The ultimate BRZ exhaust guide

If you’re looking to replace the exhaust system on your Subaru BRZ, there are a few considerations you should make. Firstly, start by setting a budget. Secondly, think about what you want out of this upgrade.

Is it the sound you’re after? Or do you want to unlock more power for a better driving experience? Both these are valid reasons to upgrade your exhaust because the BRZ underdelivers on both fronts.

Let’s face it — the BRZ is quiet and underpowered. To get the most out of that boxer-4, you need a catback exhaust system, along with a few other supporting upgrades.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the types of exhausts systems that best suit the BRZ, and we’ll conclude with a list of our top recommendations based on affordability, noise level, and track performance.

Let’s dive right in.

Things To Know About Aftermarket Exhaust Systems

Aftermarket exhausts alone can only do so much. They do provide a marginal bump in performance, but the increment heavily depends on the type of exhaust you choose, and the supporting upgrades that you install along with it. These include:

  • Larger throttle bodies,
  • Cold air intake,
  • Headers, and most importantly,
  • ECU Remap

For instance, a catback system may only provide a 5 hp gain, but a full exhaust system (with either a high-flow catalytic converter, or a test pipe) paired with an ECU remap and 4-2-1 or 4-1 headers could increase that number to 20, or even more.

A full BRZ exhaust system, including headers, front pipe, high-flow cat and catback

This is not nearly enough to push you back in your seat, but you’ll definitely notice a quicker throttle response.

Setting your expectations in terms of exhaust sound is another thing to consider. If you’re expecting your flat-4 to sound like a V8, you’re going to be disappointed. You’ve probably heard what BRZs sound like with aftermarket exhausts but if you haven’t, you really need to hear one in person.

Single vs Dual Exit Exhaust

This is another hotly debated topic when selecting the right exhaust for the Subaru BRZ, or any car for that matter. Both single and dual exhausts have their pros and cons but the final decision will always boil down to the engine layout.

Single exit exhaust with OEM BRZ rear bumper
The empty exhaust shroud can easily be dealt with.

For instance, V engines typically have two manifold banks running two separate exhaust pipes. However, that’s not the case with single-banked inline-4 engines.

If you see dual exhausts on inline-4 engines, it’s definitely just for the looks and doesn’t benefit performance in any way.

The BRZ runs a flat-4 engine. It should ideally adopt a similar design as V engines because it comes with two exhaust manifolds/headers.

There isn’t really a need for naturally aspirated flat-4 engines like the FA20 to run dual exhausts as they are smaller in capacity compared to bigger V6s and V8s.

The volume of exhaust gases exiting a non-turbocharged 2.0-liter unit like the FA20 is much less compared to that of a 3.5-liter V6. Considering that, a 2-1 exhaust will do just fine for small capacity four-cylinder engines.

BRZs come with dual-exit exhausts from the factory in the name of aesthetic symmetry. It’s a 2-1-2 system that splits right at the end to make it look more aggressive.

Dual exit exhaust on Subaru BRZ
If you’re a stickler for symmetry, dual exit exhausts are ideal for you.

It’s worth mentioning that dual exhausts have a distinct tone compared to single pipes. They’re typically quieter and do a much better job at muffling the drone.

That pretty much sums up the debate between single versus dual exit exhausts for the FA20 block. In conclusion, having either shouldn’t pose that big an advantage to performance. But, if anything, it will alter the visual symmetry.

The Best BRZ Exhaust Systems on a Budget

Photo of BRZ tail end showing exhaust muffler

There’s a seemingly endless variety of aftermarket parts available for the Subaru BRZ. They range from affordable to expensive to super-expensive.

Considering that project cars are basically a money pit, it’s a safe assumption that most enthusiasts are almost always on a tight budget. With that in mind, having access to high-quality parts that aren’t expensive is always a blessing.

The more you save on your exhaust upgrade, the more you’ll have left for other supporting upgrades.

So if you’re like us, and if you love good deals, the following list of affordable BRZ exhaust systems is for you.

Spec-D Tuning Catback

Manufacturer: Spec-D Tuning
Part Number: ‎MFCAT2-FRS12T-SD
Piping Diameter: 63.5 mm
Tip Size: 101.6 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2012-2017 BRZ
Buy On: Amazon

This is by far the most affordable exhaust you’ll come across for the BRZ. It’s relatively inexpensive, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to terrible quality.

