What’s the Best Way to Increase Exhaust Flow in a Toyota 86 for Performance Improvement?

April 17, 2024

In the world of car tuning, the exhaust system plays a pivotal role. It’s not simply a mechanism to expel waste gases; it can also significantly impact a car’s performance. For performance car enthusiasts, especially those behind the wheels of a Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ, upgrading the stock exhaust system is often a primary project. In this article, we’ll delve into the best ways to enhance exhaust flow, leading to increased power and improved performance.

Assessing the Stock Exhaust System

Any modification to your car should be done with an understanding of the baseline. In this case, it’s about fully understanding the stock exhaust system of your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ.

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The stock exhaust system of these cars is a dual exhaust setup. It’s designed to provide an adequate balance between performance, efficiency, and noise output. However, if you desire more power and performance, the stock system can be a bottleneck. Although it’s able to function reliably for everyday use, it might not be capable of delivering the high-performance level you desire for your project.

The stock exhaust system can limit power output due to back pressure. As the exhaust gases are forced out of the engine, they encounter resistance in the form of back pressure. While some back pressure is necessary to maintain proper operation of the engine, excessive back pressure can restrict the engine from expelling exhaust gases efficiently, thus limiting power output.

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Choosing the Best Exhaust Mods

So, you’ve decided to modify your exhaust system for better performance. The question now is, which mods will yield the best results? There are countless options available, but we will focus on the ones that will significantly improve exhaust flow and, consequently, power.

Exhaust Headers: This is the first section of your exhaust system that connects directly to your engine. High-performance headers are designed to reduce back pressure and increase exhaust flow, leading to a noticeable increase in power.

Cat-Back Exhaust System: The cat-back system includes everything from the catalytic converter to the exhaust tips. An aftermarket cat-back system usually has larger diameter pipes and less restrictive mufflers, which results in increased exhaust flow and power.

High-Flow Catalytic Converter: The catalytic converter is responsible for reducing harmful emissions. A high-flow catalytic converter will decrease back pressure while still maintaining its emission reduction capabilities.

Exhaust Materials: The material of your exhaust system can also impact your car’s performance. Titanium exhaust systems are lightweight, resistant to corrosion, and can handle high temperatures, making them a great choice for performance enhancements.

Selecting the Appropriate Exhaust Sound

Sound is an integral part of the driving experience. The exhaust note can significantly impact your comfort and enjoyment when driving your car. When it comes to performance cars like the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, you’ll want an exhaust sound that complements the car’s character.

There’s no ‘best’ exhaust sound, as it’s subjective and varies from person to person. However, it’s advised to choose an exhaust system that delivers a deep, throaty sound without being too loud or obnoxious. Remember, louder does not always mean better. The quality of the sound is what truly matters. Of course, local noise regulations should also be taken into account when modifying your exhaust system.

Tuning Your Exhaust System for Optimal Performance

After installing the new exhaust mods, the final step to enhance performance is to fine-tune your exhaust system. This involves adjusting the air-fuel mixture and timing to optimize engine performance with the new exhaust setup.

Tuning requires specialized knowledge and equipment. While it can be done manually, it’s often best left to professionals. They will use a device called a dynamometer (or ‘dyno’) to measure power output and torque, and make necessary adjustments to maximize these metrics.

In conclusion, modifying your exhaust system can significantly improve the performance of your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ. By reducing back pressure, enhancing exhaust flow, and fine-tuning your engine, you can unlock your car’s full potential. So go ahead, give your car the roar it deserves!

Remember, however, that modifications should be done responsibly and in accordance with local regulations. Always consult with a professional before attempting any major mods to your car.

The Role of Material and Color in Exhaust Systems

The choice of material for your exhaust system plays a critical role in the overall performance and durability of your car. Apart from affecting the weight of your vehicle, it also influences the exhaust system’s ability to resist corrosion and handle high temperatures. Titanium is a popular choice for performance enhancements owing to its lightweight properties and high resistance to corrosion and heat.

A titanium exhaust system not only enhances performance but also adds a unique visual appeal to your ride. Aesthetics, although secondary to performance, are an important consideration for many car enthusiasts. The color of the exhaust system can contribute significantly to the overall look of your car.

Two popular color options for exhaust systems are titanium blue and diamond black. The titanium blue color surface is achieved through an electroplating double polishing process, giving the exhaust a shiny surface with a hint of blue. Diamond black, on the other hand, offers a sleek and sophisticated look often associated with luxury and performance cars.

An engraved exhaust logo can also provide a customized and professional touch to your exhaust system, enhancing its look while showing your attention to detail. This practice is common in car tuning projects, such as the BMW project or the project WRX where specific logos were engraved on the exhaust systems of these cars.

Implementing a High-Performance Exhaust System: Practical Tips and Reminders

When trying to increase exhaust flow in a Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ, or any other performance car, the exhaust system is a crucial area to focus on. Keep in mind that the pipe diameter, type of material, and even the look of the exhaust system can all influence the performance and aesthetics of your vehicle.

When choosing an exhaust system, consider the pipe diameter. Larger pipes can help reduce back pressure and enhance exhaust flow, leading to an increase in power. However, they should not be too large, as this could reduce exhaust velocity, which is also crucial for performance.

The material used for the exhaust – such as stainless steel or titanium – can significantly impact the performance and look of your car. Stainless steel is durable and relatively affordable, making it a popular choice. However, for those looking for a lighter, higher-performing option, titanium is the way to go.

In terms of aesthetics, unique touches like a titanium blue or diamond black color surface, achieved through an electroplating double polishing process, or an engraved exhaust logo can add a customized, high-end look to your vehicle.


When considering performance improvements for your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ, upgrading the exhaust system is a primary project that can yield significant results. By focusing on reducing back pressure, enhancing exhaust flow, and selecting quality materials like titanium, you can significantly boost your car’s power output.

The aesthetic aspect should not be ignored, either. An appealing exhaust system, whether it’s a shiny titanium blue or a sleek diamond black, coupled with an engraved exhaust logo, can elevate the overall look of your car, making it stand out on the street or track.

Remember, any modifications should always be done responsibly and in accordance with local regulations. Consult with a professional to make sure your alterations are safe, legal, and effective. With the right modifications, your Toyota 86 or Subaru BRZ can deliver a performance and look that will leave you feeling proud and exhilarated every time you hit the road.