So after owning the BCS PowerValve Exhaust for the past year, I decided it was time for a change and to try something different. I know many of you asked why the change, and my answer is for a variety of reasons. The primary factor is that I'm simply not one to keep my car the same and I enjoy just trying different hardware. Some would say I have a problem -- I wouldn't disagree A couple other reasons involved comments from the wife about the car sounding too loud sometimes, this was more true in the colder winter months than the summer. The boost actuated valve was great as I could keep the car quiet most of the time when she was in it, but it wasn't always possible going up hills, etc.. Thirdly, while I loved the sound of the BCS with the valve open under WOT, the un-muffled sound reminded me of my old B18 civic and I'm not sure that was the sound I was really after.. there were times where I loved the sound of the DSG fart and it's pops and bangs - but other times the 'maturing' side of me thought it somewhat childish. I think this winter my wife actually called my call a ricer, to which I couldn't really deny. It's not that the BCS wasn't a great hybrid of an exhaust, it's just that I decided to get a different note out of the car than what the BCS had to offer.
I had thought about going back to the stock exhaust with a resonator delete, especially since BCS had a full 3" resonator delete available that they could make 3" coming off my Unitronic down-pipe but then I thought the stock exhaust would still simply be too quiet for me... albeit I'm sure my wife would have loved it. So I went back to the drawing board to figure out which exhaust could possibly be that perfect match for my car - something louder than stock, but not the 'ricer' sound that my wife called it under load.
Now, previously, I was really into the Cobra exhaust and was set on ordering one that was resonated and valved - however, I had a really hard time sourcing one that would ship to the US.
So my alternative option was the Scorpion exhaust - from the videos I saw online it seemed to be even quieter than the Cobra exhaust, but since it's really impossible to really know how an exhaust sounds until you hear it in person - I went ahead and ordered the resonated/valved Scorpion exhaust from AwesomeGTI.com as they ship to the USA and take PayPal. The Scorpion exhaust is also one of the few who actually have dyno proven results of making power even with the stock down pipe! The exhaust arrived in less than a week, which surprised me as I remember the BCS taking 4-5 weeks from the day I placed the order. UPS hit me with a large package surcharge fee which I wasn't expecting, but it ended up being around $40 extra dollars and COD via check.
I also decided to purchase the AWE remote so I can control the exhaust valves from inside the car with the push of a button. This turned out to be one of the greatest investments I ever made!
So install day was here!
I went back to James over at CSP in Norwood, NJ - this guy seriously makes this stuff look easy. I felt bad for him because he was sick that day, but he still did an amazing job with the install.
I picked up an APR Universal DP kit, so I would have a full 3" going into the Scorpion. The BCS was left with the stock Unitronic DP to stock CB piping, so this time I was going to have a full 3" - James did some quick welding and mated up the DP to the exhaust perfectly.
IMG_0973 by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
IMG_0974 by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
IMG_0975 by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
We decided to turn the tips sideways to match the direction of the bumper--- I like it!
IMG_0976 by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
The Scorpion exhaust doesn't ship with it's own valves as it uses the OE valves from the stock exhaust. I removed those very easily as it's just 3 8mm nuts on each side, then they just drop into the Scorpion exhaust.
Installing the AWE remote was insanely easy. Plug the driver side wiring into the control box, plug 1 wire into the driver side valve, then run the cable to the other valve. They also provide a plug for the passenger side harness so it's capped off. Zip tie the cabling and mount the control box and you are done!
Pushing the On button will open the valves and off will close the valves, it's that easy.
The valves are closed by default and we could tell that the Scorpion exhaust was quieter than the BCS during free revving. So far so good, but was it going to be too quiet?
Valves closed video
IMG_0978 by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
After the install we went out for a quick spin and heard a nasty rattling sound - turns out the resonator was slightly rubbing against the driveshaft. Back onto the lift we went and James made the necessary adjustments to get the resonator to properly clear it and prevent further rubbing.
Back on the road again!
So there is a sound that a Porsche makes that I've always just loved - it's this muffled exhaust note that you can tell is just moving a ton of air - it's as though the engineers were just holding back to make the exhaust noise compliant to federal laws, but they get as close to that limit as possible. It's not a loud obnoxious sound, but a distinguished yet muffled sound.
This is where I find the Scorpion sound signature lands with the valves open but breaks through those legal limits, all the while maintaining a 'muffled sound'. It's definitely louder than stock, but the sound signature is all together different and unique, it has this howl to it that's not obnoxious or ricer at all and could probably pass as a stock exhaust on a performance car even if you were going WOT passed a police station.
Sound clip - valves Open
My Movie by soulrider4ever, on Flickr
So what about Drone? The real test with our cars is highway drone. If you go to about 70mph and just let off the throttle and let the car decelerate in 6th gear down to 60mph is for me the ultimate 'test' of drone.
With the valves open - to me, it's unbearable. If I didn't have the valved version of this exhaust - I would have driven right back to James and have him put the BCS exhaust back on immediately. The BCS handled drone beautifully off boost and going to the Scorpion I realized I was spoiled from how well the BCS dealt with it on these cars.
But then enters the AWE remote. I push the off button and immediately the car just settles down and the drone is almost entirely removed - I mean within 1-2db of what the BCS was capable of - which is no small feat!
I used an app on my iPhone to measure the differences in db between the BCS and Scorpion - see the notes below.
idle - 57db
6th gear at 60mph 0% throttle - 78db (this is even quieter in the warmer climates - fyi)
6th gear at 75mph 0% throttle - 69db
WOT - force valve closed 82db normal open under boost - 92db
idle - 57db
6th gear at 60mph 0% throttle - 79db (valves closed) 83db with valves open (yikes!)
6th gear at 75mph 0% throttle - 71db (valves closed) 75db with valves open
WOT - valves closed - 84db, open - 89db
In conclusion - this exhaust may be way to quiet for a lot of people, but for me - it's just right and I love having 3" all the way through with proven power gains. The added flexibility of having a 'wife mode' with the AWE remote really just sold me on this exhaust. I'm really in love with that Jekyl & Hyde feature - and even in valve open mode at WOT it's not obnoxiously loud by any means. The DSG fart is almost eliminated with the Scorpion exhaust, which is bitter sweet for me.. however, I'm not unhappy with how this exhaust sounds under WOT with the valves open.
The wife simply stated when I opened the valves and went WOT - it just sounds like it's moving a lot of air.. well she's not wrong
Here are a couple YouTube videos of the exhaust (not from me FYI) -
, on an S3 -
And the Dyno (stock tune)
Dynograph - Volkswagen Golf 7R (1) by soulrider4ever, on Flickr