What Are the Key Factors to Consider When Upgrading the Exhaust System of a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution?

As car enthusiasts, you probably understand the importance of a well-functioning exhaust system in a vehicle. The exhaust system is more than just a tubing network that guides waste products away from the engine. It significantly impacts your car’s performance, fuel economy, and overall power. One car that has captured the hearts of many, with its high speed, turbocharged engine and sporty design, is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, often termed ‘evo’. In this article, we’ll delve into the key factors to consider while upgrading the exhaust system of this iconic vehicle.

1. Full System or Cat-Back?

Before you proceed with your exhaust system upgrade, you need to decide if you want to change the full system or go for the cat-back. The cat-back refers to changing the exhaust components from the catalytic converter back to the exhaust tips. It’s a popular choice for those who want to enhance the sound and look of their evo without going too deep into their pockets.

On the other hand, a full system upgrade will replace everything from the turbo downpipe to the exhaust tips. It’s a more comprehensive and expensive option, but it provides a significant increase in power and performance. The choice between these two will depend on your budget, performance objectives, and how comfortable you are with a complex installation.

2. Material Quality and Durability

When it comes to exhaust systems, the material quality is a critical factor to consider. The most common materials for high-performance exhaust systems are stainless steel and aluminized steel. Stainless steel is generally more expensive but offers superior resistance to rust and corrosion, making it a durable choice.

Aluminized steel, while cheaper, does not provide the same level of protection against the elements. It’s essential to bear in mind that the quality of your exhaust system will directly impact your car’s performance. So, do not compromise on the material quality for a few dollars saved.

3. Size and Diameter of the Exhaust Pipes

The size and diameter of your exhaust pipes play an essential role in determining your evo’s power output and fuel efficiency. A larger diameter pipe will generally provide a higher power level, especially at high speeds. However, if the pipe is too big, it can lead to a decrease in your car’s low-speed torque.

Smaller diameter pipes, on the other hand, will give a boost to your car’s low-speed torque but may restrict power at high speeds. Your choice of pipe size should align with the driving conditions your evo most frequently encounters.

4. Compatibility with Your Evo’s Engine

The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution comes in various models, each with a slightly different engine configuration. It’s essential to choose an exhaust system that’s compatible with your evo’s specific engine. An incompatible exhaust system will not only fail to deliver the desired performance boost but could potentially harm your engine.

You’ll also need to consider if the exhaust system is compatible with any other modifications you’ve made to your car, such as a change in the turbo size. An exhaust system that’s not compatible with your turbo or engine will lead to a decrease in power and fuel efficiency.

5. Legal Regulations and Emission Standards

Finally, don’t forget to consider your local laws and emission standards. Many places have strict regulations regarding the noise level of car exhausts. Exceeding these limits can result in hefty fines. Similarly, certain modifications may cause your car to fall short of emission standards.

Before you make any substantial changes to your exhaust system, ensure you’re aware of the relevant laws and regulations in your area. It’s also crucial to understand that some modifications might nullify your car’s warranty. Always check with your car manufacturer or a professional mechanic before proceeding with significant alterations.

In summary, upgrading the exhaust system of your Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution can unlock new levels of performance and speed. However, it’s a process that requires thoughtful consideration. Make sure to consider each of these factors thoroughly to ensure the upgrade enhances your car’s performance and continues to deliver a satisfying driving experience.

6. Exhaust Sound and Style Preferences

When thinking about upgrading the exhaust system of your Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, consider your preferences for the exhaust sound and style as well. After all, an exhaust upgrade is not just about performance and power, but it also personalizes your ride to match your style and taste.

The exhaust sound is largely determined by the muffler design, with options ranging from resonated to non-resonated. A resonated exhaust provides a deep, aggressive sound that many car enthusiasts prefer, while a non-resonated exhaust is quieter and hence more suitable for everyday use.

As for the style, many aftermarket exhaust systems come with different designs and finishes. You could go for a polished stainless steel exhaust for a sleek, modern look, or opt for a matte black finish for a more sporty appearance.

Remember, the exhaust system of your lancer evolution is not only a performance part but also an aesthetic component that significantly defines the character of your vehicle. Whether you’re looking for a beast-like roar or a subtle hum, make sure the exhaust sound and style complement your driving style and preferences.

7. Installation Process and Maintenance

The installation process and maintenance requirements of the exhaust system are also worth considering. Upgrading the exhaust system of your lancer evolution can be a complex task, especially if you’re going for a full system upgrade. It would be best if you had a quick view of the installation process to judge whether you can handle it yourself or will require professional help.

Moreover, aftermarket exhaust systems, especially those made of stainless steel, are more durable and require less maintenance than stock systems. However, they still need periodic checks for leaks, rust, and corrosion. A poorly maintained exhaust system can lead to decreased performance and even damage to your Mitsubishi Evo’s engine.

Keep in mind that post-installation, your exhaust system would need regular inspection and maintenance to keep it in peak condition. A well-maintained exhaust system will ensure that your evo ralliart or final edition continues to deliver optimal performance.


Upgrading the exhaust system of your Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution is a decision that can significantly impact your car’s performance, style, and sound. There are several factors to consider, including the type of upgrade, material quality, pipe size and diameter, compatibility with your evo’s engine, local laws and emission standards, exhaust sound and style preferences, and the installation and maintenance process.

In conclusion, selecting the right exhaust system for your lancer evolution should not be taken lightly. It’s important to take a comprehensive view, considering all these factors, before you decide on the upgrade. Whether you choose a stainless steel catback exhaust or a full system upgrade or a pipe kit, remember that the ultimate goal is to enhance your car’s performance and your overall driving pleasure. So, take your time, do your research, and make an informed decision that best suits your needs and preferences. Happy motoring!