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What does the Active Autowerke equal length midpipe sound like? Power gains? Why do people do it? Pricing in 2023.

Curious on how the equal length mid-pipe for your BMW M3 makes a difference? How about why people do it and how it sounds? Scroll to the bottom of this article to checkout a full write up on the details about the equal length mid-pipe for the BMW M3.

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Active Autowerke has been an industry leader in engineering high quality BMW performance products for over 41 years. Dedicated to improving enjoyment of your driving machine with the highest quality products, Active Autowerke has been recognized as the leading BMW innovator. Our philosophy on developing refined BMW performance parts and making them available to the larger BMW community is highlighted by our most recent R&D program focused on improving the sound of the S55 exhaust. This R&D has resulted in the development of the Active Autowerke F80 M3 and F82 M4 equal length mid-pipe (US Patent 11248511, patent pending in UK and EU) the other option to our world famous F8X single mid-pipe.


An inline 6 engine naturally has an evenly spaced exhaust pulse which results in a more smooth and full sounding noise. However, the twin turbo setup of the S55 engine while producing addition power has created a sound which sounds more like 2 independent inline 3’s competing for noise than the throaty sound one would expect. The variance between the lengths of the front and rear down-pipes of almost a foot and a half creates unevenly spaced pulses so that when the merge in any form of crossover system whether stock, x-pipes, double x-pipes, single mid-pipe or rear-section solutions. Since the sound waves are moving at the same rate when they exit the system, these crossover sections are simply creating a higher pitched sound resulting in the annoying sound some have referred to as a weed eater sound. The current systems allow the banks to merge unequally pulsed sounds and after much research and testing (from many BMW experts) it was determined that equalizing the length of the exhaust pipes before mixing was a solution to this sound problem.

Initial exhaust solutions focused on correcting this variance in the space behind the differential housing with one complaint being the inability to keep existing rear exhaust systems. Active Autowerke decided to leverage our expertise in having already developed a single mid-pipe system for the F-series M cars and devoted our R&D resources into developing the mid-pipe solution which you see here. Our R&D looked at the ways this could be done and while making up the difference in the rear section of the exhaust seemed like the most logical place, it would require a brand new rear exhaust system and we were aware that many BMW owners would not like this option. So we looked at adding length to the passenger side midpipe section and creating a new crossover section to create an exhaust note that’s never been akin to the “S55 sound”. Using a patented solution of a crossover with sinusoidal pipes allowed us to correct the downpipe length variance before mixing the sounds giving the expected 6 cylinder sports car exhaust notes.

The Active Autowerke F8X Equal Length Mid Pipe was specifically designed to create equal length exhaust pipes adjusting for the difference between the front and rear banks of the F80 M3 and F82 M4 down pipes before mixing in an X-pipe and creating an exhaust note different from the normal “S55 sound”. Engineered for an exact fit on both the F80 M3 and F82 M4, the difference in sound with this mid pipe will be noticeable the first time with an open throttle!


Click here to see what this setup sounds like


  • Lighter weight than factory system
  • Quicker turbo spool
  • Increased low end and mid-range power
  • Equal length design eliminates the pulsing sound caused by the unequal length down pipes

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The Equal Length Mid Pipe for BMW M3

When it comes to high-performance sports cars, the BMW M3 has always been a force to be reckoned with. Its powerful engine, precision handling, and iconic design make it a dream car for enthusiasts. But even a masterpiece like the BMW M3 can benefit from aftermarket upgrades to enhance its performance and sound. One such upgrade that has gained popularity among M3 owners is the equal length mid pipe. In this article, we’ll explore what the equal length mid pipe is, how it works, and why it’s a must-have modification for any BMW M3 owner looking to unlock the full potential of their machine.

What is an Equal Length Mid Pipe?

First, let’s understand what a mid pipe is in the context of an exhaust system. The mid pipe is a crucial component that connects the exhaust manifold (headers) to the rear exhaust section, which includes the mufflers and tailpipes. It plays a vital role in directing exhaust gases away from the engine and into the atmosphere.

An equal length mid pipe, as the name suggests, is designed with equal-length tubing for each cylinder bank. In a V6 or V8 engine like the one found in the BMW M3, there are two cylinder banks – one on the left and one on the right. In a stock exhaust system, the mid pipe typically has unequal-length tubing for each cylinder bank. This design choice is often made for manufacturing ease and cost savings but can result in less than optimal exhaust gas flow.


How Does an Equal Length Mid Pipe Work?

The key advantage of an equal length mid pipe is its ability to ensure that exhaust gases from each cylinder bank travel an equal distance before merging into a single pipe. This equalization of exhaust flow allows for better scavenging, which means that exhaust gases are evacuated more efficiently from the engine’s combustion chambers. As a result, the engine can breathe easier, leading to several performance benefits:

  1. Improved Exhaust Flow: An equal length mid pipe minimizes exhaust gas interference between cylinder banks, reducing backpressure. This enhanced flow allows the engine to release exhaust gases more rapidly, which can increase horsepower and torque.
  2. Enhanced Engine Note: One of the most appealing aspects of an equal length mid pipe is the improved exhaust note. BMW M3 owners can enjoy a deeper, more aggressive tone that is music to the ears of car enthusiasts.
  3. Potential Power Gains: With improved exhaust flow and scavenging, some M3 owners report noticeable power gains after installing an equal length mid pipe. While individual results may vary, it’s not uncommon to see modest horsepower and torque improvements.
  4. Reduced Turbo Lag: For turbocharged M3 variants, an equal length mid pipe can help reduce turbo lag by allowing the turbos to spool up more quickly due to the reduced backpressure.

Why Choose an Equal Length Mid Pipe for Your BMW M3?

For BMW M3 owners looking to take their driving experience to the next level, the equal length mid pipe is an enticing modification. Here are some compelling reasons to consider it:

  1. Enhanced Performance: If you crave more power and a more responsive throttle, an equal length mid pipe can help you achieve those goals by optimizing exhaust flow.
  2. A Heartier Exhaust Note: The aggressive sound produced by an equal length mid pipe can transform your M3 into an auditory delight, making every drive an exhilarating experience.
  3. Complement to Other Mods: If you’ve already made other performance upgrades to your M3, such as a cold air intake or ECU tuning, an equal length mid pipe can work synergistically to maximize the benefits of those modifications.

The equal length mid pipe is a simple yet highly effective upgrade for BMW M3 owners who want to elevate their driving experience. With improved exhaust flow, enhanced engine note, and potential power gains, it’s a modification that not only unlocks the full potential of your M3 but also adds an exciting dimension to your time behind the wheel. Whether you’re a track enthusiast or a weekend warrior, the equal length mid pipe is a modification worth considering to truly unleash your BMW M3.

You can also find an alternative to this setup by clicking here.


You can also find an alternative from Valvetronic Designs as well!




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