These days, a huge variety of funky exhaust tip shapes have been appearing on cars. Thin rectangles, ovals, trapezoids…you name it, and it’s been done, particularly at the expensive end of the car scale. The thing is, these weird and wonderful shapes often aren’t practical for mounting onto the end of an exhaust system, so what you’re actually seeing is nothing more than a fake bit of trim stuffed into the bumper, hiding a smaller, conventional circular pipe behind.
Sure, there are reasons other than styling for fitting these - some are designed to shield bumpers from heat and soot - but the fakery is at times so obvious, that the whole setup looks naff and cheap. Here are some of the worst offenders:
Oval pipes are something of an RS tradition, but look closely at any of the modern RS Audis and you’ll see that the ovals are nothing but heat shields hiding four smaller pipes. It’s very obvious, and looks poor.
What you’re looking at is a pre-facelift, first-generation V10 R8. These had oval exhaust pipes to differentiate them from the V8 models and their quad setups, but as you can see here, the ‘pipes’ are just trim pieces in the bumper. Post-facelift models all have the same round trims regardless of engines, still with a set of regular pipes quite clearly sitting behind.
This one’s pretty upsetting, but we’ll forgive Lexus for the transgression. While the new RC-F features the same diagonally stacked exhaust arrangement, this time the pipes you see sticking out the back are actually connected to the back box.
Not an expensive car per-se, but it is the range-topping Octavia, and the naff fake trims bugged me on our old long-term test car to such an extent that I feel I have to mention them. It’s so blatant, you wonder why they bothered. It’s even worse on the diesel model, where only one side actually has a back box hiding behind the trim.
The previous generation Octavia featured a simple, single back-box with two exits, and looked all the better for it.
All C-Classes have ‘floating’ exhaust trim bits, but - as you can see above - they don’t even have any gasses flowing through them on some diesels. Yep, they’re entirely blocked off and are there for nothing but show.
Merc’s performance models don’t escape, either, as those neat little trapezoid trims on the back of the AMG GT are quite obviously fake.
Sadly, even Ferrari is guilty of exhaust fakery, as shown by the older, pre-turbocharged California.
Any other crimes against exhaust fashion you can think of? Post them in the comments!