Subscription Form

Top Gear’s Top 9: side exit exhausts

1. TVR Sagaris 2. Dodge Viper 3. Mercedes-McLaren SLR 4. Caterham Seven 5. Shelby Daytona Coupe 6. Mercedes-AMG…
Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts

1. TVR Sagaris

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • The TVR car had a striking appearance with aggressive exhausts. Its powerful 4.0-liter straight-six engine could generate intense power, sometimes causing discomfort to bystanders and drivers as it overwhelmed the rear tires.

2. Dodge Viper

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • Each bank of cylinders in the Viper has its own manifold and exhaust system. You’ll only hear the sound from five cylinders when the Viper revs. This unique setup allows the 8.3-liter Dodge Viper to produce a noise that resembles an Audi Quattro.

3. Mercedes-McLaren SLR

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • McLaren chose to route the exhaust pipes of the SLR models just behind the rear wheels despite the complexity and cost involved. This design decision was made to maintain the car’s aerodynamic performance by keeping the floor flat and preserving the rear diffuser. It also paid homage to the original 1950s SLR, featuring side pipes. This design was repeated in the SLR Stirling Moss roadster, a car that The Stig greatly admires, evident from the broad grin seen on his face.

4. Caterham Seven

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • Are you wondering how to distinguish between a Caterham Seven with an older K Series engine and a newer Ford engine? Look at where the exhaust exits. In the older models with the Rover engine, the passenger tends to experience louder noise. In the current Ford Duratec models, the driver might accidentally hit their shins when getting in and out of the car.

5. Shelby Daytona Coupe

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • What’s more impressive than a side-exit exhaust? Having two side-exit exhausts. Even better, imagine two on each side, especially when they’re belting out the roar of a powerful 390 horsepower 4.7-liter Ford V8 engine. Only six of these original cars were made in the mid-1960s, and they fetch a premium of millions of dollars whenever they appear at auctions.

6. Mercedes-AMG G63

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • SUVs typically don’t feature side-exit pipes. These pipes are vulnerable to damage from off-road impacts and can be intimidating for children in the back seats. However, they have been a signature feature of AMG versions of the G-Wagen since the G55 AMG introduced them in 2004.

7. Jaguar XKSS

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • The Jaguar XKSS, a road-legal version of the D-type, was a limited production of sixteen cars in 1957. Originally, Jaguar planned to build 25, but a factory fire destroyed the remaining nine. Designed like a Le Mans race car for the road, the XKSS had side pipes that got very hot and sometimes emitted flames. Jaguar added protective plates to the pipes before selling them to the public.

8. Chevrolet Corvette C2

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • From 1965 to 1967, Chevrolet offered an optional ‘off-road exhaust’ package for the Stingray. This wasn’t for off-roading like today’s supercars; instead, it enhanced performance on the racetrack. Despite its affordable price of $131, it was a rare upgrade, chosen by only one out of every ten Corvette buyers.

9. Singer DLS-T

Top Gear’s Top 9: Side Exit Exhausts
  • Even after six months, the turbocharged Singer car remains as impressive as ever. It uses side pipes to direct exhaust components away from its rear diffuser, a tricky task in a rear-engine vehicle. However, Singer’s efforts in solving this packaging challenge are greatly appreciated.


Top Gear’s top 9 side exit exhausts showcase the roar and style these designs bring to performance vehicles. Whether for aesthetic appeal or functional benefits, these exhaust systems add a distinct character to the cars they adorn. Discover more about these iconic automotive features that enthusiasts and drivers alike appreciate for their unique blend of form and function.


Q1: What are side exit exhausts?

Ans: Side exit exhausts refer to exhaust systems where the pipes terminate at the sides of the vehicle, usually just ahead of the rear wheels or along the car’s sides. This setup is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal and to enhance performance by reducing exhaust back pressure.

Q2: Why choose side exit exhausts over traditional rear exits?

Ans: Side exit exhausts can offer several advantages. They can improve ground clearance, reduce weight compared to complex rear exhaust setups, and sometimes enhance aerodynamics. They can also provide a unique sound and appearance that many enthusiasts find appealing.

Q3: Do side exit exhausts affect performance?

Ans: Yes, side exit exhausts can improve performance by reducing back pressure and allowing for better exhaust gas flow. However, the actual impact on performance depends on the specific design of the exhaust system and how well it integrates with the vehicle’s engine tuning.

Ans: The legality of side exit exhausts varies by region and local regulations. Some places may be prohibited due to noise regulations or other vehicle modification laws. It’s important to check local laws and regulations before installing side exit exhausts.

Q5: Do side exit exhausts make the car louder?

Ans: When designed to enhance the exhaust note, side exit exhausts can make your car louder. Various factors, including the type of engine, the design of the exhaust system, and the configuration of the muffler, influence the unique sound they produce.

Q6: Are side exit exhausts more expensive than traditional rear exits?

Ans: The cost of side exit exhaust systems can vary depending on factors such as the vehicle make and model, the materials used, and the complexity of the installation. Sometimes, they may be more expensive due to custom fabrication or specialized components.

Q7: Can side exit exhausts be installed on any car?

Ans: Side exit exhausts can be installed on many vehicles but often require custom fabrication and modification. The feasibility depends on the vehicle’s chassis design, available space, and the desired aesthetic and performance goals.

Ans: Many high-performance and sports cars feature side exit exhausts as standard or optional equipment. Examples include the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Dodge Viper, Porsche 911 GT3 RS, and rally cars.

Q9: Do side exit exhausts require more maintenance?

Ans: Generally, side exit exhausts do not require significantly more maintenance than traditional rear exits. Regular inspection for leaks, corrosion, and proper alignment is recommended to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Q10: Can side exit exhausts improve fuel efficiency?

Ans: Side exit exhausts typically focus more on enhancing performance and sound rather than directly improving fuel efficiency. However, by reducing exhaust back pressure and optimizing airflow, they can potentially contribute to slight improvements in fuel efficiency, especially in conjunction with other performance upgrades.

Related Posts
Hyundai Creta
Read More

Hyundai Creta

Introduction 2024 has started with a bang with the update of one of the most popular models in…