Borla Developing Customizable “Exhaust System” for EVs

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
borla developing customizable exhaust system for evs

Borla Exhaust is a staple at SEMA and usually has some new product on hand. However, they’re usually supposed to be attached to vehicles sporting a combustion engine, making the Ford Mach-E that’s taken pole position at the company’s display area feel like a prank. Though it isn’t. The all-electric model needed to be there so Borla could show off its all-new “exhaust" kit that relies on speakers to make noise. 

While the business already had a few customizable exhaust systems designed for engines that actually need to breathe, this will be a first for Borla. According to Car and Driver, the unit was originally commissioned by Shelby American for use on modified versions of the electrified crossover. But Borla makes it sound as though it’s been getting inundated with requests to add some rumble to EVs.

"We had customers coming to us, particularly with the Mach-E, and asking for more aggressive sound," explained VP of sales and marketing, David Borla.

"Shelby said, 'Help us out, we need to add some sound to these,'" he continued. "When you lose sound, you lose vibrations, it's a different experience.”

Your author was under the impression that this different experience was an essential part of why some people prefer EVs. While a poorly insulated example can suffer from excessive road noise, most electric vehicles tend to woosh you around in relative silence. This doesn’t always offer a more comfortable experience but it’s usually pretty placid in comparison to your average gas burner. A burble-prone faux exhaust seems like it would spoil that experience. But Borla believes it’ll add some novel thrills and has confirmed that customers will be able to switch the unit off with a minimum amount of effort. 

The system includes a speaker, wiring, a computer/controller, and a dedicated app that can be used to choose or customize the sound it emits. Leaks during development have shown that Borla opted to partner with AudioControl to develop the device and we first heard it earlier this year when a prototype was previewed for some of the boys at Hoonigan. It actually sounds pretty good, mimicking an extra throaty V8 in the only setting we’ve heard thus far. 

Borla said the install process should take roughly the same time as its traditional ICE bolt-on products and will be highly customizable via the app. For now, the only flavors are GT500, Camaro, and C8 Corvette. But Borla is working with a “synthesizer company” (presumably AudioControl) to create all new notes – many of which won’t bother trying to mimic combustion engine sounds. 

"This is our Blockbuster vs. Netflix moment," said Borla, "Who knows what it should be? It's all new; the future is evolving. For us, the mission is the same – make cars sound good. If you don't like it, you can always turn it off."

[Image: Shelby American]

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7 of 41 comments
  • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Nov 03, 2022

    Like it or not EBFlex, EV's are currently seen as the future of the automobile. Maybe that changes, maybe not. Your opinion is not shared by those actually producing automobiles currently

    • See 4 previous
    • Art  Vandelay Art Vandelay on Nov 04, 2022

      I sold an ICE car, got an EV and paid for 2 semesters of college with the difference. The range thing really is overblown in many cases I think. I drive it like a normal car and plug it in when I get home. Rinse and repeat . And mine is a short range vehicle.

  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.