Let's meet in the middle - These cars make use of twin, central-exiting exhaust systems

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Ford Focus ST
Ford Focus ST
Jean-Marc Zaorski

• Several sports car make use of centrally mounted twin exhausts.

• These cars include the Ford Focus ST and Porsche 911 GT3 RS.

• One of the more popular of these cars is the Volkswagen Golf R32.

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It's not unusual for performance cars to have more than one exhaust, and seeing them positioned in the middle has become something of a rarity these days.

The key to any combustible performance car is getting rid of exhaust fumes as quickly as possible, so manufacturers have experimented with various layout over the years - the Mercedes-SLR McLaren's side-exiting exhaust is a particular example.

Centrally-positioned exhaust systems make use of one piece connected from the downpipe until eventually splitting into two when it reaches the muffler, which is usually found just underneath the rear bumper. Even though it makes no difference to the overall performance of a car, an exhaust situated centrally looks more aggressive as opposed to a single tailpiece on either side.

What other makes and models can you think of that should be added to the list? Please email us, or share your thoughts in the coment section below.

2015 Opel Corsa OPC
2015 Opel Corsa OPC

A number of aftermarket automotive tuning shops sell the rear bumper and exhaust conversion of the VW Golf 5 R32. Alternatively, a complete layout can even be custom-made to fit any vehicle as well. If you're in the market to fit a bigger, free-flowing exhaust to your vehicle, South Africa has no shortage of companies that can see to your needs.

READ: OPINION | Four 'invisible' car modifications that won't get you into trouble

From Porsche to Renault and Volkswagen, these are some of the performance cars that sport the unique, centrally-positioned exhaust configuration:

Volkswagen Golf R32

The Volkswagen Golf R32 is one of those rare collector's items you just have to own, and even seeing one in the flesh is the stuff unicorn-spotting is made of. It is immediately noticeable by the centrally-positioned exhaust and distinct blue paint job.

Under the bonnet was a naturally aspirated 3.2-litre V6 engine that pushed out 186kW and got off the line in a flash thanks to its all-wheel-drive system. The fifth and sixth-generation R Line Golfs are the only to feature central exhausts.

2005 Volkswagen Golf R32
2005 Volkswagen Golf R32

Porsche 911 GT3 RS

This is the fastest car on the list in both track and straight line applications. Its central exhaust is only one of the stand-out features of this road-legal, race brad supercar.

The 911 is Porsche's most popular, but the RS is a different kettle of fish altogether. It weighs just 1430kg while its 4.0-litre, six-cylinder engine delivers 383kW of pure, unadulterated power. Acceleration from 0 to 100km/h is done in a mere 3.2 seconds.

2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS
2018 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Mini John Cooper Works

Just like VW has the R-line, Audi has the RS, and Mercedes-Benz has their AMG division, so too does Mini have its very own full-blooded performance Cooper in the form of the John Cooper Works.

The original Cooper S also uses the central exhaust arrangement, but because the JCW is so rare and is aided by other fast cars on this list, why not? This particular one uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine that develops 225kW and 450Nm while running to a top speed of 242km/h. Not bad, 'Mr Bean'.

2021 Mini John Cooper Works
2021 Mini John Cooper Works

Ford Focus ST

The Ford Focus ST is a firm local favourite that shares a rivalry with the likes of the Golf GTI and Renault Clio RS. Its third-generation now has a feature it never had before - central exhausts.

Under the bonnet, its 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine develops 184kW and 360Nm. Sadly though, South Africa didn't receive the latest fourth-generation, making this model the last one still available locally - albeit pre-owned.

A view of the Ford Focus ST Concept shown at the G
Ford Focus ST

Special mention: Renault Clio V6 Phase 2

This is the rarest of rare Renault Clio's, and it's pretty much the equivalent of what the MK5 R32 was for Volkswagen, featuring the same central exhaust to boot.

The one featured here is the Phase 2 that sent 188kW and 300Nm to the rear wheels via a 2.9-litre V6 engine. It is most notable for its wide-bodied appearance and engine mounted just behind the driver.

Renault Clio Sport V6
Renault Clio Sport V6

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