So you've just bought a Corvette, and like most hobbyists, you've already got your eyes and your ears focused on the exhaust system. Sure, the factory pipes are fine for the no-mod crowd, but you've heard the fantastic rumble of Vettes at the dragstrips and show fields, and you're ready to give yours an exhaust that delivers both the ultimate in performance and the most stellar sound on planet Earth.
But where do you start? How can you tell one exhaust system from another without spending hours of research at car shows and on the internet? To make this formidable task less of a challenge, we've compiled a list of the best systems available in today's marketplace. Limiting our selections to parts that are sold in the USA, we asked 16 manufacturers to tell us about their Corvette exhaust systems, including how they're constructed, what benefits they offer, how they sound, and what their warranties include.
Because choosing an exhaust system is based largely upon personal likes and dislikes, we didn't favor one of these exhaust manufacturers over another. Instead, we listed them all and allowed them to state their case. All that's left is for you to decide which of these systems is right for your Corvette.
Distributed exclusively by West Coast Corvettes
Brief Description: West Coast Corvette (WCC) has joined forces with Bassani Manufacturing to bring you the all-new Dominator GT Performance Series exhaust systems for C5, C6, Z06, and ZR1 Corvettes. If you're looking for superior performance, killer sound, and stunning good looks, your search is over. With a "performance first" motto, Bassani spends countless hours on research and development to squeeze out the most horsepower possible while maintaining a smooth, resonance-free sound.
Bassani products have been proven to make more horsepower and torque than any other manufacturer in direct comparison tests conducted by many major magazines. The C6 Z06 aft-cat exhaust system has shown increases of 23 hp and 15 lb-ft of torque. The C5 systems have shown increases of 14 hp and 11 lb-ft of torque.
Trademark Features: All Dominator GT systems are constructed of 100 percent stainless steel, mandrel-bent tubing, are made in the USA, and come with a limited lifetime warranty.
Quote from the Company:"Bassani has been recognized as a leader in specialized exhaust components for more than 40 years, and when you add in West Coast Corvettes' 24 years, there's no question that together we can bring you the ultimate exhaust systems."
Billy Boat Performance Exhaust
Brief Description: Since 1989, Billy Boat Performance Exhaust has designed, tested, and manufactured the highest-quality stainless steel Corvette exhaust systems. Each system incorporates three generations of fabrication skill and racing experience. Every muffler is tuned and designed for a specific application and sound level, to achieve the best possible performance gain and sound quality.
With up to three different sound levels, Billy Boat Performance Exhaust can meet the needs of all customers. Whether you're looking for a system with a little more sound and a great look, like the Route 66, or you want the muscle and aggressive sound of the Bullet system, Billy Boat offers a selection for everyone.
All Billy Boat products are made of the highest-quality 304 stainless steel, are precision-built in rugged fixtures and completely TIG welded, and are a direct replacement for your Vette's stock exhaust system. They come complete with all hardware and gaskets. No machining, no cutting, and no welding means easy installation. We provide the perfect mix of performance, sound, and style for your Corvette.
Trademark Features: Billy Boat Performance Exhaust is the only Corvette exhaust manufacturer to offer a "bi-modal" exhaust system, similar to the Z06 and NPP C6 system. The Fusion system uses a vacuum valve and butterfly assembly to allow the driver to choose the sound level. You can have a comfortable "Dr. Jekyll" cruising sound, then release the "Mr. Hyde" monster sound at your fingertips. It's now available for the C4, C5, and the C6/Z06.
Quote from the Company:"A moment of adrenaline . . . a lifetime of performance."
Brief Description:Borla Performance offers the widest variety of Cat-Back exhaust systems and rear sections for C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes in the industry. We produce systems for every taste, from the mild touring style and aggressive S-Type to kick-ass, pipes-only racing systems. We include a choice of tip styles and cross-pipe options on our C5 and C6 models. The sound of the Borla S-Type mufflers sets the standard for Corvette enthusiasts and has become the benchmark for other manufacturers. In addition, we have the exclusive, patented XR-1 multi-core muffler available on C5 and C6 Z06 models.
Trademark Features: Cat-Back, XR-1 multi-core muffler, 1,000,000-mile warranty.
Quote from the Company:"Borla Performance is the originator of the Cat-Back exhaust system and the pioneer of the use of austenitic stainless steel in the construction of exhaust systems. We have nearly 30 years of race-proven engineering experience, five patents, and numerous awards, along with being the choice of major manufacturers and having more racing wins than any other exhaust brand."
