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The Best Exhaust Systems For The Audi TT MK1

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Table of Contents

Unlock Sound & Power

The Audi TT MK1, with its iconic design and agile performance, is still a favourite among car enthusiasts today.

However, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to maximising your driving experience and smiles per mile!

One such enhancement that can significantly impact the sound and power of your MK1 TT is installing an aftermarket exhaust system.

An aftermarket exhaust system allows for more efficient expulsion of exhaust gases, decreasing exhaust backpressure. This process, in turn, improves the engine’s ability to “breathe,” increasing its overall performance.

As a result, you can expect to see gains in horsepower and torque, which translates into improved acceleration and a more responsive drive.

Beyond horsepower and torque, a robust exhaust note is a primal ingredient of the complete driving experience to most petrolheads. 

An aftermarket exhaust system is designed to unlock these hidden acoustics and amplify them, producing a more throaty, sporty sound.

Excited yet?

We’ll first touch quickly on the different sections that make up the exhaust on the TT so you can decide what sections you want to upgrade first depending on your goals. 

Whether you own a 180, 225 or V6 MK1 TT – you’ll find something for you on this list!

What Sections Should I Upgrade?

What components of the exhaust system you should upgrade will depend largely on your goals. Are you wanting maximum performance? Or are you simply wanting a slightly more aggressive tone from the exhaust? Perhaps it’s both…

Let’s start with performance.

The point of the most restriction on these cars (1.8T models specifically), is with the downpipe and catalytic converter section. The TT as standard has quite a restrictive downpipe and set of twin cats that can hinder exhaust gas flow. 

Upgrading to a 3 inch downpipe paired to a high flow sports cat or decat pipe will unlock a lot of power and vastly improve the way the car responds.

For sound, you will want to upgrade the “cat-back” section which is the entire section past the catalytic converter out towards the exhaust tips.

These cat-back sections typically come with a resonator or without a resonator. If you are wanting a sightly more subtle sound, keep the resonator. If you want an aggressive and loud sound, opt for a non resonated cat-back.

For the best of both worlds in terms of performance and sound, look at replacing the entire exhaust system. 

We would recommend a 3 inch downpipe paired to a high flow sports cat into a resonated cat-back section. This will provide great performance gains without being too overly loud and overbearing for daily driving.

Now let’s take a look at the best and highest quality exhaust systems currently on the market for your MK1 TT!

Gravity Non-Resonated Catback

Gravity are popular manufacturers of aftermarket exhausts and are known for producing exhausts that are very affordable compared to some of the bigger names on the scene. 

They offer a brilliant non-resonated cat-back for both the 180 and 225 variant of the TT. This is the second revised version of the exhaust for the TT, as they took on constructive feedback on the previous version and improved upon it when it came to sound and fitment.

This exhaust produces a lovely deep growl and is 3 inches all the way through to the tailpipes where it expands into 4 inches, giving the rear of the TT a mean look.

Scorpion Resonated Catback

Scorpion are a well known name in the aftermarket exhaust world, especially within the VW scene. 

They have produced a fantastic and very popular resonated cat-back for both the 225 and VR6 models. 

The resonator on the exhaust ensures that it isn’t too overbearing, which is ideal if you aren’t looking for anything overly loud.

This is a fantastic option if you have upgraded or are planning to upgrade the downpipe and catalytic converter section. Upgrading those sections will inevitably make the car louder by themselves, so a resonated cat-back will ensure you get a lovely sporty exhaust tone without it being obnoxious.

Similar to the Gravity exhaust, the tailpipes are 4 inches which looks great.

Malian Non-Resonated Catback

If you’re looking for another affordable non-resonated cat-back, the Malian exhaust system is a really good option. This specific exhaust is for the 225 variant, although it can easily fit the 180 variant if you change the rear valance.

This exhaust produces a loud and deep sound, perfect if you are wanting an aggressive sound when you put the foot down.

The free flowing nature of the exhaust also promotes greater exhaust gas flow, enhancing power and throttle response. This exhaust has been fitted on builds with over 400bhp so can cope easily if your TT is tuned.

Scorpion Downpipe & Sports Cat

If you are looking to extract maximum performance from your TT while also keeping the car road legal, this system is for you.

The Scorpion 3 inch downpipe replaces the standard restrictive downpipe with a high flowing one designed for maximum power. It is mated to a 200 cell sports cat to ensure you still pass emission tests while also reaping the performance rewards.

Many tuners require this for a “Stage 2” tune, and MK1 TT’s can easily see 270bhp+ with this downpipe and a couple of other supporting mods when tuned.

For the best results, you will want to have your TT remapped after fitting this. The same goes for the decat downpipes which we will be covering next.

Scorpion Decat Downpipe

Similar to the previous Scorpion product, but not road legal.

The Scorpion decat downpipe is another great option for ensuring maximum power, as this system does away completely with the catalytic converter section. 

As such, exhaust gasses can exit uninterrupted helping the turbo spool up earlier and dramatically enhancing throttle response.

Due to being unable to pass emission tests, these are sold for track use only. 

Gravity Decat Downpipe

If you are set on a decat downpipe and are on a stricter budget, then the Gravity decat downpipe is the solution.

This is a very popular product due to it’s affordability and solid power gains.

As with the previous Scorpion decat downpipe, this system replaces the catalytic converter section completely. This dramatically enhances performance and you can expect power on tap earlier in the rev range.

It’s recommended to have your TT remapped after fitting to get the most out of this upgrade and clear any EML lights that come on as a result of the decat.

The Verdict

We hope you found this guide useful at helping you select the perfect exhaust system for your MK1 TT.

With the vast aftermarket community for this car, there are lots of fantastic options. You really can’t go wrong with any of the systems mentioned in this guide.

As mentioned towards the start of this article, consider your goals. Is it sound, power or both?

And remember – you don’t have to upgrade the entire exhaust at the one time!

You can opt for a cat-back initially to get a sportier exhaust note, then down the line upgrade to a 3 inch downpipe and high flow sports cat to maximise performance and get even more sound.

Happy modding!