For starters, the whole unit is made of 304 Stainless Steel, while the tips are Titanium. In terms of sound, it’s not too loud, nor is it too raspy. The tone is excellent to a point where you could say it sounds exotic. That said, don’t expect your BRZ to sound like an Italian V10.

Also, the system is one of the easiest to install. It’s a direct bolt-on exhaust and comes with all the gaskets and bolts included in the package.

GReddy RS-Race

Manufacturer: GReddy
Part Number: ‎10118409
Piping Diameter: 76 mm
Tip Size: 115 mm
Layout: Single Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013-2016 BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

Yet another bang for buck exhaust comes courtesy of Greddy. The RS-Race exhaust is priced really well considering how well built it is, and how suitable it is for competitive use. If you want track-performance on a budget, look no further.

Because it’s a single exit exhaust, it’s much lighter than the OEM setup. So expect a generous amount of weight savings and reduced exhaust backpressure.

But this also means that it’s going to be loud. Single exhausts are notorious for droning. The lack of a resonator only adds to this problem, making the setup uncomfortably loud during long runs on the freeway.

So if loudness is something that doesn’t bother you, this is the exhaust to get. GReddy also offers you the choice of variable tip lengths and styles in both stainless steel and Titanium.

ISR Performance Street

Manufacturer: ISR Performance (Formerly ISIS Performance)
Part Number: ‎IS-ST-FRS
Piping Diameter: 63.5 mm
Tip Size: 114.3 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013+ BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

With a well-built stainless steel body and an aggressive, bass-heavy rumble, the ISR performance exhaust is no less than a sensory treat. Compatible with 2013+ BRZs, this catback system is a real favorite in the community because it actually does improve performance.

The clever design allows for a significant reduction in backpressure leading to quicker exhaust exit. Dyno result shows an increment of 6.12 hp and 4.37 lb-ft of torque in the higher rev range.

Much like the exhaust systems mentioned above, the ISR Street comes with all the required hardware to install the exhaust system. Given that it’s a catback unit, there won’t be much difficulty in setting it up.

MXP Comp RS Catback

Manufacturer: MXP
Part Number: ‎MXCRFT86
Piping Diameter: 67.2 mm
Tip Size: 101.8 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013+ BRZ

For those on a tight budget, look no further. The MXP Comp RS is the best bang for buck exhaust for your BRZ, especially if you specifically want an aggressive sounding exhaust.

The only challenge with loud exhausts is droning. Loudness isn’t necessarily bad but exhausts that drone a lot can be a pain to live with. Thankfully, the Comp RS exhaust comes with resonators to mitigate some of the drone.

Build quality on this exhaust is exceptional as it’s constructed using T409 stainless steel. Plus, the design is very pleasing, especially the diagonally cut tips.

The package does come with all the hardware required for fitting the system. DIYers will be happy to see a well-laid-out instructions manual. If you aren’t mechanically inclined, we recommend consulting an expert mechanic.

GReddy Revolution RS

Manufacturer: GReddy
Part Number: 10118102
Piping Diameter: 76 mm
Tip Size: 115 mm
Layout: Single Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013- 2016 BRZ
Buy On: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

Another fantastic offering by Greddy, the Revolution RS exhaust is slightly more expensive and much louder than the RS Race exhaust mentioned earlier.

With a peak sound of 107 dB, the Revolution RS is certainly among the loudest exhausts currently available for the BRZ. Thankfully it comes with resonators that keep the drone at a minimum — unlike Greddy’s RS Race exhaust system.

Tipping the scales at just 21.5 lbs, the system offers a weight reduction of 17.4 lbs versus the stock exhaust which weighs 41 lbs.

Again, much like Tomei, the GReddy is also a single exit exhaust system. Plus, some owners have experienced the sound becoming scratchy at the top end.

HKS Hi-Power Single Exit

Manufacturer: HKS
Part Number: 32016-BT002
Piping Diameter: 75 mm
Tip Size: 97 mm
Layout: Single Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013- 2021 BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

HKS’s single exit version of their Hi-Power line of exhausts is both affordable and well built. It comes with two midpipes, 1 resonator, and 1 muffler to keep the drone at a minimum.