Brief Description: Callaway specializes in constructing super sports cars based on the C5 and C6 Corvette. Many of the products developed for Callaway Corvettes are available individually, like the Double-D Exhaust Systems. These systems were designed and developed by Callaway's engineering staff to allow the maximum possible exhaust-gas flow with minimum restriction for maximum possible horsepower. The engineers also ensured that their designs produced the proper tonal qualities.
Trademark Features: All mufflers and pipes are manufactured of premium-quality 304 stainless steel. While the steel isn't polished, the surface finish is so nice that it appears polished. The oversized C5 and C6 mufflers use all the space available in the chassis to maximize internal-component dimensions and minimize flow restriction, producing nearly the same flow rate as straight pipes.
Muffler performance and increased horsepower for Callaway Corvettes were the primary objectives. Then, our engineers worked on getting the sound right. The baffling and tube configuration resulted in a deep exhaust note that has strong bass and isn't raspy. It's slightly louder than stock at idle, and much louder at half- to full-throttle, and there is no in-car resonance or drone.
Robotic welding provides a beautiful appearance for the muffler seams. Over-axle tubes are mandrel-bent to retain high flow. Computer-controlled bending equipment ensures precise dimensions, ensuring easy fitment to stock or aftermarket intermediate pipes, and eliminating interference with chassis components. Even the clamps are premium-grade.
Finally, the cast, stainless steel Double-D tips are a Callaway trademark. In fact, this design has been used on various Callaway vehicles since the 1970s. The cast-tip construction eliminates the possibility of misalignment.
Quote from the Company:"Callaway Exhaust Systems produce maximum horsepower, with a deep powerful tone that doesn't overwhelm, while providing a unique `Double-D' tip design."
Brief Description: Stainless Works after-cat exhaust systems feature premium, American-made quality for all generations of Corvettes. We use 304L Everlast stainless steel, CNC mandrel bends, CNC laser-cut flanges, and high-quality TIG welding. Our systems are available with multiple pipe sizes, muffler choices, and tip configurations to match your preferences.
Trademark Features: Our systems come with a modular design to work with headers or factory manifolds, and they offer the option of mild or aggressive tones. They also come with a lifetime warranty.
Quote from the Company:"Stainless Works after-cat exhaust systems deliver the sound, power, and mileage that Corvette owners are looking for and are easily upgradeable with on- or off-road long-tube headers for maximum performance."
Dynomax Performance Exhaust
Brief Description: DynoMax Performance Exhaust has released several new powerful performance exhaust kits for '63-and-newer Corvettes, including a system for '05-'07 models that posted a gain of 8 hp and 11 lb-ft of torque. Centered around a set of performance DynoMax mufflers, the kits utilize the muffler and component combination specific to the needs of each individual Corvette model.
Trademark Features: Several Corvette systems from DynoMax use DynoMax Ultra Flo SS mufflers featuring a straight-through, 409 stainless-steel internal design inside a 304 polished stainless steel case. These mufflers provide a true performance tone at a moderate sound level and minimal resonation through CRF (continuous roving fiberglass) technology.
Other Corvette systems utilize DynoMax Super Turbo mufflers. The Super Turbo performance muffler is a 100 percent aluminized design that provides a mild sound level with a true performance tone and minimal resonation. This muffler also features DynoMax Flow Director technology and patented three-pass internal construction.
GM Performance Parts
Brief Description: The Corvette Performance Exhaust System was developed and validated by GM engineers to maximize airflow and improve horsepower while delivering the sound that our customers know and love. The Corvette Performance Exhaust empties into highly polished stainless steel exhaust tips (round or angle-cut shapes) that feature the Genuine Corvette Accessories logo. This system is built with 304 stainless steel and has mandrel-bent tubing. It meets SAE-regulated noise-level requirements with endurance exceeding the stock system.
Trademark Features: Since GM engineers validated these parts specifically for the Corvette, enthusiasts will enjoy years of durability--all backed by GM's vehicle warranty. Since many Corvette owners like to keep their rides "genuine," the muffler carries the GM Performance Parts logo, and the tips are stamped with the Genuine Corvette Accessories logo.
Quote from the Company:"Keep your GM car all GM."
Brief Description: Our full 3-inch after-cat exhaust systems for the C5 and C6 offer the ultimate in performance exhausts. They're constructed of 304 stainless steel, which means you never have to worry about rust and corrosion. All of our systems come fully polished and will add an elegant touch to your Corvette. The Big 3 C5 system allows you to run full 3-inch exhaust when paired with our Pro Long Tube Headers. Our GT-2 and GT-4 systems for the C6 and C6 Z06 also measure 3 inches.
