Monday, October 26, 2015

Editorial: I Don't Get Dual to Single Exhaust Conversions

Image courtesy of FT86 Club user FreedE
Let me start by saying it is not that I do not understand why people do them. There are certain cars out there that come from the factory with a dual outlet exhaust system, but does not really benefit from it aside from looks. There is also the fact that most single outlet exhaust systems will weigh much less than dual outlet systems. What I do not understand is why people do the dual to single conversion, and then just leave the unused exhaust cutout on the bumper.


Image courtesy of S2KI user alexisthemovie

Take my S2000 for example. There are a ton of single outlet aftermarket exhaust systems for the S2000. Even though it looks much better, the S2000 really does not benefit from having a dual outlet exhaust system. Taking a closer look at the S2000's full exhaust system, you will notice that the exhaust headers feed into a single pipe. Besides the fact that most inline engines would never benefit from the exhaust header feeding into more than one pipe, the car was not designed for more than one pipe anyway. In this sense, doing the dual to single conversion makes sense. It also helps that many of the single outlet systems designed for the S2000 are much lighter than their dual outlet counterparts. However, look at the above picture and take a good look at the bumper. How unsightly is it to see a giant, unused gap in the bumper? It just does not look right. If the average Joe saw that, they would wonder why you removed a chunk of your exhaust system and left a big gap in the bumper for no reason. Another car this happens to a lot is the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ. Look at the first picture of that white FR-S. Again with the unsightly and unused exhaust cutout. The bumpers were designed like that because they were designed for dual outlet exhaust systems, folks!

Image courtesy of S2KI user dut
Thankfully, there are companies that make aftermarket bumpers that have the unused exhaust cutout removed. Ultimately, this makes the car look much cleaner without the big gaping hole in the bumper. Just take a look at this black S2000. It almost looks as if it came out of the factory looking like that! There are also companies that just make caps that go over the unused cutout. Frankly, slapping a cap over the unused cutout looks really tacky. It is the same with car manufacturers that are too lazy to make two separate bumpers for cars that are available with both single and dual exhaust outlets, and just slap a cap over the unused outlet on their single outlet cars. If you are going to go the single exhaust outlet route, at least do it right and clean up the look so that it looks clean and sleek, not tacked on and cheap.

Image courtesy of DSG Performance
Ultimately though, I believe that cars that come from the factory with a dual exhaust look best with a dual exhaust system. Whether you stick with the factory exhaust or want to enhance the sound and power output of your car with an aftermarket system, if it comes with a dual exhaust, I think you should stick with it. Yes, it may weigh more and yes, the car may not actually benefit from maintaining a dual outlet setup, but ultimately the weigh difference is usually not much and it just looks better. Besides, when the vehicle was originally designed, the designer probably designed it with a dual exhaust because in the first place. Why go undo what the designer spent months, or even years to create?