AWE Tuning Switchpath Non-Resonated Turboback for Ella
Armin finds the sound he’s looking for on his Audi S3 with the new AWE Tuning SwitchPath non-resonated turboback.
by Armin H. Ausejo by Armin H. Ausejo Nothing sets a tuner car apart from an ordinary commuter car like a distinct exhaust note. For some cars, it’s a little more difficult to get a good exhaust sound than others, and unfortunately I found that the Audi S3 happens to be one of these cars. I’m used to a nice, deep boxer rumble from my Subaru and the S3′s was almost the exact opposite. While it did have a nice growl bone stock, it tended to get a bit high pitched in the higher RPMs. It also didn’t help that Audi including a sound enhancing setting that made things sound a little artificial in the cabin. I watched video after video of existing S3 aftermarket exhausts in Europe, but none of them really sounded that great to me. Enter the AWE Tuning SwitchPath turboback: engineered, designed and manufactured in-house at AWE Tuning in Pennsylvania, I found an exhaust that not only enhanced the stock growl, but also gave it a bit of an exotic sound in the higher RPMs. The SwitchPath technology allows you to reuse the stock exhaust flap motors that would open up based on throttle position, which greatly helps at highway speeds. Anyone who’s owned an aftermarket exhaust for their daily driver worries about droning when cruising, and I’m happy to say that droning simply doesn’t happen with this exhaust. I once again turned to the good folks at Achtuning for the install. Installation was a bit tricky, since on the S3 you have to unbolt and remove (or just nudge over, if you’re feeling lucky) the driveshaft in order to replace the downpipe. The AWE Tuning turboback comes with a catted downpipe, which is perfectly fine for daily driving, and still keeps the emissions inspectors happy. You can also choose between resonated and non-resonated, in which I went with the non-resonated to give a little more of a racing/tuner sound to the exhaust. Fitment is perfect, and it looks absolutely fabulous from underneath. I opted for the 102mm chrome silver tips to make the exhaust really stand out from the stock version, not to mention I’ve never really had a tendency for subtlety. Once the exhaust was fully installed, the finishing touches were adding an APR Tuning Stage 2 ECU reflash, along with their TCU tune. The ECU reflash actually turns the boost down a little bit thanks to the enhanced exhaust flow, which ultimately adds power throughout the entire RPM range. APR claims as much as 85 whp and 125 wtq gains over stock on their 91 octane tune, and I certainly would not be one to argue against it. The TCU tune helps balance things out for the DSG transmission, allowing for more efficient shifts since bone stock, the S3 is notorious for holding 2nd gear way too long when in Sport Mode. The TCU tune also allows for three different launch control points that you can control with your throttle position. In the video above, we’re using the 4500 RPM setting for a spectacular launch. I couldn’t be happier with the sound and performance of this exhaust. I truly feel it’s among the best on the market and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a good exhaust for their Audi S3. Thank you very much to the folks at AWE Tuning and and Achtuning for their helps and support!