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      Today, 03:21 AM   #1
kitw's Avatar

Drives: 2011 E92 Jet Black M3 (#6!)
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bay Area, CA

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My new favorite exhaust setup.

Just picked up my 6th E9x M3, replacing my F80 M3. (which I just sold)

I've owned:
2011 E90 M3 DCT
2011.5 E93 M3 DCT
2012 E92 M3 6sp
2013 E92 M3 DCT
2011 E90 M3 6sp
2011 E92 M3 DCT (the most recent)

The F80 platform is a fantastic car. It's lighter, much nicer inside (I got the full leather interior) as long as you like the iPad stuck on the dash look, the electronics are better, the chassis is stiffer, the seats are cooler looking and more adjustable, the driving position is superior, the steering wheel is better, etc.

But, damn. It just didn't light a fire underneath me like the s65. It is wheezy and while BMW has done an amazing job tuning out turbo lag, it still is there. You still feel like there is an orange between the throttle pedal and your foot, because you just aren't quite precisely connected to it. I even tried running a couple ECU tuners and the ESS linear tune was my favorite, made the car pull very hard up high without feeling like it fell on it's face at 6000 rpm. But, it's not an NA engine, it never will be and it's faster and much more efficient as a result (I've seen as high as 37mpg driving slowly back from the airport late at night)

Great car, but just not for me. After a series of Porsches, and Audi R8 and some other cars, I've come back to the E92 M3 and I'm pretty pleased with it. I wish the seat was 1" lower, I wish the steering wheel telescoped out a bit more, but the motor is fantastic, it is quiet and comfy on the freeway and feels very special in that it has a very exotic feeling motor. I love the feeling of power building higher and higher the higher you rev the motor, how it urges you into blasting past people at 8000 rpm just because you can. The F80 had much greater midrange squirt, and was faster overall, especially with the tune (mine put down 505whp on a Dynjet) but never pushed my buttons like the S65 did. My R8 was a v8 and reminded me of how much I loved the S65 (although the R8's V8 is much punchier in the midrange, and sounds very different from an S65)

Anyhow, I have a bit of a problem - when I'm not changing cars 6-7 times a year, I end up buying a lot of parts. I've had over 30 different exhaust combinations on my E9x M3s. I keep coming back to the Corsa as a love hate relationship. I love how it keeps the drone out and the interesting exhaust note it gives, it has a very harmonic warble as you rev the motor at light throttle, and a beautiful tenor roar at higher rpms.

But, Corsa put on horrible looking tips, that are cut too angled and tuck underneath the bumper. This wouldn't be the end of the world, but they also saddled the stupid exhaust with these huge cans that hang down worse than stock or the BMW Performance exhaust, like hippo testicles strapped onto a squirrel. They look terrible.

To their credit, they use high quality mandrel bends, include heat shields near the diff, and are pretty easy to install. Corsa makes them out of a quality steel that should last forever, none of this polished crap steel out of overseas manufacturers, you get large fat sturdy gas purged mig welds from a budweiser drinking MURICAN. They are very nicely built if you know what to look for in an exhaust from a longevity point of view.

And flow. Corsa uses a completely straight through muffler, with helmholtz resonators before the muffler (similar to our stock design although the stock chambers are part of the main huge canister) and reflective tuning to cancel drone. It works really well. The exhaust is quiet when you want it to be, with none of the low RPM boominess you get in other exhausts, and still makes a great noise outside. My big complaint about it was that it simply wasn't loud enough when you were really caning the car - sounded great from outside but inside, induction noise drowned out the exhaust (which is fairly typical, the Akrapovic and Eisenmann Sport suffer from the same fate... and most other exhausts are louder.)

I had corresponded with Roman from ESS about their X pipe - I knew that moving the X forward was good but there are a few things I didn't like about their X pipe - number one, they put the cats in the stock position, which I have always thought was not ideal for power. But, they also move the X further forward and have two large resonators, and the sound their full exhaust system made was very nice. I decided to go for it, and ordered the X pipe as well. I ran it with another rear system (AFE) and was amazed at how nice it sounded, you don't get the tinny 3000 rpm resonance in the Akrapovic, and it made for a very exotic sounding exhaust note without the unrefined crackle and rasp that you get out of a resonator-less exhaust. The high flow cats work, when they are hot, you don't get nearly as much smell out of the rear of the car as you do catless, and the power feels pretty good. It dynoed similarly to the Akrapovic at a dyno day, so I was feeling pretty good about it.

