The First Corvette ZR1 to Get Straight Pipes

The new Corvette ZR1 sounds great in stock form but straight pipes make everything better.

byDave Bartosiak|


I have this thing where I can’t leave my cars alone. No matter how aggressive they sound, how fast they are, or how good they look, I always end up swapping out parts. I mean, who doesn’t like the little whooshing sound a cold-air intake can provide or the deeper sound an after-cat exhaust can get you? For YouTuber StreetSpeed717, not even the new Corvette ZR1 can go unmolested for long.

You may know StreetSpeed717 from his Z06 project that received the ProCharger treatment and a wild, colorful camo treatment. He’s also got a McLaren in his garage as proof that some guys have all the fun. For his manual ZR1 with vehicle identification number four, the first move is getting into that exhaust and doing away with the secondary catalytic converters on the stock intermediate pipe.

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The Corvette’s exhaust features headers coming off the engine, an intermediate pipe then an after-cat exhaust. Most Z06 and ZR1 owners leave the after-cat alone because of the butterfly-valve they have. This valve opens up when the pedal is down, effectively bypassing the mufflers and giving your car a very aggressive sound at wide open throttle. This makes the intermediate pipe swap the go-to mod for Z06 and ZR1 owners looking for some added growl. This is where StreetSpeed717 is going to add the cat-less X-pipe. This mod, coupled with the butterfly-values essentially gives him straight pipes.

One of the other great aspects of eliminating the secondary cats in the intermediate pipe for the Corvette is this set of cats is not monitored by the engine control unit. That means that folks can do the swap lying on their backs in their driveways and won’t have to get the car tuned after. Tunes not only set you back a few bucks, but you also potentially void the factory warranty. That may not be as scary on a base-model Stingray with its natural aspiration but on a supercharged $150,000 car, riding with no warranty can be a frightening thing.

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