SEMA 2013: A Visit with Borla Brings a Whole New Sound to the C7

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As the Corvette continues to evolve, the challenges that aftermarket manufacturers face continue to not only change, but became more difficult. Only a few years ago, most people wouldn’t think about putting anything electronic in the exhaust system (with the exception of an O2 sensor). But the C7 not only has one, but can have two different electronic motors within the exhaust systems. So, while we were at the SEMA Show, we stopped by Borla to find out how they are dealing with the new hurdles.

Since the C7 has an active fuel management system, the V8 essentially becomes a 4 cylinder engine with a V8 exhaust system. So, to prevent the poor sound caused by having an oversized system, Chevrolet added a valve in front of the factory muffler, basically reducing the volume of the system. The valve is electronically activated and very important to keeping the right sound throughout all driving conditions. In addition, C7’s equipped with the NPP option (Dual-Mode Performance Exhaust), have an additional valve to adjust for a more aggressive sound and power. So, when aftermarket companies like Borla offer systems for the C7, these hurdles must be addressed.

For Borla, this meant designing and manufacturing new valves to work with their system, while still retaining the factory electronics. By designing the valves in house, they are able to control exactly how they integrate with the system making sure not to be too restrictive at wide open throttle, or flow too much when cruising.

In addition to addressing the valves, Borla will be offering the systems with two different X-pipe options, 3 different tips and optional long tube headers. The X-pipe differences are with or without OE catalytic converter. Borla had “custom dies” made to ensure the exhaust tips followed the contour of the bumper for an even, factory-type fitment. There are also three sound levels offered; Touring (mild sound), S-Type (medium sound), and ATAK (aggressive sound). “We want enthusiasts to be able to find a sound that fits their mindset. That’s why we offer so many options,” says David Borla, VP of Sales and Marketing.

Borla also introduced a diffuser for the rear of the C7’s. These are direct bolt on and are made of aluminum.

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About the author

Chad Westfall

With diesel running through his veins from childhood, Chad has more than a decade of experience in the automotive industry. From editorial work to wrenching, there isn’t much he hasn't conquered head-on. When he’s not writing and shooting trucks and tech, you’ll find him in the shop working on turning the ideas floating around in his head into reality.
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