Combine that with the Corsa and you have what I'd consider the perfect e9x exhaust. First of all, the Corsa cancels all the bass. If you want a rumbly MURICAN or AMG sounding V8, this is not the setup for you. I want my exhaust higher pitched, and as exotic sounding as possible and this meets that goal. Compared to the last rear section, it took all the bass out, and my family likes being in the car a lot more now. It is decently loud when you stomp on it, but shuts up to a very slight hum at cruise. And, the X pipe gives the exhaust enough additional volume to be heard at higher rpms.

I couldn't be happier with the exhaust from a performance and sound perspective but I did have to modify it somewhat to meet my aesthetic desires. The cans I simply sanded and painted with high temp coating. It's very robust and matte black, so it makes them much less obvious, especially at night where the shiny Corsa cans could easily be seen. I also replaced the exhaust tips, I picked up some 3.5" dual exhaust tips, with a 2.5" inlet. These are a very nice rolled exhaust tip and I think they look great - they fill up the outlets nicely and fit well. I had an exhaust shop hack off the tips and weld them on, and he did a great job. (The new tips look like they face outward in a few of the attached pics but it's only because I was standing very close to the car)

Anyway, I'm very happy with this setup! Pics are of the original tips, a comparison between the new ones and the Corsa tips and then the finished product before and after painting the cans. (hopefully you can ignore my filthy car in the 5th pic)
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by kitwetzler, on Flickr
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      Today, 03:48 AM   #2
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redpriest's Avatar

Drives: 2011 E92 M3 DCT/ZCP
Join Date: Apr 2014
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You weren't kidding about it looking like hippo testicles. You didn't raise them in the last picture? Maybe it's just an optical illusion of the matte paint you put on them but it looks much better.

Sounds like a 4.6L stroker is in your future.
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      Today, 04:14 AM   #3
Lieutenant Colonel
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Drives: Goggomobil
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Kangaroo land

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Sounds like a very interesting setup. Any chance of posting a video clip as a teaser?
E92 M3 2007 - ///PE with Test Pipes and BPM Stage II; CF Interior & Splitters; CIC with Connected Drive
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      Today, 06:07 AM   #4
Second Lieutenant

Drives: 2011 M3 E90
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Portland, OR

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Yo bro, if you aren't a Car and Driver, Motor Trend etc writer or similar you should be...Your post was like reading something out of European Car...great verbiage, precise analysis, and an equal presentation of the pros and cons... Something that is often times lacking when somebody is writing a piece and wants to convince the reader that their presentation or argument is the right course of action.
I have to admit that after reading your article and many others like it about the Corsa exhaust I too was convinced that this was the right move for me. Not just for the price point, rather because many who've either owned one, heard one, or driven in a car with one, all say the same thing; that the exhaust notes are spot on. As you've already alluded to the biggest complaint deals with the aesthetics, and I for one feel much as you do, that aesthetics can be modified to suit ones taste.
Kudos on your exquisite detail and writing style...Count me as a fan
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      Today, 06:29 AM   #5
Bimmer-M3's Avatar

Drives: e90
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: ---

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Great write up man.. I love reading your posts and reviews. Keep them comin
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      Today, 07:15 AM   #6
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Drives: E92 M3
Join Date: May 2013
Location: M Land

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Very good write up and insights
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      Today, 08:39 AM   #7
BrewRifle's Avatar

Drives: 2011 MCB E92 M3
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Austin, Texas

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2013 BMW X3 35i  [0.00]
2009 BMW 135i  [4.00]
Very intriguing read and congrats on the coming back to E9X M3 generation (it's the better one). Post up a video of that sexy combo.
2011 Monte Carlo Blue E92 ///M3 - ESS VT2-625
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