Mustangs always sound good. Even V6s. But while the tone is there, the volume is often not. How many times have you seen a Mustang coming toward you but couldn’t hear it until it was going away? Your Mustang does not have to be one of those cars. Below you’ll find some perfect options for getting a killer sound, and even more power, out of your 2015 Mustang, with an aftermarket exhaust. We’ll start, as always, with the little guy.
Four-pots have never had the natural advantage in terms of exhaust note. Unless you’re running a rally Subaru or something else carefully tuned, you stand a good chance of falling into one of two categories: “buzzy” and “fart can.” But that’s not always the case. Magnaflow put a little more effort into their systems to give your 2.3 a deeper, threatening tone, and it wasn’t as easy as you might think. Magnaflow had to tune against interior resonance, also known as drone, so your own car wouldn’t annoy the snot out of you. It’s supposed to be your friend.
They also wanted to open up flow and make way for more power and torque. Since stock systems are designed to be nice and quiet, they necessarily create backpressure in the exhaust system. The engine has to work harder against this pressure, and that costs you horsepower. That power would be put to better use…maybe…turning the wheels.
Finally, they wanted to save weight. Right in the middle of the stock exhaust system there’s a big, heavy resonator, known colloquially among Stangers as “The Suitcase.” We don’t need that, right?
Magnaflow didn’t when they put together their incredible cat-back systems for the Mustang. First, they did away with the resonator. Magnaflow has tuned all sound within the tubes and the mufflers. Next, they offered a wide gauge tube with mandrel bends for a smooth flow and more power. Finally, they added some custom mufflers specifically tuned for the EcoBoost Mustang to get the best sound. The results were staggering.
The Competition Series produces a strong, aggressive tone that’s sure to turn some heads. Especially if those heads have their priorities straight. Magnaflow designed it as a track and racing tribute system (thus the name), but already many EcoBoost owners have come to prefer it for the street. The tone is deep and sonorous, a perfect pitch to harmonize with the whistle of your turbo.
But maybe you’re looking for something a little more tame, with the same tone and character as the Competition series but without all the volume. That’s where the Street Series comes in. It’s exactly the same design, so you’ll still get the horsepower and torque benefits, but the mufflers are slightly larger so your fussy neighbors won’t try to tar and feather you.
Both systems feature a dual-exit design with brilliantly stainless 4.5″ tips that fill out the exhaust ports in your rear valance perfectly. Magnaflow also designed the system to install using clamps, so you can put it together yourself using basic hand tools. If you already have a performance cat installed, or you’re a natural rebel and you’re running catless, Magnaflow also offers an axle-back Competition Series.
The Coyote 5.0 has been around for a few years, so if you bought the GT rather than the EcoBoost or V6, you have a few more options. Magnaflow also offers the Street and Competition series cat-back systems for the GT. And the dyno sheet for the Competition series is impressive. Magnaflow found it could free up30 hp and 25 lb-ft of torque. That’s amazing for a bolt-on system. They didn’t cough up any numbers for the Street series (or the EcoBoost), but since only the mufflers differ on the Street series, it’s sure to be close behind. Dropping the suitcase resonator also saves the Mustang 30 lbs.
But Magnaflow isn’t the only player in the GT game. Gibson Performance also threw their hat into the ring, and it’s a big hat. Gibson only offers one system for the GT, a Cat-Back Performance Duel Exhaust setup, but it’s available in shiny stainless or murderous black ceramic coat. And they just edge Magnaflow out for gains, winning 32 hp and 34 lb-ft of torque back from the engine. Gibson also drops the resonator for an x-pipe configuration. Gibson is a great choice for modders on a tight budget, since they tend to run less expensive than the competition and still have a lifetime warranty. And the sound…well, just listen.
What’s the best? It’s up to you. Your own preferences will make that determination. But we want you to let us know what you prefer. Drop your suggestions in the comments, and come back next week when we talk power programmers. As always, stay tuned, because tuned is always better.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.