Have you seen this yet? Or should we say, have you heard this yet?
An all new MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust system for the 2018-2019 Volkswagen GTI recently caught our eye…er, ear. Was it the quality stainless steel construction? The mandrel bent tubing? The lifetime warranty? Maybe it’s that smooth, deep sound paired with wide-open performance that MagnaFlow is known for? Well, to be honest, it’s all of the above. But mostly what peaked our interest was seeing this Grade-A company, traditionally known for its support of the American muscle and 4×4 community, churning out top-of-the-line exhaust systems for the sport compact market.
Sure, this isn’t the first time MagnaFlow has targeted the segment—and it most certainly will not be the last. But this gives us a great opportunity to revisit the brand, highlighting what makes it special and check in on the sport compact scene in the process. Two birds, one stone, right?
First, who is MagnaFlow?
If you aren’t already familiar with the company’s superior product line, impressive builds, critical sponsorships, and sweet merch, you’re at least familiar with one of MagnaFlow’s brand ambassadors by now. You know… like Chip Foose, Aaron Kaufman, Joey Logano, Casey Currie, Leah Pritchett, and MARIO ANDRETTI. Only some of the biggest names in the biz.
But just in case you need a history lesson in performance, let’s break down why you should, from hereon, never forget the name Magnaflow.
Founded in 1981 by Gennaro “Jerry” Paolone, MagnaFlow (then Car Sound Exhaust Systems, Inc.) began as a simple, small business that distributed exhaust components. Within three years, the company had expanded into manufacturing, focusing on quality production, performance, and sound. For years they kept a laser focus on streamlining processes, investing in R&D, perfecting design, fine-tuning customer service, and building brand equity. They have virtually soared over the last decade, going from a trusted brand in the industry to a literal household name among even passing enthusiasts.
MagnaFlow is no new kid on the block. With close to four decades of experience, it’s a long-running name to lean on.
The MagnaFlow philosophy focuses on three things: quality, power, and sound. And if you’re in the market for a top-notch performance exhaust system, these are the three items that should be at the top of your shopping list. Quality? Well, as a market leader, MagnaFlow manufacturers all of its products right here in the USA. It secures premium materials (re: aluminized and stainless steel), superior equipment, and the latest technology. Everything’s backed by a lifetime warranty and a support team who actually wants to hear from you. Power? MagnaFlow’s 30,000 sq-ft R&D center has two in-house dynamometers, a flow bench, and sound testing equipment to ensure if a product leaves with a MagnaFlow logo, it’s up to par. Sound? The company’s mufflers feature a free-flowing, straight-through design with a perforated stainless-steel core and acoustic material for continually smooth rumbles.
Which brings us back to the company’s newest offering: MagnaFlow cat-back exhaust system for the 2018-2019 Volkswagen GTI.
But let’s get the particulars out of the way. Part #19435, this dual split rear exit Touring Series performance exhaust system features MagnaFlow’s trademark straight-through flow design for “the smooth deep sound you want and the wide-open performance power you need.” Constructed of 409 stainless steel, the system has 3” mandrel bent tubing, 4” polished tips and a 5 x 8 x 14” muffler, successfully pairing MagnaFlow’s signature sound with the European classic. Unlike other high-pitch systems you typically find with this sort of vehicle, MagnaFlow brings the note way down low.
So, why the GTI? Why sport compact?
The sport compact segment represents a unique market for manufacturers. What began as an exclusive import performance scene heavily inspired by the Datsun 510/240Z/280Z of the 70’s and 80’s and the Toyota Celica/Supra or Honda Civic during the early 90’s started to inch across the median.
“There’s a rich history in sport compact with a fast rise to the top and then a sharp decline that actually created a broader category with even broader appeal. There’s been a rebirth of sport compact. Both the market and the overall segment have matured. The industry as a whole became more educated as a result of the recession and brought a new generation of suppliers into our industry,” said Ahad Mirza, sport compact enthusiast and Category Manager at Keystone Automotive.
Today, the scene encompasses a variety of rides, from the STI and GTI to Euro Tuner. As the segment grows, flexing its abilities from pavement to track, aftermarket companies like MagnaFlow are able to reach new customers and prove the race-worthiness of their products. A new generation of enthusiasts is flocking to the segment and, with it, an opportunity for savvy brands like MagnaFlow—who show a real, vested interest—to showcase their quality, performance, and sound.
So, whether you’re a self-proclaimed sport compact bro or a staunch devotee of classic American muscle, MagnaFlow’s got a product for you. Better yet, as the company hones in on new markets, the feedback and knowledge it gains will directly translate to better, bolder innovations in the realm of performance exhaust. And that’s good news for everybody—no matter what revs your engine.