Write-up by Josh Luckabaugh. Videos from FiExhaust.
The Ferrari 458 Italia F1 Valvetronic Exhaust System by Frequency Intelligent Exhaust takes an already euphoric exhaust note and transforms it into a sound only previously heard in a F1 race. Not only does this system make the car sound and spit blue flames under acceleration just like a car restricted to the track, but once the gas pedal is released, the idle sounds just as quiet and smooth as the factory exhaust. They accomplished this by using an exhaust valve, what they call Exhaust Valvetronic, similar to the OEM counterpart.
That is where the similarities end.
And we're intrigued. For those of you who want to know more about the technology, read on. Otherwise, just watch the video and enjoy the music.
Looking at the exhaust, it's easy to see that there are two large diameter pipes coming directly from each bank of cylinders, and merging right before the tailpipes. No mufflers, no resonators, nothing to restrict the flow or sound in any way, just like a true racecar—except for a Valvetronic valve that is. When these valves are closed the exhaust is forced to flow through the smaller pipes branched off in front of the valves, into a resonator before exiting the tailpipes. When the valves are controlled in auto mode, they will open and close automatically depending on various signals such as rpm, throttle position, engine load, etc. At low load and rpm they are closed and exhaust is forced to go through a smaller side pipe with a resonator. At idle and cruising speed, it results in reduced volume, both flow and sound wise. This reduced volume flow takes advantage of the Kadenacy effect, much like a Helmholtz Resonator which helps increase low end torque when cruising around. Once the throttle is opened up the valves also open and allows the system to act as a straight pipe, reducing the restriction so the engine can scream, breath and cripple the knees of whoever's listening.