Sparesbox Blog

Performance Exhaust Systems: How to Choose Your Placement

By Brad Nash

Wed Jul 15 2015

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and do up your exhaust. Great choice. Performance exhaust systemsare one of the easier ways of boosting your car’s performance, allowing your engine to breathe far more efficiently by creating a clearer channel for the exhaust system to leave your car, in turn producing more power.

Many bolt-on systems, made by companies such as XForce Exhaust, come in a variety of different placements to suit your vehicle, your performance needs and your budget, which this piece will take a look at.


Cat-Back Exhaust Systems

Image: XForce Performance Exhuasts


Cat Back systems attach to the end your existing catalytic converter (a compartment which removes harmful carcinogenic from your exhaust gases) and go back from there. As soon as the gases leave the cat, the rest is left up to the new exhaust system in allowing the exhaust to escape from the car. These systems are cheaper than full exhaust kits, and generally require less time and effort to install. However, since you’re left at the mercy of the dump pipe and cat that your car came with, the performance boost you get from a cat back system is somewhat diminished.

If you’re really after an entry-level solution to give you a slight performance boost and an improved sound, a cat back system is still definitely worth a look.


Head/Turbo-Back Exhaust Systems

Image: XForce Performance Exhuasts


When it comes to getting a performance exhaust, the closer you can get it bolted on to the engine, the better. Head or turbo back exhausts attach to either your exhaust manifold or the turbo, replacing the dump pipe and catalytic converters with high-flow options. This allows for the best possible air flow for the exhaust as soon as it leaves the combustion chamber.

With the extra metal comes the extra money (as well as the the extra time it takes to fit) of course, but to get the best value for money out of a performance exhaust upgrade, a head or turbo back system is really the way to go.


For more information on whether to go bolt-on or opt for a fully custom exhaust, check out our guide here.