But in spite of that, expect to hear some drone at 3000 rpm. One thing we like about this exhaust is that it’s loud when you want it to be. Under 4000 rpm it remains relatively quiet, but as you climb up the revs, it gets louder and more aggressive.

Being a single exit exhaust, it weighs only 25.5 lbs. Not the lightest out there, but still significantly lighter than the OEM exhaust.

Invidia N1

Manufacturer: Invidia
Part Number: HS12SSTGTP
Piping Diameter: 60 mm
Tip Size: 101 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2012- 2019 BRZ
Buy On: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

The Invidia N1 is arguably one of the most popular exhausts in the BRZ community because of the way it sounds. Between 2000 and 4000 rpm it sounds deep and bass-heavy.

Beyond that, it just screams and does a great job of bringing out that classic flat-four sound. Pair it with a set of unequal length headers to take the sound to the next level.

Surprisingly, there isn’t any drone whatsoever because of the way Invidia designed this exhaust. Made of 304 Stainless Steel, the quality is top-notch, and the box comes with all the hardware required for the install.

Subaru BRZ Exhausts for Track Use

Modified Subaru BRZ with aftermarket exhaust

If the BRZ is your track car or even a weekend toy for that matter, you need an exhaust system that’s optimally designed to:

  • Reduce backpressure,
  • Improve exhaust scavenging and velocity,
  • Manage heat without warping or cracking, and
  • Withstand a ton of abuse.

That’s not to say that other exhausts on this list don’t do all this. But remember, if the exhaust is cheap, it’s likely that corners were cut during the manufacturing process.

Cheap exhausts are typically constructed using average quality welding and bending techniques. Material selection and R&D are two areas where costs are typically cut. These things are okay for daily driving but not for track use.

The exhaust systems listed up ahead deliver exceptional quality and tick all the right boxes when it comes to competitive use. That’s why they’re expensive.

Tomei Expreme Ti Titanium Type 80

Manufacturer: Tomei
Part Number: TB6090-SB03C
Piping Diameter: 80 mm
Tip Size: 115 mm
Layout: Single Exit Catback
Construction: Titanium
Compatibility: 2013- 2019 BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

When it comes to titanium exhaust, Tomei is the best in business. Their Expreme-Ti range is ultra-light at 16 lbs for the entire catback system. That’s a massive 20 lbs saved.

In terms of sound, it’s super loud. The exhaust doesn’t come with a resonator, which explains why it’s that loud. The sound isn’t raspy though, it’s rich with deep bass.

The Tomei Type 80 is rated at 97 dB with the silencer installed. However, it makes a peak sound of 104 dB at 5250 rpm if you delete the silencer.

However, there are a few shortcomings. Firstly, it’s a single-sided exhaust; this might put some of you off. Secondly, owners have complained about excessive droning, especially during highway rides.

Lastly, the exhaust can be too loud and obnoxious if you run a custom downpipe and mid-pipe setup. Keep in mind, it’s already loud, and if you take away the remaining bits of restriction, it’s only going to get louder.

Corsa Performance

Manufacturer: Corsa Performance
Part Number: 14864
Piping Diameter: 63.5 mm
Tip Size: 114.3 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2012- 2020 BRZ
Buy On: Amazon | Enjuku Racing

Widely regarded as one of the best sounding exhaust systems for the BRZ, the Corsa Performance catback is sure to bring a smile to your face when you hear it the first time.

The Corsa’s muffler utilizes its patented RSC (Reflective Sound Cancellation) technology. This allows for an aggressive sound under hard acceleration along with a drone-free experience at cruising speed.

ARK DT-S

Manufacturer: ARK Performance
Part Number: SM1202-0113D
Piping Diameter: 63.5 mm
Tip Size: 114.3 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013+ BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

The ARK DT-S is the most expensive on this list. That said, the exhaust does come with a lot of unique attributes that justify its price tag.

The beautifully crafted mandrel bends and x-pipe provide an even flow, allowing enhanced volume and improved performance. ARK claims gains of up to 9 whp and 8 lb-ft.

The DT-S exhaust system doesn’t drone thanks to the use of a Helmholtz resonator. There is no rasp either, and the sound quality remains top-notch, especially during cold starts.

