Top Gear’s Top 9: triple tailpipe cars
Three’s a crowd: why have one, two or four tailpipes when you could have THREE?
Toyota GR Corolla
The hot Corolla isn’t coming to the UK, but we aren’t sad (much) because we’ve got the fantastic GR Yaris already and the GR86 sports car to look forward to. But what neither of those fine drivers’ cars offer is an odd number of exhausts.
The GR Corolla has two medium ones either side of the rear bumper and a big’un in the middle. How did this come from the same company that makes the Prius, the Yaris Cross, and the zzzzzzz…..Advertisement - Page continues below
Honda Civic Type R
Japanese hot hatchbacks like a triple exhaust – this isn’t the last one we’ll see. The Civic Type R’s isn’t merely a styling exercise: the smaller central outlet is a resonator, while the outer two feature bigger mufflers further down the pipe.
So, when you’re cruising, the Civic’s centre pipe airflow stalls, routing gases out the outer two pipes instead. This technique reduces the boomy engine note so the car is a bit more refined when you’re behaving. Gun it, and you get a bit more tone from the pipes. Clever.
An iconic exhaust triplicate from a car with possibly the most memorable engine note of the 21st Century. Well, on the podium with the Gordon Murray T50, anyway.
The LFA’s 4.8-litre, 9,000rpm, 552bhp V10 breathes out through triple pipes in a triangular formation clustered together to avoid upsetting airflow under the car’s rear diffuser.Advertisement - Page continues below
Lamborghini Aventador S
Sant’Agata seem to have appreciated the LFA’s exhaust pipe pyramid scheme, because when the time came to facelift the mighty Aventador, the designers dispensed with the old single-pipe tunnel and went for this triple-threat organ for the 6.5-litre V12 to shout out of.
Usually seen with flames shooting out of it, shortly before the Instalikes-hungry owner sets their £300,000 supercar ablaze.
Even people who say they’re rubbish at drawing could make a decent stab at sketching the back of an F50. A big rectangle for the rear bodywork and wraparound rear wing. Four widely spaced circles for the taillights. And then two ovals sandwiching a circle for the exhaust. Like the Civic Type R, there’s more here than meets the eye.
The centre pipe doesn’t exhale the V8’s bad breath: it’s actually a wastegate outlet directly from the twin turbochargers. Overall, it’s a work of art.
Ferrari 458 Italia
So good, in fact, Ferrari paid homage to the F40’s bottomholes on one of its best cars since: the stunning 458 Italia. True Tifosi geeks know that, close up, there are actually four exhaust pipes funnelling the shriek of the 562bhp V8, but two combine into the central outlet just as they arrive at the rear bumper.
For the 458 Speciale, Ferrari saved weight and improved aero by moving to a twin-pipe set-up, but the respectful nod to the past was lost in the name of downforce.
Mercedes-AMG GT R
Ever spotted these ones? The AMG GT R has a massive central exhaust, but peer closely and you’ll see two more hiding in the rear diffuser, blowing hot gases from the ‘hot-vee’ 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 into the airstream. And sounding like a [insert your favourite carnivorous animal] gargling a [insert name of our chosen motorbike].Advertisement - Page continues below
The Senna’s almost vertical-exit exhausts are arranged not to disrupt airflow over the downforce-obsessed supercar’s huge active rear wing. If you bought your Senna outside of the EU, it had a lighter exhaust with just the two outlets.
But in the EU, stringent noise regulations meant McLaren had to fit a different version of the Inconel exhaust with a third tailpipe and an extra muffler to reduce drone from the 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8.
Mitsubishi Minica Dangan ZZ
And from a limited-edition McLaren hypercar to a Japanese kei-car produced in eight generations from 1962 to 2011. Clearly, the high point of its lifetime was the sixth-gen car produced from 1989, which got a performance version featuring a turbocharger and a world-first: five valves per cylinder.
Playing host to a feisty 64 horsepower, the Dangan ZZ needed to announce its potential, and did so with the cutest darn triple-exhaust you’ve ever seen. Bless!Advertisement - Page continues below