Have you ever heard the saying, “Not all men are created equal”? It pretty much applies to anything: not all cars are built equally, not all ketchups taste the same and not all exhaust systems are alike. While it may look simple — some piping and mufflers — there’s much more technology that goes into a properly engineered and designed exhaust system than you’d imagine. Believe or not, to extract the full performance potential out of an exhaust requires just as much R&D as other critical engine components responsible for producing power.
Akrapovic is a company that lives by a no-compromises philosophy. You most likely aren’t familiar with its products, unless you’re also into motorcycles. Akrapovic has been a leader in high-performance motorcycle exhaust systems for decades and has just recently implemented its high-performance approach to the automotive sector.
The result is an all-titanium exhaust that spares no expense to be the best on the market. Manufactured in Slovenia (where the company was founded), Akrapovic uses its own proprietary titanium that costs more to produce and ensures every bend, weld and exhaust piece can not only stand up to years of abuse but resist heat and remain structurally stable through its entire life cycle.
Akrapovic’s foray into our market thus far includes systems for the almighty R35 Nissan GT-R, 370Z and Mitsubishi Evolution X.
We’ve seen a lot of exhaust systems come through our offices here at Modified, but none has impressed us as much as the Akrapovic exhaust. We thought it couldn’t get any better than the handcrafted, painstakingly welded JDM titanium systems, but, boy, were we wrong. Akrapovic has set a new standard for what we consider to be a top-tier exhaust. Titanium is very hard to bend and requires state-of-the-art tooling (that’s very expensive), hence why most of the JDM exhaust systems are straight piping that’s been radius-cut for bends. Akrapovic has all the necessary tools in place to create flawless bends, and the company even implements a titanium-cast Y-pipe collector, the first we have ever seen.
To say this exhaust system is a work of art is an understatement. Words can’t describe the precision that has gone into building this exhaust. The welds are flawless, the mufflers symmetrically perfect — the entire piece looks like it should be hung up on a wall for display rather than mounted underneath a car.
The exhaust’s craftsmanship only tells part of the story, though. Installing the system shows that every effort went into maintaining an OEM fit, even down to the factory exhaust heat shields that mount to the titanium exhaust. The same dedication can be seen in Akrapovic’s installation manual, where extremely detailed instructions outline how to properly install the system.
At first, we weren’t 100 percent sold on the carbon-fiber exhaust tips, that is until we installed them and saw how well they matched the rest of our EVO’s carbon-themed exterior. The carbon tips are slip-fit, allowing precise positioning suited to your style and needs. The frame is made of titanium with the carbon-fiber tip being overlaid onto it for a unique look that we have yet to see any other exhaust manufacturer use.
Then there’s the performance aspect. When you look at the exhaust, the two mufflers and resonator seem like they act as a restriction, but the dyno chart shows otherwise. Our EVO X project car was loaded up onto Road Race Engineering’s Dynapak dynos and mustered a respectable 319 whp and 322 ft-lbs of torque with a completely stock exhaust system on the car.
With the Akrapovic downpipe-back titanium exhaust with cat-delete option, it spun the rollers to 347 whp and 349 ft-lbs of torque. That’s the most power our EVO X has made yet and a 29-whp and 27–ft-lbs improvement over the stock exhaust! It also weighs less than half as much as the stock system (stock, 62 lbs; Akrapovic, 27 lbs).
Numbers aside, though, what had us most impressed was how quiet the exhaust note sounds. A deeper, more aggressive note is produced during cruising, free of any droning or obnoxiousness; step on the pedal and the note gets louder, but it’s nothing that will stir up too much attention. It’s one thing to make lots of power, but to do so while keeping the decibels low is a worthy accomplishment. We’ve created a YouTube video of the exhaust note, so be sure to check it out: youtube.com/watch?v=SnBrxSBiHBU (or search “Akrapovic exhaust EVO X”).
We bet at this point you’re wondering, well, what’s the drawback? The Akrapovic titanium exhaust sounds like the perfect exhaust system. All this well engineered quality comes at a price, one that most of you may have a hard time justifying. With a retail price of more than $4,000, this exhaust isn’t for everyone. It is, however, for those individuals looking for uncompromised quality and exclusivity. So the question remains, what are you willing to pay for an exhaust that we consider to be the perfect system? In our opinion, it’s worth every penny, even when that means you’re going to have to save a lot of them.
Dual “split muffler” design uses cast titanium Y-shape collector for superior flow and noise reduction
Weighs 35 lbs less than stock exhaust system
Uses factory exhaust heat shields to ensure OEM fitment and quality
Option of carbon fiber or titanium exhaust tips
Uses Akrapovic proprietary titanium that’s more resistant to heat and more durable than most titanium on the market.