When I posted my story 5 things I’ll do to my 2012 Dodge Charger (and 3 I won’t…) I got a lot of flack from my car friends and forum-folk about simply refusing to do anything with the car’s exhaust system.
I took it all with a grain of salt until the folks at CORSA Performance reached out to me with sights, sounds, and an offer to prove me wrong when it comes to sound, power, and airflow in my 2012 Dodge Charger R/T.
First, we had a little talk.
I’ll be honest, I went into it thinking “of course these guys are going to tell me to replace the exhaust, it’s what they do.” But after a chat with CORSA’a Tim Mansell, I’m starting to come around.
Here’s what we discussed:
JOHN M. GUILFOIL: If I was considering taking the plunge and replacing my car’s stock exhaust, what is the #1 thing I should consider?
TIM MANSELL: A car owner should consider what they want from an exhaust, whether it be sound, performance, ease of install, price etc.
It depends on what is important to each individual owner. There are so many different options and so many different ways to go that it always comes back to the same thing; what does the car owner want.
JG: Some people…uh, like me…say that you only get a “sound boost” from aftermarket exhaust, especially on a performance car. Is there more to it?
TM: There is a lot more to it. Sound boost is just one of the many advantages an aftermarket exhaust brings. CORSA has an aggressive sound outside the car while remaining drone-free inside the car while cruising, increased performance and an upgraded look.
JG: What is the relationship between sound and performance?
TM: Sound and performance are two completely different concepts. In regards to exhaust, you could have a great sounding system, but not see any performance gains because the exhaust path isn’t free flowing. CORSA exhaust systems have a straight through design and are engineered to be free flowing while still providing an aggressive, upgraded sound.
JG: How much should someone expect to pay for a quality aftermarket exhaust?
TM: The price range in the market varies greatly, but you get what you pay for. If you want a premium, high quality exhaust, then you will have to pay for it.
JG: OK, but why should I do any of this?
TM: CORSA is known as a premium aftermarket brand. This product speaks for itself. The systems come with a limited lifetime warranty for good reason. The kits are all crafted from premium stainless steel and are engineered and acoustically tuned to be vehicle specific. We allow for added performance as well as an upgraded sound and look. Our system is considered an OEM replacement and is built to meet OEM standards. We go to a lot of car shows throughout the year, at those shows you can get a good feel for the product by talking to customers about it.
JG: Besides the exhaust, what “mods” or upgrades would you recommend a car owner make?
TM: The exhaust is a great start. There are a lot of simple modifications that can be made if a car owner is looking for more performance and sound though. Mods like a cold air intake, high flow catalytic converters, headers and a tune are all great modifications that will add to performance and sound. An engine is basically just a big air pump, so the better you can get air in and the easier that air can flow out, the better the engine will perform. Each of these modifications work very well with our exhaust systems because they are free-flowing.
JG: Cat-back? high flow? headers? What’s it all mean?
TM: Cat-back is a term used to describe an exhaust system that begins right at or right behind the catalytic converter and continues out the back of the vehicle. The other common term is axle-back, which refers to an exhaust system that starts at the rear axle and continues right out the back.
High flow is a term that refers to the flow of the exhaust. It is commonly referred to when talking about catalytic converters. There are less cells in a high flow catalytic converter than there are in a standard converter, which simply means that the exhaust can flow through easier. Like with CORSA, we have a high flow exhaust system, meaning our system flows better than a typical stock exhaust system.
Headers refers to exhaust headers. Headers are another way to upgrade or modify your vehicle. They are designed to increase the flow of exhaust, by decreasing back pressure. They make it easier for the cylinders to push air through the exhaust, which allows the engine to breathe easier and perform better.
JG: OK, Personal question — I have a stock 2012 Dodge Charger R/T with the Road and Track Package, 5.7L HEMI — just put the Mopar Cold Air Intake in it. If I was going to go with CORSA, what would you recommend?
TM: I recommend our CORSA Xtreme system (if you like it a bit louder when you put your foot into it, we also have a Sport system if you prefer something slightly quieter outside the car). This is a complete cat back system that will add to the performance and sound of your car. We have seen, on average, a gain of 11 HP to the wheels and 13 ft./lbs. of torque. You will also gain a great sound. The Xtreme system provides that real nice, deep muscle car tone. It will be aggressive under wide open throttle, but quiet at cruising. There will be no drone on the inside of the cabin, so your car will be aggressive when you want it to be and quiet when you need it to be. It is the best of both worlds.
So what do you all think? To Exhaust or Not To Exhaust?