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Fabspeed Valvetronic Cat-Back Exhaust Wakes Up the C8 Z06!

Posted by Joe Kucinski on 18th Mar 2024

Fabspeed Valvetronic Cat-Back Exhaust Wakes Up the C8 Z06!

We head to the Fabspeed headquarters to see for ourselves how their new Z06 exhaust is built, and how it sounds and performs.

Sound clips and YouTube videos are one thing. But the only true way to know how an aftermarket exhaust sounds and performs is to hear it and experience it for yourself. Lucky for me I happen to know someone that owns a Corvette Z06 Convertible that is fitted with the Fabspeed Valvetronic Cat-Back Exhaust System. That someone is Joe Fabiani, the President and CEO of Fabspeed Motorsport. He invited me down to the Fabspeed headquarters in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania so I could see what went into the development of the system. And to take the Z06 Corvette out on the road so I could hear it for myself. Sometimes a Corvette Forum assignment is a dream come true.

I have known Joe for several years. I have been to his shop many times, and I have purchased his products. My Porsche Cayman track car wore Fabspeed headers and was tuned in their shop. I put thousands of hard track miles on that car, and I never had a single issue with the Fabspeed products. So, I have high expectations for any product that comes out of their shop. The good news is that so does Joe. He and his team spent about a year developing this Corvette Z06 Valvetronic Cat-Back exhaust system. Did all that work pay off? That is what I was here to find out.



The process started by getting a C8 Z06, taking the stock system out of the car and 3D scanning it. Then it was cut up to get a look inside to understand what the GM engineers were doing, and how Fabspeed could improve upon it. The team decided to use their signature cast X-Pipe to tie the two cylinder banks together for exhaust scavenging and to defeat resonance. But the biggest challenge was with the exhaust valves. They had to be robust enough to stand up to the extreme temps without failing and throwing engine codes. The solution was to go with Helical ISO certified British exhaust valves. If you ever want to see Joe get angry, ask him about inexpensive exhaust valves from China.


The Look

The finished product looks incredible at the back of the Z06. Especially when fitted with the optional carbon fiber tips. It is a shame that more of the system is not visible on the car once it is installed. But it does more than just look great. The system is 20 pounds lighter than the OEM setup. Will you be able to feel that 20-pound weight loss by the seat of your pants? Probably not, but less weight is always a good thing, so it is welcomed here. But enough about looks and development, how does it sound?

The Sound

I have tested many aftermarket exhausts over the years. And the first thing I always do is try to find the drone zone. I will purposefully let the engine sit in various RPM ranges in a gear or two lower than I normally would to see if I can induce any drone sound. Because for many buyers, even if an exhaust sounds incredible while running up to redline, they won’t buy it if it drones like mad on the highway. I spent a good hour with the exhaust valves open just trying to make the exhaust drone. If it ever did, I didn’t hear it. I would happily road trip this Z06 across the country with this exhaust setup installed.

This Z06 has no other modifications beyond this exhaust. There are no aftermarket headers or anything of the sort. So, the basic Z06 character is still there. But this exhaust just opens things up a bit more. It offers a Z06 sound dialed up to 11. It sounds aggressive when you want it to and tame when you just want to cruise. There is this sweet little pop at the upshift near redline that is magical. If you think a regular Z06 sounds like a Ferrari 458, one fitted with this exhaust sounds like a meaner Ferrari 458.

An employee of Fabspeed shared a funny story with me. He has a relationship with hotels in the area as they often have guests visiting the shop from out of town. These hotels hear Fabspeed employees and customers driving exotic cars all the time. But during the Z06 exhaust development one hotel contacted him and asked him what incredible sounding car he was driving in. It was this Z06. Even among all the exotics this car stood out. That says it all.

The Z06 Valvetronic Cat-Back exhaust system is available now and has a suggested retail price of between $5,496.95 and $5,826.95. The higher priced system includes the carbon fiber tips. That is not inexpensive, but sometimes in life you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a high quality system that will make your Corvette Z06 standout, you need to take a close look (and listen) at this Fabspeed system.