and intermediate pipes. These are the best sounding exhausts that will also give you some power gains.
You have plenty of options for full exhaust systems and you can even mix and match between kits and individual elements (just make sure they are all compatible).
The configuration of the mid-pipe in your exhaust system contribute to sound, torque and horsepower so choose wisely. An X pipe will typically give horsepower gains but you might lose some low end torque.
An H pipe is a better option for daily driven vehicles as you'll get better low end torque, which means you can pull always quicker, but you'll get less peak horsepower. The sound is more balanced and often deeper than an X pipe.
There's also the option of a straight pipe, these are often known as decat pipes as they replace the catalytic converter. Bear in mind that due to emissions regulations, these aren't legal and you car won't pass its MOT with a decat pipe. While the performance gains can be impressive, this mod is best left to track and race cars.
Replacing exhaust manifolds
The exhaust manifolds connect the exhaust pipe system under your car to the engine. These are often one of the last parts people upgrade as it can be expensive and fiddly. Stock manifolds are typically heavy pieces of cast iron that funnel the exhaust gases from each cylinder of your car into one pipe.
The best upgrade for both sound and performance is to swap the stock manifold for an exhaust header which gives each cylinder its own pipe. This makes it easier for your engine to expel gases quickly.
Consider air intake
While a sports exhaust system will improve the sound of you car as well as the torque and horsepower, you need to consider the air going into the car too. Not only can a better filter or cold air intake improve the sound of your vehicle but it can improve efficiency from the point that air comes into your engine through to when it's expelled out the back.
When modifying your car, consider both noise and emissions regulations. It is illegal to modify a car's exhaust system so that it is louder than the approved noise level for that model.