An exhaust downpipe is an important piece of your exhaust that you will need in order to complete the system. The “downpipe” section of an exhaust system connects the headers or exhaust manifold to the catalytic converter(s). Most aftermarket downpipes are both mandrel-bend and larger in diameter than the stock units they replace. Therefore, they can significantly reduce restrictions and make dramatic improvements in horsepower.
Most naturally aspirated cars get more benefit from a header than a downpipe. The downpipe section on these cars is essentially incorporated with the catalytic converter section, and since there’s very little performance or fuel economy benefit to replacing a modern catalytic converter, it is never given a second thought. Where downpipes come into their own is with turbocharged engines and vehicles. Since a turbocharger is essentially a pump, it’s very important for the pipes that are entering and exiting the turbo to have an unrestricted airflow. Reducing exhaust restrictions allows the turbo to spool up faster, which means more power and better fuel economy.
There are quite a few reasons as to why you may desire to buy an aftermarket downpipe. The first is that the exhaust piping leading in and out of your turbocharger has a number of bends. Some cars, like turbo-diesel trucks, have enough room for straight exhaust piping. Smaller vehicles do not and therefore contain more pipe bends in the engine bay. Another reason may be that you have modified your turbo to run at high boost pressures. Some turbocharged vehicles on the market already come with well-designed systems and may not gain much by adding a new downpipe. However, if you are increasing your boost on a stock turbo, a downpipe may help with the larger output of increased exhaust gas. An additional reason to purchase an aftermarket downpipe is to simply improve your car’s performance. Many late-model Subaru and diesel truck owners can benefit greatly from adding a new downpipe to their car – 10-20hp to be “exact.”
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Vivid Racing carries Exhaust Downpipes for most cars and trucks. Here are just a few:
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