The downside is that it’s expensive. At this price point, you’d expect a Titanium exhaust. However, the DT-S is made from 304 Stainless Steel, which is a bit of a letdown.

If money is no issue, the fully polished look of the ARK DT-S is sure to find your fancy. But, given that exhausts spend most of their time underneath the car, that won’t be its best selling point.

Fujitsubo Authorize R

Manufacturer: Fujitsubo
Part Number: FJ-560-23111
Piping Diameter: 60.5 mm
Tip Size: 117 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013+ BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

A company straight out of Japan, Fujitsubo has garnered quite a reputation in the world of aftermarket exhaust. Their Authorize R range for the ZN6 platform is interesting, to say the least.

Quality-wise, everything is top-notch. The fit and finish are impeccable, and the way it makes the needle more eager to meet the redline is very impressive.

The reason why we used the word “interesting” is that this exhaust is too quiet. Almost to a point where you can hear the engine but not the exhaust!

Remember that this is a feature, not a flaw. Fujitsubo intentionally designed the exhaust this way, they’re truly masters of their craft.

At 33.7 lbs it’s not exactly light, but it sure is lighter than the stock exhaust.

One could argue that the Tomei Expreme is better for high-performance applications because it’s lighter, but do you really want to use hearing protection every time you take to the canyons or the track?

Overall, we love the Authorize R exhaust. Get yours with polished tips.

Perrin Dual Tip

Manufacturer: PERRIN Performance
Part Number: PSP-EXT-365BR
Piping Diameter: 63.5 mm
Tip Size: 101.6 mm
Layout: Dual Exit Catback
Construction: Stainless Steel
Compatibility: 2013+ BRZ
Buy On: Enjuku Racing

If you like future-proofing your exhaust upgrades, PERRIN Performance is the one to rely on. They really do think ahead and keep cross-compatibility in mind with their exhaust products.

Their dual exit exhaust bolts right up to the OEM BRZ overpipe without any trouble. If you wish to install their aftermarket overpipe at any point in the future, you can do that very easily. They even provide bolts that allow you to attach this exhaust with their aftermarket overpipe.

In terms of sound, the exhaust sits right between “too quiet” and “adequately loud”. It’s quiet enough to not attract any trouble, but loud enough to let you know that your exhaust system is not stock.

It comes with a resonated mid-pipe which you could easily swap out with their aftermarket un-resonated midpipe if you want the exhaust to be more lively.

PERRIN Performance makes 2.5″ (63.5mm) and 3.0″ (76.2 mm) variants of this exhaust.

The one listed above is the 2.5″ version which we recommend if you plan on staying naturally aspirated. For turbo or supercharged applications, we recommend going with the 3.0″ (76.2 mm) variant.

Our Top 3 Favorites

Single exit exhaust on modified BRZ from Sweden

This brings us to the end of the list. With so many compelling options to choose from, some confusion is to be expected.

For instance, the Fujitsubo Authorize R is a quality piece of craftsmanship, but the price tag might put some people off. The cheaper Spec-D is a great budget option, but the quality is questionable.

The Tomei Expreme Ti is perfect for track use, but the loudness is sure to attract some unwanted attention.

All things considered, here are our top 3 recommendations.

Best Bang for Buck: MXP Comp RS

The MXP RS is the most value-for-money exhaust for the Subaru BRZ. It’s affordable, loud, and isn’t too raspy either. It’s a dual-exit system, so you don’t have to worry about ruining the car’s visual symmetry if that sort of thing bothers you.

Best for Track Use: Tomei Expreme Ti Titanium Type 80

Tomei is a brand that has proven itself time and again. Even though it’s a single exit exhaust, it suits the character of the FA20 boxer powerplant really well.

The Best Overall: HKS Hi-Power

Considering the price, quality, and sound, we’ve concluded that HKS Hi-Power is the best BRZ exhaust system overall. Aside from offering impressive material quality, the HKS Hi-Power nails the rest of the criteria by being surprisingly affordable.

Remember to keep in mind that an aftermarket exhaust system, like many other BRZ mods, may affect the price of insurance on your Subaru BRZ. It’s always best to tell your policy writer though, as if you don’t, it may void your coverage.

What are your thoughts on our conclusion? Is there another exhaust that should occupy the “best overall” position? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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