Trademark Features: Our systems feature 304 stainless steel construction, are fully polished, and produce a deep, throaty sound without being obnoxiously loud.
Quote from the Company:"The muscular tone and exotic refinement that our Big 3 system delivers is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. It's available with twin or quad exhaust tips."
Corsa Performance Exhausts
Brief Description: Corsa Performance Exhausts offers a range of patented, premium exhaust systems for C4, C5, and C6 Corvettes. Each system is made from 100 percent premium-grade stainless steel and handcrafted with a non-restrictive design for improved horsepower and torque. The bolt-on systems don't require welding or cutting to install and come with complete installation hardware and instructions.
Our after-cat Corvette exhaust systems include applications for the '09 C6, Z06, and ZR1; the '05-'08 C6 and Z06; the '97-'04 C5 and Z06; and the '86-'96 C4.
Trademark Features: Known for our patented Reflective Sound Cancellation (RSC) technology, each Corsa Performance Exhaust system is acoustically tuned for a custom sound that delivers a powerful note outside the vehicle with a guaranteed drone-free interior. In an RSC-equipped system, engine sound (pressure) waves are reflected in passages inside the muffler to cancel out the unwanted sound waves. The result is a tuned muffler that cleans up the noise without eliminating the pure sound of power associated with a high-performance vehicle. RSC technology also allows for the elimination of packing materials that can deteriorate over time, providing a totally unrestrictive exhaust flow for maximum horsepower and torque.
Quote from the Company:"Our premium, high-performance exhaust systems lead the industry as the only exhausts to provide increased horsepower and torque and an immediate uncorked rumble, without creating the cabin resonance and interior drone typically associated with performance enhancements. Each exhaust is tested and tuned according to a particular vehicle for a truly unique end result."
MC Productions Inc. / Sweet-Thunder
Brief Description: Side pipes are available for '63-'74 models, while after-cat systems are offered for '94-'96.
Trademark Features: All of our products are manufactured utilizing the Sweet-Thunder chambered muffler design that produces our distinctive old muscle-car sound. Choose from 14-gauge aluminized or 16-gauge 304 stainless steel. All of our systems are manufactured in the USA from American and Canadian materials exclusively.
Quote from the Company:"One hundred percent fun! Get your right-foot feedback through a set of Sweet-Thunder chambers."
Mid America Motorworks, Inc.
Brief Description: Our Corvette exhaust systems are manufactured from super-durable 304 stainless steel. We do months of testing on Corvettes for fit, appearance, and durability. Sound level and tone are a prime consideration.
Trademark Features: Mid America Motorworks offers its famous "No Fault Warranty" for as long as the customer owns his or her Corvette. Each complete system is highly polished--not just the tips, as with some other manufacturers.
Quote from the Company:"Mid America Motorworks set out to build the highest-quality exhaust systems and offer them at a very reasonable price. Our satisfied customers regularly tell us that we've hit both goals."
Pypes Performance Exhaust
Brief Description: The Pypes C3 system is designed to connect directly to your manifolds or headers. It includes a custom-fit cross-pipe and high-performance mufflers and is constructed of 409 stainless steel. Tailpipes, hangers, and clamps are included. (A dual-hump crossmember must be used for proper installation, and '68-'73 owners must modify and use their own tips.)
Our C4 system is a direct-fit, 2.5-inch, crossmember-back design that includes a cross-pipe, tailpipes, and Pypes mufflers with integrated 304 polished stainless tips. Like all of our systems, it's constructed using 409 stainless steel and comes complete with all necessary clamps and hangers. (Downpipes are available for C4 cars using manifolds.)
Pypes C5 systems feature a pair of uniquely designed mufflers that employ our exclusive Slingshot Technology which really moves the exhaust gases through the system. The Race Pro version of the muffler creates maximum flow and power with only a minimal volume increase and no internal resonance.
For those who want to advertise their arrival, check out the SCC50VS or SCC51VS Violator versions. These systems include fully polished 304 stainless steel mufflers and tips that will last a lifetime. We have designed two exciting new exhaust tips specifically for this system. SCC50 comes with a wide oval, dual-wall tip for a unique look. SCC51 comes with dual 3.5-inch dual-wall tips for a more traditional aftermarket look.
