The N63 is a force to be reckoned with in the turbo era. It’s a stout motor from the factory coming with 402-523hp, depending upon the specific N63 variant. Though, for some, this simply isn’t enough power. Simple bolt-on mods are a popular option for those looking to make extra power. In our opinion, downpipes should be towards the top of the list. Unleash the BMW N63’s potential with a set of upgraded downpipes. In this guide, we will compare N63 catless and catted downpipes, lay out the pros and cons of each, and list a few of the best N63 upgraded downpipes.
For more information about the BMW N63 engine including engine specs, common problems, and popular modifications, take a look at our dedicated BMW N63 Engine Page.
BMW N63 Upgraded Downpipe Performance
It’s getting old to continue writing this, but we can’t resist. Upgraded DP’s are on of our favorite mods for any turbo engine. OEM N63 catalytic converters (cats) in the downpipes are intended to reduce emissions. However, restrictive cats also reduce power and performance. Turbos rely on the pressure drop from pre to post-turbo in order to spool and build boost. Reducing pressure post-turbo (referred to as back-pressure) allows the exhaust gases to accelerate faster as they look to escape. Therefore, reducing back-pressure allows a turbo to spool faster and build more boost. As such, no exhaust after the turbochargers is ideal for performance. Though, that’s not exactly realistic for most of us. Enter catless and high-flow catted DP’s.
N63 Catless Downpipes vs High-Flow Catted Downpipes
Less back-pressure results in better power and performance gains. Catless downpipes provide less back-pressure compared to high-flow catted options. Therefore, catless DP’s will result in the best power gains and quickest turbo spool. However, catless options do come with their own downside. Removal of cats may cause your N63 to fail state inspections and/or emissions testing. For those concerned with emissions you might consider opting for the high-flow catted DP’s.
If emissions are not a concern then we highly recommend selecting truly catless downpipes. They are typically less expensive than catted options and provide the best power gains. Although, an N63 high-flow catted DP is a solid choice for a balance of performance and cleaner emissions.
N63 Upgraded Downpipes Pros
- 30-50whp with catless DP’s (10-20whp with high-flow catted)
- Similar torque gains
- Faster turbo spool
- Better top-end power and boost
- Excellent sounds
For most, the biggest selling points are likely the power and torque gains. A tune only N63 should expect power gains around 30whp while FBO N63’s may see power gains up to 40-50whp. Torque gains should be similar to the power gains. High-flow catted DP’s still provide respectable power gains but to a lesser extent due to the more restrictive nature. Both catless and high-flow DP’s will provide a noticeable improvement to N63 turbo spool and lower-end torque. Again, catless downpipes will take the cake. Additionally, the quicker spool will kick you back into the seat more aggressively. As such, it’s safe to say – the butt-dyno will definitely appreciate this mod.
N63 Catless Downpipe Sound
Yet another benefit to upgraded downpipes are the intoxicating sounds. Expect catless DP’s to add quite a bit of noise on cold starts. Additionally, applying heavy throttle provides a satisfying deeper, aggressive note. However, the N63’s exhaust stays relatively quiet and does not invade the cabin during normal cruising. This is a huge plus, in our opinion. We love a deep, aggressive exhaust note but we do not like to sacrifice the daily drive-ability. Excellent exhaust sounds when it’s time to have fun. Stock-like sounds when you want to relax and cruise.
*High-flow catted DP’s will also be louder than completely stock exhaust, but quieter than catless DP’s.
BMW N63 Upgraded Downpipes Options
Let’s dive into a few of the popular, quality options on the market for the N63. To note – this is not an exhaustive list as there are simply too many options.
1) VRSF N63 Catless Downpipes
We talk about VRSF all the time and recommend their bolt-on mods for almost all turbo BMW’s, including the N63. We believe they offer an excellent balance of price, quality, and performance. You really cannot go wrong opting for N63 catless DP’s from VRSF. They’re highly tested and proven and match that with excellent quality and price. The only downside is that VRSF only offers N63 catless downpipes, so those looking for catted must go elsewhere. Expect power gains in the ballpark of 30-50whp with these N63 VRSF catless downpipes.
VRSF N63 DP’s Price: $449.99
Buy Here: VRSF N63 Catless DP’s (Most N63 models)
2) N63 AR Design Catted & Catless Downpipes
AR makes an excellent product for the N63. You can also choose between catless or high-flow catted DP options. However, they come in at a totally different price point as compared to VRSF. Catless downpipes come in at $1,300 while high-flow catted DP’s run all the way up to $1,600. A solid option for those looking for a catted downpipe. For others, we highly recommend saving some big $ and selecting VRSF.
AR N63 DP’s Price: $1,300-$1,600
Buy Here: AR N63 Catted & Catless DP’s
3) N63 ARM Motorsports Catless Downpipes
ARM Motorsports are a great value for N63 catless downpipes. We really love VRSF and find it hard to recommend products over them. However, these ARM Motorsports N63 downpipes certainly present an attractive offer. We’re not as familiar with their products but they seem to be a quality product at an excellent price point.
ARM Motorsports N63 DP’s Price: $347.00
Buy Here: N63 ARM Motorsports Catless DP’s
BMW N63 Upgraded Downpipes Summary
We believe catless downpipes are one of the best bolt-on mods for the BMW N63 engine. Power and torque gains are in the ballpark of 30-50 to the wheels. A big plus – faster turbo spool gives the impression of even more power which will surely impress. Additionally, top-end performance will benefit as the turbos will hold boost later in the RPM’s. They also make excellent sounds during aggressive acceleration, but the exhaust remains composed for typical cruising.
Of course, N63 catless DP’s come at the cost of potentially failing any state inspections or emissions testing. For those concerned, high-flow catted DP’s provide some performance benefits while remaining compliant with most emissions requirements. Though, the performance gains are generally notably less than catless DP’s and they are more expensive. Ultimately, we believe catless downpipes are the best option for most N63 owners. VRSF is our favorite option for the great balance of price, quality, and performance. We are confident enthusiasts will be satisfied with upgraded downpipes, regardless of your specific choice.