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  • Writer's pictureEddy

FL5 Series, Vol 2: Exhaust

Exhaust systems are one of my favorite first mods. It just adds to the experience of having a fun car. They sound cool, look cool, install is usually DIY friendly, and you get some performance. Exhausts are also emissions friendly (for us Cali folks), although sound level laws are another story.

Most cars come with pretty quiet OEM setups. The FL5 is no exception. This is largely due to manufacturers needing to cater to a wide customer base and global regulatory requirements. We are a minority that like those fast and furious sounds.


What I Went With - AWE Touring Exhaust System

Full disclaimer, I was sponsored by AWE and lucky enough to receive one of their first production units. However, that only went as far as giving an honest review upon release. I'm here almost a year later to tell you that I still love it. And 100% enjoy it - day to day, around town, and in the canyons (hopefully at the track too).

@Hondaprojason has a great video on his YouTube that goes into detail about the system, including interviews with AWE. His FL5 was used as the development car, so definitely check that out.

But back to my experiences. The Touring system consists of a front pipe, single resonator, and muffler. If you opt for the Track edition, it deletes the muffler. The Touring version fit everything I was looking for. Full 3" piping and 304 stainless steel. Weight savings here isn't a priority for me, so personally titanium wasn't a must have. That said, it's still 5 lbs lighter than stock. Looks are subjective, but the muffler and tips fit the FL5 rear so well. I opted for the diamond black tips and IMO it gives off an aggressive, yet classy vibe. The tip size fills the bumper cutout perfectly.

Sound wise, the Touring system is right on the money. It's moderately spicy when you are on the throttle. When you're cruising it's subdued and doesn't intrude on in-cabin conversation, but it purrs enough to let you know it's there. This is thanks to their 180 degree muffler technology. Per AWE, the muffler is tuned in a way that sound waves bounce off each other within the chamber, to cancel out and combat drone. Admittedly, there is a little drone that comes along when you put some load on the engine (like going through hilly highways). But in general, there is very little of it. When you are cruising at highway speeds and light on the throttle, things are just right. Got a chance to verify this on a few 3+ hour road trips with the fam. No complaints about the exhaust. Although wifey was still mad we didn't take the SUV.

One thing to note is that AWE deletes the factory valve system. They give you something to plug the connector with and secure the wire away (No error codes). That was likely a decision based on their muffler design and cost. And as a customer, it's another personal preference thing. I've had valved systems on other cars, and it really just depends. The way AWE tuned their Touring system, I don't miss the valve function at all.

Last point to visit is reputation. Here's an elephant in the room. A lot of us with FK8/FL5s are JDM fanatics. That's why we got a Type-R. There's plenty of manufacturers out there that fit the bill. Spoon, Greddy, HKS, R1 Titan to name a few. They've got the history and reputation of producing quality products. If JDM is a criteria for you, that's kind of a hard stop. And setting a Spoon exhaust next to an AWE one is an unfair comparison. As Spoon is in a different tier altogether.

If you open your mind to domestic brands, AWE has a history of making a great products as well. They've supported the FK8 and numerous other platforms. They perform extensive R&D and have excellent customer service. If you google AWE related forum posts, Facebook posts, etc., you can find many instances of an AWE rep appearing and offering help. @Sarariordan_, a performance specialist, pops up a lot. You don't see that from many companies. She helped me throughout the sponsorship process, is super knowledgeable, and is a true automotive enthusiast. If you're reading this Sara, huge shoutout to you.

To top it all off, AWE offers a lifetime warranty on their system. If you live in North America it should be pretty easy to get support/parts should you need it.

Okay, I've talked way too much about exhausts. And probably just scratched the surface on the topic. Key takeaways: 1) I love my AWE Touring 2) Exhausts are mostly user preference 3) Just don't buy an eBay special

Thanks for reading. Comments? Take them over to my IG page: @FreshFL5


📸: @freshfl5, @_hkcr_,

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