Trademark Features: The Pypes C4 system is the only manifold-back system on the market. All systems are constructed of 409 stainless steel. All Pypes products carry a lifetime warranty, which is good for as long as the original purchaser owns the vehicle. Choose from multiple mufflers to tailor the sound of your system.
Quote from the Company: "Systems are great looking, produce a great sound, and offer great performance!"
Quick Time Performance
Brief Description: The Screamer features a pair of dual-mode mufflers, each with a single inlet and a dual outlet. One outlet is a straight pipe with a valve at the end. When the valve is open, you get a loud and free-flowing exhaust system. Close the valve, and the exhaust gases are diverted through the muffled section to provide a quiet, mild-mannered sound. The Screamer gives you the power and sound you desire when you want it, at the flip of the switch.
Trademark Features: Other systems that make power are loud all the time, which gets old. Systems on the quieter side simply lack power and won't unlock your Corvette's true potential. All our systems are TIG welded and utilize polished stainless steel for a clean look and durability.
Quote from the Company:"The Screamer: Go from quiet to riot with the flip of a switch!"
Magnaflow Performance Exhaust
Brief Description: If you're in the market for a replacement exhaust, or you just want something that offers a little more power over stock, look no further than MagnaFlow. MagnaFlow Performance Exhaust offers a wide range of after-cat exhausts for new and old Corvettes. Designed to bolt right on to your vehicle, with half-inch-overlapped welding at each joint, every system is dyno proven to produce power, all while providing years of trouble-free performance. Regardless of which MagnaFlow exhaust system you choose, it will be backed by MagnaFlow's lifetime warranty and have a smooth, deep, drone-free tone.
Trademark Features: The sound character is a deep tone with comfortable cruising and an aggressive note at WOT.
Quote from the Company:"Power and sound . . . it's what MagnaFlow delivers."
SLP Performance Parts
Brief Description: SLP offers a PowerFlo catalyst-back exhaust system for the LT1, LT4, or LT5 C4, with a choice of polished tips.
C5 owners have a choice of two PowerFlo systems--one with 3.5-inch dual split round tips and another with a distinctive cast-aluminum tip with two outlets. There's also a C5 Loud Mouth system with 4-inch dual split round tips.
C6 owners also have a choice of two PowerFlo systems--one with 3.5-inch dual split round tips and another with a distinctive cast-aluminum tip with four outlets. The C6 Loud Mouth and Loud Mouth II designs both come with 3.5-inch dual split round tips. All exhaust systems provide choices for desired sound, and each one provides you with the ultimate look for your model-year Corvette.
PowerFlo systems are deep and muscular and slightly louder than stock. The Loud Mouth II is rich and powerful and "in the middle," while the Loud Mouth will let everyone know you're coming.
The rest of the systems are hand-crafted from 2.5-inch 304 stainless steel, including fully polished mufflers with a stamped SLP logo. They provide up to a 15hp gain depending upon application and are covered by a lifetime warranty. Detailed installation instructions and hardware are included.
Trademark Features: SLP exhaust systems feature CNC mandrel-bent 304 stainless steel construction, 304 stainless hand-polished mufflers, and polished-stainless or cast-aluminum tips with polished edges. There's no cutting or welding required with our bolt-on designs, which feature torca notches, band clamps, and slip-fit or flanged connections.
C6 Loud Mouth and Loud Mouth II systems have a modular design, allowing consumers to switch between mufflers or resonators to achieve their desired sound in a matter of minutes. All systems come with a lifetime warranty.
Quote from the Company:"We designed and engineered each of our systems with the highest quality, superior ease of installation, great sound, and a choice of tips--all at an affordable price for the Corvette owner."
Brief Description: Our C5 system features mandrel-bent 304 stainless steel tubing and four polished stainless dual-wall tips. The mufflers have a deep, throaty sound at idle and a unique sound at and above mid-range rpm that is typically associated with exotic overhead-cam engines.
Our C4 system is not an after-cat system per se, but a true dual-exhaust/cross-pipe system that allows the use of existing mufflers. The system is available with two high-flow catalytic converters for street use or without converters for off-highway applications, and it's designed for vehicles with headers.
Trademark Features: All Random Technology systems are manufactured with stainless steel and feature a brush-polished finish. All components are made in the USA. Except for the catalytic converters, our exhaust systems are covered by a lifetime warranty.
Quote from the Company:"Our company cars are Corvettes, so we have a very personal interest in our Corvette products. As a result, the most common feedback we get from customers is that our systems have excellent fit and finish and sound great."