Project E39 M5, Part 2: Installing and Testing the Corsa Performance Exhaust

Project E39 M5: Part 2 – Installing and Testing the Corsa Performance Exhaust

by Martin Gonzales

 

After ensuring we could stop our newly acquired fun-machine in a previous installment of Project BMW E39 M5, it was now time to let some ponies loose! Our goal; produce more power while maintaining the “quite refined” feel of our performance sedan. It’s no secret the S62 power plant in the BMW E39 M5 was extremely muffled and restricted from the factory. With a price tag rivaling a large down payment on a house, those who could afford a new E39 M5 back in the day were more interested in impressing their power lunch buddies with the M badge rather than with the rumbling performance notes the S62 could belt out. So in the name of sales numbers BMW, like any other manufacturer, put a muzzle on the ol’ girl leaving the performance enthusiast longing for more. But seriously though, what’s the point of having a 400hp engine if you can’t hear and enjoy it?!

A quick internet search for “E39 M5 exhaust” will yield you plenty of exhaust options with prices ranging from $1,100 to more than I could sell my G20 race car for! You'll even find numerous useful video sound clips and even more useful forum opinions…heavy sarcasm. So how does one make a decision? Well, I based mine on the experience we had with our very own BMW Project E36 323is. I truly enjoy the exhaust note of its Corsa Performance exhaust, but most of all I love being able to cruise on the freeway and have a conversation with the person sitting next to me without having to yell at them. That’s exactly what I wanted for the M5! But could a “quiet” performance exhaust yield the significant power gains we were after? We would just have to bite the bullet and see. 

 

I'm not gonna lie, another one of the key features that steered me towards the Corsa Performance exhaust were the Black Pro Series tips. Not only does the color look amazing, but the angled tips flow well with the lines of the rear bumper. They also have a much shorter profile and don't stick out as much as the stock chrome tips.

 

The Corsa Performance exhaust is made of T304 stainless steel, which not only looks good now but it will remain rust free for many many years to come. T3T04 stainless is nearly impervious to rusting. Here we see one of the key features of the Corsa E39 M5 exhaust – the X pipe. Where the two pipes come together there is an opening which allows for a balancing effect of the exhaust flow. This balancing reinforces the scavenging effects from the opposing banks, thus making more power. 

 

And here we have the stars of the show! Just like the rest of the M5 Corsa Performance exhaust system the mufflers are made of T304 stainless steel, but that's now what steals the show. The Reflective Sound Cancelation (RSC) technology incorporated in the mufflers is what really sets the Corsa Performance exhaust apart from the rest, and what made them the perfect choice for our Project. The mufflers are of a straight-through design, but thanks to the RSC technology the engineers at Corsa Performance are able to pin point and cancel out specific frequencies that cause drone. This means maximum performance while keeping your hearing safe.

 

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