- What the exhaust reveals about the car
- Fine features mark the difference
- Pieces as thick as stove pipes
- There is an exhaust hierarchy
- The tailpipe as a design object
- Jaguar as a pioneer of exhaust culture
What the exhaust reveals about the car
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Exhaust in a double pack: the expert speaks of double-flow tailpipes. The type abbreviation on the BMW 328i no longer says anything about the displacement. With earlier models, from “28…“Close to 2.8 liters. The model shown, however, has a displacement of 2.0 liters.
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The situation is similar with this GT 335i, which has a 3.0-liter engine. Its exhaust with the tailpipes moved apart is called double-sided. Who knows which model… A hierarchy recognizes which exhaust is equipped, which is roughly graded according to vehicle class, engine power and cubic capacity. Audi is also backing…
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… RS6 Kombi on the more sporty variant of the double-sided exhaust gas discharge, but less discreet.
Source: Reprint for press purposes free of charge
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The tailpipe variant of the BMW M3 comes with a double tailpipe – a combination of double-sided and double-sided. The conclusion is obvious: there is opulent power at play here. Even more ab…change…
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… Mercedes brings to the rear end of the exhaust system, as can be seen in the example of this CLS 63 AMG, whose tailpipes appear slightly displaced geometrically, but still fit well into the d…Include the rear end.
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The pipes of the new CLA also appear to be integrated in the rear diffuser from one piece. Mercedes is pursuing this design approach even more consistently…
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… SLS, which can be seen here in the AMG version. However, the gullwing will soon be discontinued.
It has become out of fashion to use type abbreviations to reveal too much about the engine of a car. On the other hand, the exhaust becomes a calling card. It’s not just about size.
E.s is difficult to like. A pipe that gets scorching hot and is full of stinking exhaust fumes. Strangely curved like an ugly appendix. In addition, sometimes unspeakably loud noises emanate from it.
Apart from die-hard motorsport enthusiasts and tuning fans, hardly anyone could do anything with the tailpipes of a car for many years, they were just there. In the meantime, the exhaust has become a design object and a status symbol, which seems paradoxical in view of its sensory perception, but has a lot to do with the fact that fat cars have large exhaust pipes and small models have rather thin and simple versions.
Especially with the German premium brands, the quality of the exhaust has become a subtle but important distinguishing feature and, especially in the upper categories, indicates how powerful or poor the driver is actually motorized. Because in the middle, upper and luxury class it is now widespread to leave out the type designation on the rear.
Fine features mark the difference
Anyone who buys an Audi A4, A5 or A6 with a diesel engine today has to be content with the TDI logo, which gives no indication of the actual performance class. Fine features make the difference.
A good two-liter four-cylinder with 136 or 177 hp has a simple double pipe at the rear left, a well-equipped three-liter six-cylinder with 204 or 245 hp or even the 313 hp diesel top model adorns an imposing system with one pipe on the left and one on the right. The specialist speaks of double-sided systems. Double-flow stands for double pipes on one side. Understatement sounds different. Even with the double pipes of the four-cylinder, there is a further differentiation depending on the engine equipment.
The differences in class are even clearer among the petrol models of the Ingolstadt-based car manufacturer. The economy vehicles of the bourgeois middle class and the preferred versions of field service employees can be recognized by the simple double pipes that stand for the basic four-cylinder. The six-cylinder characterizes the double-sided system with one pipe on the right and one on the left.
The S model for the proven athlete has double tubes on the right and left. They reveal that the S4 with 333 hp is a six-cylinder, four-wheel drive and luxury equipment.
Pieces as thick as stove pipes
Four pipes at the rear, one would think that can hardly be topped. But that’s not true, at least at Audi. The RS model ranks above that, with two stove-pipe thick parts protruding from the rear, which are integrated into the bumper and make it clear that a lot of power is blown out here. That’s right too. Eight cylinders and 450 hp are the maximum for the RS4 and RS5. The counterpart from the A6 family is the 560 hp RS6, which is only available as an Avant.
The hierarchy of the A8 and Q5 is similar. Only the RS Q3 has to make do with a single thick stovepipe. “For Audi, the exhaust is an important design element, with which the positioning of the vehicle is visible even from greater distances and thus the sportiness of the brand is documented,” says Dany Garand, Project Designer Exterior at Audi.
In the past, when the TDI models had to get along without a soot particle filter and produced black clouds when accelerating, the pipes were bent discreetly downwards. Today, according to Garand, thanks to the latest technology, the engines are much cleaner, the diesels are very sporty and the tailpipes are just as present in the TDI models as they are in the petrol models.
There is an exhaust hierarchy
At BMW, too, there is a clear exhaust ranking that has been maintained for years. The four-cylinder up to the 320i and 320d did not differ. All of them have a rather slim tailpipe on the left rear. Only the six-cylinder petrol and diesel models are equipped with a double pipe.
There are double-edged status symbols in the stronger versions. In the predecessor, it was the 335i with two individual tailpipes and the 420 hp M3 with two double pipes. This is also the case with the 5 Series, although simple tubes are frowned upon in this price range. While the 320d has only one tube, an identically motorized 520d has a more impressive double-flow system.
The eight and twelve cylinders, on the other hand, generally have double-sided pipes, which are also angular on the twelve-cylinder, which has been a tradition at BMW since the introduction of the 750i in 1987. "The exhaust has always been an important design feature," says Domagoj Dukec, Head of Exterior Design at BMW, "and is particularly important in the German market, where owners of stronger vehicles do not want to be too conspicuous, but value subtle distinguishing features." In a sense, the exhaust is the calling card of the engine hidden under the bonnet.
The tailpipe as a design object
The career of the exhaust pipe in recent years is not as clear with any other brand as with Mercedes. Until a few years ago they were only functionaries in the C-Class, they disappeared behind the plastic bumpers in the E-Class and were hardly noticeable even in the SL. Only the versions of the tuning subsidiary AMG came up with the thick double pipes on the right and left, but they often looked as out of place as if they were screwed on to the backyard tuner.
Since the brand with the three-pointed star has tried to make it sportier, even A- and B-Class models have been able to enjoy double-sided exhaust systems. In the facelifted E-Class, on the other hand, there are wide design tubes with a curved profile that is integrated into the shape of the rear apron. Sometimes it is artfully bevelled like the SLS, sometimes elliptical like the new S-Class.
There are no hierarchies as strict as at Audi or BMW at Mercedes. The pipes in the A-Class look just as powerful as in the SLK or SL. Sports car manufacturer Porsche only said goodbye to simple, simple pipes in the 1990s and switched to double-flow status symbols for its Carrera models.
Jaguar as a pioneer of exhaust culture
The exhaust as a design object and status symbol seems to be a German phenomenon. Sports models such as the Toyota GT86 or Nissan 370Z are adorned with two thick tailpipes. For small cars and compact models, however, such visual enhancements are unusual for the other brands. On the one hand.
On the other hand, Ferrari equipped its cars with double-flow systems as early as the 1950s. But back then it was almost endlessly long and rather thin pipes that protruded from the underground. And the British luxury manufacturer Jaguar is even considered a pioneer of automotive exhaust culture. In the large sedans, the two pipes on the right and left were a similar trademark to the two separate petrol tanks.
Sometimes the love for the metal tailpipe produces strange blossoms. In Poland, the Auto Świat magazine published a video in which fans creatively and cheaply pimped up an inconspicuous Nissan Micra. The tinkerers cut a rubber hose and afterwards fixed it with a clamp at the end of the exhaust so that the little Nissan suddenly sounded like a powerful sports car. This has brought the little film around half a million clicks to date.
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