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Initial Review: AWE Exhaust on '13 S4 S-Tronic

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Initial Review: AWE Exhaust on '13 S4 S-Tronic

Old 11-28-2012, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2012
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Default Initial Review: AWE Exhaust on '13 S4 S-Tronic

I just installed AWE’s exhaust (OEM DPs) on my S4 S-Tronic, and since I did a great deal of research leading up to this, I thought I’d make a post about my observations and decisioning process for those who are considering similar modifications.

Initially, I had a few questions about all of this, and in doing my research, I uncovered even more questions that I hadn’t considered, so I’ll try to tackle everything in a single post and hopefully a few people find it helpful. Yes, I know there are A LOT of posts about exhaust, and AWE in particular. However, they usually ask very pointed questions, and so the range of issues and decisions is spread across a lot of different places--one of the primary reasons that my research took as long as it did.

So, for most of you, I’m telling you nothing new. Again--my goal is just to try to combine a lot of this stuff into a single, “first impression” sort of thread.


When considering upgraded exhaust, it’s helpful to build a matrix that examines the following factors. Each factor then has two sub-components: (a) What you’re looking for, and (b) How important it is that you get that.

1. Level of noise/decibels
....for example: (a) Medium; (b) Very Important
2. Tone (i.e., timber) that you’re looking for.
3. Ease with which you can hear the radio after the fact
4. Ease with which you can hear your passengers after the fact
5. How often you carry passengers

Very minor considerations (for me) were:

1. Ordinances on noise level (Harley’s are still MUCH louder and nobody cares)
2. Performance (compared to software, and especially accounting for price, an exhaust system is simply not a good investment if what you’re primarily looking for is a performance gain)

So, with that said, I selected AWE. This was primarily because I’m in Philly and could have them install it for me, and a coworker has known Todd Sager for close to 20 years and highly recommended their work.

With AWE, much has been said about which downpipes to select, drone, etc., so let’s tackle that.....

Keeping the OEM DPs puts you in the “middle” in terms of noise level (between AWE’s resonated and non-res DPs). Having never done an exhaust modification before, my decision to stay with the OEM DPs has nothing to do with being wedded to their sound, and more to do with just having a good, lower-cost starting point for the direction I wanted to go in next. To be clear--AWE highly recommends the Resonated DPs for the S-Tronic vehicles.

Drone--a lot of people ask what exactly this is. The best definition I can offer is: the sensation that the sound is coming from inside the cabin vs. the exhaust.

I have the S-Tronic, so between 1,200 and 2,000 RPM.....even the stock exhaust system produces a drone. Most cars do. With my particular setup, I have a deeper, louder sound across the rev range, with more drone at the lower RPMs. A good number of people like this.

The system is fantastic all-around, and I highly recommend it anyone considering an exhaust upgrade. Now having run around town with it for about a week, I've ordered the Resonated Downpipes to replace the stock.

See video below:

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