For fans of the Ford Bronco, there’s a whole new rodeo in town, and from the sounds of things, you’re going to want to hop on for a ride. Driving enjoyment and performance enhancements are what make aftermarket mods so enticing. For companies like Flowmaster, and platforms like the resurrected Ford Bronco, upgrades like an exhaust system are just the ticket.
Knowing full well that the exhaust system is “…a primary target for owners that want to take their trucks a step further….” Flowmaster has rolled out a series of cat-back and axle-back systems for the new Ford Bronco. This resulted in a range of different designs and exhaust tones being formulated, all intended to suit an array of driving styles and needs. Other common upgrades that further justify the need for an upgraded exhaust system are cold air intakes, Superchips Flashcal tuning, and performance blow off valves.
But a “meaner sound” isn’t just everything. Ford Bronco drivers also want to pick up some power where they can. Improved departure angles and better ground clearance were other considerations that Flowmaster factored into its new lineup of Bronco exhausts. With these criteria, plus the dedication to making installation a bolt-on affair, Flowmaster was able to produce high-performance products and keep a low affordable price point.
“When we had a 2.7-liter Bronco shipped out to our engineering facility in Idaho last year, we already had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to do. It really comes down to giving the customers different options as far as sound level, tones, and look. And of course, we also wanted to improve performance – not only in terms of output but also capability… because of the layout and the component locations in the Bronco.”
– Mark Emerson of Flowmaster
Putting That American Thunder Down Under
The first exhaust option worth considering is an axle-back configuration that is intended for both Ford’s 2.3-liter and 2.7-liter Broncos. This American Thunder system relies upon a factory-style, single-port with 3-inch, mandrel-bent 16-gauge 409 stainless-steel tubing throughout.
While the chambered muffler does provide a more “traditional Flowmaster sound,” integration of the company’s Delta Flow technology plays a role as well. This passive noise-canceling design helps reduce interior resonance while pumping every ounce of performance it can scavenge.
A set of baffles were also located inside the muffler at certain points to help separate sound waves. Flowmaster explains that this is done to “…direct them to re-collide with one another, which in turn reduces drone in the cabin of the vehicle without inhibiting exhaust flow.”
Relying upon one of Flowmaster’s 60 Series chambered mufflers and a polished three-inch stainless-steel exhaust tip, the American Thunder exhaust system generates an additional 19 horsepower and 19 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. All with a more aggressive exhaust note that isn’t over the top.
Furthermore, it also comes with factory-style exhaust hangers for an OE-style install and comes backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Install And Ye Shall Receive
Brought to us both in axle-back and cat-back designs, Flowmaster’s specialized FlowFX system for the new Bronco uses straight-through muffler performance to kick things up a notch. Unlike the other exhaust, the FlowFX unit is a true dual-port design and comes finished with 4-inch, ceramic-coated black exhaust tips. It also packs a large mid-pipe for hasty turbo fume expulsion.
According to Flowmaster, this exhaust was modified to work with the Bronco platform’s muffler inlet. the result is a tone with a bit more bass than the American Thunder system and a notably more aggressive throttle note. The addition of a larger 3-inch mid-pipe leaves ample room for further performance mods down the line. Proper exhaust pulse velocity expulsion is a top consideration on these turbocharged engines.
While the tone is what one might call “aggressive,” volume levels remain modest, with performance perks sitting squarely at 17 horsepower and 18 lb-ft of torque at the wheels on either system. Much like the American Thunder setup, FlowFX Bronco exhausts rely upon 3-inch, 16-gauge mandrel bent stainless-steel tubing. This kit also affixes to the truck via the use of factory exhaust hanger points.
Performance Bronco Exhaust Options Aplenty
Lastly, there are the Outlaw and Outlaw High Clearance systems, which provide the most aggressive tone and clearance gains. Available in both axle-back and cat-back configurations, these two systems are quite different from one another in several ways.
The standard Outlaw series system has a similar look and layout to the dual-exit FlowFX system, its Super 10-style race muffler churns out what Flowmaster refers to as an especially “lively soundtrack.”
The axle-back system provides output gains of up to 14 horsepower and 16 pound-feet of torque at the wheels. The cat-back system delivers an additional bump of 6 horsepower and 7 lb-ft of torque. Both systems come finished with 4-inch black-chrome tips for a bit of stealthy pizzazz.
And finally, there’s the Outlaw High Clearance Bronco exhaust system. This uses a straight-pipe, single-exit design to keep that piping and exhaust tip tucked as high up under the rear of the Bronco as possible for maximum departure angle perks. This is by no means a street exhaust though. It basically serves as a muffler delete system. A single exit design with the most aggressive sound out of the lot. The only muffling features left would be the stock turbochargers and catalytic converter on the truck.