Best 2011-2014 Mustang Exhausts
Last Updated: May 19, 2021
When it comes to any Mustang, the exhaust plays a massive role. After the first V8 Mustang was made, the customized and loud Mustang community began. These cars have always been about appearance and the sound of the Mustang’s exhaust plays a major part in that. As a result, the aftermarket exhaust industry for the Mustang has been popular for decades. With each generation of Mustang, the exhaust has had multiple options for aftermarket, whether just for increasing volume or as actual performance exhaust and has been done regardless of the number of cylinders or horsepower.
As the second generation S197 Mustang brought new features to the Mustang name (6 gears, 400hp, new design, Ford SYNC, etc…) the most important update was the introduction of the Coyote V8 that brought a completely new exhaust note to the car. Along with the Coyote, Ford kept the Cyclone V6, and eventually brought out the 5.4 liter supercharged engine in the Shelby GT500. These engines brought new life into the Mustang lineup and made it competitive ona major scale against rivals from Dodge and Chevrolet, but also some more performance-oriented brands too.
Like every generation of the Mustang, there are countless aftermarket exhaust setups to choose from to get your car to sound just right. With so many options available, deciding which pieces and setup would sound best for you and your Mustang. Thankfully, we have gone through and curated the best options for your car based on motor and types of exhaust so you can be happy with the sound of your car for years to come.
2011-2014 Mustang Axle Back Exhausts
When it comes to easy exhaust modification, the simple yet effective axle back exhaust setup is a great way to bring up the noise without costing too much to change. Axle Back exhaust changes only the exhaust from the axles back, which makes it easy to simply cut off and replace. These effectively can make your Mustang sound incredible when you choose the right pieces.
With the entry level Mustang which uses the Cyclone V6 engine, there are many options to bring your car’s performance sound up. After comparing many different V6 axle back systems, the Magnaflow Competition Quad-Tip is the best sounding exhaust. Without being raspy, this axle back system helps make your Mustang sound more aggressive than any other options for axle back exhaust.
With the GT and Boss 302 models, adding a good axle back setup will give you the classic muscle car exhaust note that most people aim for. Lightweight and affordable, the axle back exhaust for the 2011-2014 GT can completely change your driving experience for the better. With the GT, we would go with the Steeda Axle-Back for its aggressive tone that really wakes the car up. The Steeda setup brings an aggressive change to the car, making it sound like the muscle car it is.
With the top-performing GT500, the car already has a seriously angry sound. The low rumble at idle and the high-pitched wail at WOT makes it one of the most impressive Mustangs ever. The only axle back that could come close to complimenting the GT500’s already crazy exhaust was the Kooks Quad Tip setup. The exhaust opens up the engine’s sound just a little more, keeping it throaty and mean.
2011-2014 Mustang Cat-Back Exhausts
With an upgraded cat-back exhaust, you free up even more power than with an axle back. Removing or upgrading the catalytic converter setup with these exhausts helps your car put out more power while changing your exhaust flow slightly. These exhausts bring up horsepower while cutting more weight than an axle back exhaust. Like every Mustang, there is an abundance of cat-back exhausts available for the 2011-2014 Mustang.
For the V6 Mustang, we came to the conclusion that the Borla ATAK Cat-Back exhaust is the most impressive. The ATAK stands for "acoustically-tuned applied kinetics" which can be tuned via equalizer to the best sound. This exhaust gives your car burbles as it revs back down and sounds aggressive under heavy acceleration. It frees up some horsepower and lets your car breathe more easily as well. As with any Atak setup, it is on the loud side but it compliments the car very well.
On the GT and Boss 302 models, the absolute best cat-back to choose is the MBRP Black Series Race Cat-Back. The MBRP setup is a high-performance system that frees up the entire exhaust system on your GT or 302. The MBRP exhaust brings a lot more noise to the car for a high-performance exhaust note that will make your car much louder than stock in the best way possible. With this exhaust, your Mustang will have a more throaty and angry sound than many other cat-back setups.
For the GT500, the best sounding cat-back is a more unique sound than normal. While the factory exhaust on the car is loud already, the Stainless Works 3-Inch Chambered Cat-Back turns the car’s exhaust up to an insane level. This exhaust makes it sound more like a race car than any other exhaust because of its unique chambered design which alters exhaust flow multiple times before having it come out the rear. As a result, this exhaust is much more unique in its sound and design than many other cat-back exhausts.
2011-2014 Mustang Resonator Deletes
Resonator deletes are a simple way of changing the exhaust on your car without making it much louder. Many resonator deletes change the pitch of the exhaust higher than before, but for the Mustang many are designed to bring back the classic muscle car rumble. These resonator delete pipes are designed to increase exhaust flow to improve performance while being simple to install or remove.
For the V6 engine, these resonator deletes make the car sound more sporty and less like a muscle car, resulting in a sports car exhaust sound. The best resonator delete for the V6 Mustang is the Ford Performance X-Pipe which brings the exhaust pitch higher than before. While this makes it slightly raspier compared to stock but sounds better since the factory exhaust is relatively quiet overall.
For the 302 and GT, the BBK X-Pipe is the best resonator delete available. The X-pipe brings some of the character back to the exhaust that the factory H-pipe setup lacks. While it brings the pitch slightly higher, the BBK setup makes the Mustang sound better and more even under acceleration.
Overall, the 2011-2014 generation Mustang had some of the most varied options to customize for every generation since it received the new body style and engine for the first time since 2005. As a result, the second generation S197 received major interest from companies to make it as customizable as possible. While there are nearly endless combinations for exhaust setups, these parts are the ones that, on their own, are going to give you the best exhaust note available without major modification.
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