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Why a Downpipe is the #1 Upgrade for Your BMW?

Why a Downpipe is the #1 Upgrade for Your BMW


If you’re the owner of a turbocharged BMW like an M3, M4, 335i or 535i, you’re likely always on the hunt for more power. While intakes, tunes, and exhausts can all help in that regard, one of the best bang-for-your-buck upgrades is a high-flow downpipe. Here’s an in-depth look at how a downpipe can unlock more horsepower and torque from your Bimmer.

1 High-Flow Downpipe

What is a Downpipe?

The downpipe connects your turbocharger to the rest of the exhaust system. It’s essentially the first section of piping that exhaust gases pass through after being expelled from the turbo. 

2 Downpipe

On most factory turbo cars, the OEM downpipe is extremely restrictive to keep sound and emissions in check. This creates an exhaust bottleneck that seriously hampers performance.


By installing an aftermarket downpipe with larger piping diameter and smoother bends, you can significantly reduce exhaust backpressure. This allows exhaust gases to escape more freely, optimizing turbo spool-up and engine efficiency.

3 aftermarket downpipe

Downpipe Design Features

To maximize gains, an aftermarket downpipe needs to be well-engineered and constructed from quality materials. Here are some key features to look for:

- Mandrel bent piping – Maintains smooth interior surface for unrestricted flow
- 304 stainless steel – Provides durability and corrosion resistance
- Increased piping diameter – Reduces exhaust restriction compared to OEM downpipe
- Optimized routing – Strategic bend placement avoids tight angles
- Proper catalyst – High-flow or test pipe options depending on emissions laws

Dyno-Proven Power Gains
Properly designed downpipes can add 15-25hp and up to 30lb-ft of torque at the wheels on turbocharged BMWs. These significant gains are seen throughout the entire powerband, so you’ll experience better acceleration and stronger pulls once you install a downpipe.

Dyno graphs routinely show impressive peak-to-peak power gains after a downpipe upgrade. The turbo spools up quicker and builds boost faster, unleashing more power with every gear.

Combine it With a Cat-Back Exhaust 
For even bigger gains, pair your new downpipe with a cat-back exhaust system upgrade. This eliminates the final restrictive component in the stock exhaust. Together, the downpipe and exhaust allow for free-flowing exhaust gases from the turbo to the tailpipes.

4 Cat-Back Exhaust

Putting a high-flow downpipe on your turbo BMW is one of the most rewarding upgrades you can make. The power gains are immediately felt under hard acceleration. And you’ll love the turbo whistles and blow-off valve sounds from under the hood! 


Post time: Nov-02-2023