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The Lowdown on Downpipes | Everything You Need to Know

Naturally aspirated — or non-turbo or supercharged — cars are pretty simple pieces of machinery relative to force-fed applications. To keep a boosted vehicle from self-destructing, a slew of unique components must be put in place.

One of these unique components is the downpipe. A downpipe is what carries exhaust gases from the turbine housing to the rest of the exhaust system. The majority of factory downpipes are typically very heavy and restrictive, and they severely restrict power output. 

Aftermarket downpipes, however, are available that can further improve performance, but it’s important to note that not all of these modifications may be legal in your state.

Most factory downpipes will have at least one very restrictive catalytic converter. These do a great job of cleaning the exhaust gases but are also very restrictive causing potential power to be lost. By removing the factory downpipe and replacing it with a high flowing unit you are allowing the turbo to more efficiently move gases away from the turbine which creates more power. Since the factory restrictions are now gone you can increase the boost on the vehicle as the factory downpipe is a choking point for performance.

Another downside to factory downpipes is the fact that they come with several 'unnecessary' bends, which one by one creates resistance and decreases the power of your turbo. An after-market downpipe has less bends and thus removes this resistance and the factory restrictions. It’s not a choking point anymore for the performance of your car.

An aftermarket downpipe ensures better airflow and less restrictions, resulting in a smoother engine, more horsepower and the loudest sound possible! However, it is important to choose a downpipe that fits exactly to your vehicle. Only then, the desired increased performances will be achieved.

Depending on the application, the size of the OEM turbocharger, and the size of the engine, an aftermarket downpipe can increase power by up 20%. 

Small turbo applications like in Ford’s EcoBoost, the power gains from an aftermarket downpipe are mostly seen as low RPM torque gains, while larger turbo applications see gains in higher RPMs.

Aftermarket high performance exhaust systems, or racing exhaust systems, like downpipes, are mainly designed to change the factory fitted exhaust for better performance. The aftermarket performance systems available here at Vivid Racing are engineered to boost not just your car’s style, but its overall performance as well.

Then again, it’s important to note that not all of these modifications may be legal in your state. So, best to do your research first. And then you can just buy online or give one of our world-class professionals a call at 1-480-966-3040.