AWE Exhaust Guide

AWE Exhaust Guide

Last Updated October 18, 2021 | C.J. Tragakis

AWE is one of the most prominent brands when it comes to exhaust upgrades for Ford vehicles. Their wide variety of exhaust systems allows drivers to find a set-up that has the volume, tone, and performance they want. Whether you drive a Mustang, Focus ST, or F-150, you can find an AWE aftermarket kit that will improve your ride’s sound.

AWE Exhaust Features

All AWE exhausts are made of durable materials and engineered to fit your specific vehicle. Here are some of the main features that differentiate their products.

AWE 180 Technology

AWE has a patented drone-canceling application called 180 Technology. Located in the resonator, this system uses special ports and chambers to modulate exhaust gases and sound waves. It cancels out undesirable frequencies with an out-of-phase sound wave.

Each 180 Technology-equipped resonator is uniquely designed for its specific vehicle. This allows AWE to get the perfect tone from any system.

All AWE Touring Edition systems have 180 Technology, unless they’re non-resonated. AWE’s Track Edition systems do not feature 180 Technology.

AWE Touring vs Track Exhaust

The most notable AWE exhaust variants are the Touring and Track Editions. The Touring exhausts are louder than stock and about what you’d expect for an aftermarket system. They offer a balanced set-up, with AWE’s patented drone-canceling 180 Technology. The non-resonated Touring systems are somewhat louder.

The Track exhausts are much louder than stock and are for those who want a very aggressive exhaust note. To get this fierce tone and volume, AWE doesn’t use their 180 Technology on the Track products. So, some minor to moderate exhaust drone is possible.

Mustang Axle-Back Kits

For the Mustang, AWE systems have a more exotic, race-inspired sound. AWE has both axle-back and cat-back kits for the Ford Mustang.

An axle-back kit is designed to change your Mustang’s exhaust tone and volume. They’re more affordable than a full cat-back upgrade. However, they won’t offer the same performance benefits.

AWE Mustang Axle-Back Exhaust Kit

Axle-backs won’t increase exhaust flow enough to make a noticeable difference in power. But they do let you get the noise you want without overhauling your entire system.

To install them, you’ll need to cut some pipes, which can be intimidating for beginners. If you’re not comfortable with it, it’s a quick and relatively affordable job for an exhaust shop to take care of.

Mustang Touring Edition Axle-Backs

AWE’s Touring Edition will crackle and pop like the Track Edition, but it’s quieter and has a slightly lower pitch. The burble and rumble at idle sound more like an American muscle car than a European exotic. At higher RPM though, you’ll definitely notice some snarl. The drone-canceling 180 Technology doesn’t take the sting out of this axle-back, and it’s still loud enough to turn heads.

Mustang Track Edition Axle-Backs

The Track Edition is raspy and crackly, with noticeable pops when you let off the throttle. For those that want a snarling, race-inspired sound, this is the system for you. It’s loud and provides an exotic growl that will make it stand out from other American sports cars.

Mustang Cat-Back Kits

To upgrade your Mustang’s sound and performance, a cat-back by AWE is a great choice. You get improved exhaust flow, plus the volume and tone you want. Cat-back systems will naturally be more expensive than axle-backs. But you’ll get a small bump in horsepower, which can be increased even more when combined with a cold air intake and tune.

AWE Mustang Cat-Back Exhaust Kit

Mustang Touring Edition Cat-Backs

Even the AWE Touring system seems to growl at idle instead of purr. There’s still a classic muscle car rumble underneath, but the overall sound has a higher pitch once you get on the throttle. It’s exotic and super-aggressive. For highway cruising though, the system quiets down and exhibits no drone at all.

This is a loud system, even though it’s not to the level of the Track Edition. It’s great for those that want something that sounds very performance-oriented, but don’t want the loudest system around.

Mustang Track Edition Cat-Backs

The Track Edition has a similar tone to the Touring, but at a much louder volume. Like the axle-backs, AWE’s Track cat-back is designed to be one of the highest volume systems out there. They don’t use the 180 Technology in the resonator to cancel out the exhaust drone.

You get a loud idle that burbles and grumbles. Once you hit the gas, you get an ultra-aggressive roar through the RPM range. There’s even more rasp, plus tons of pops and crackles when you let off the accelerator.

Focus ST Cat-Back Kits

You can really bring out the sound of the EcoBoost engine in the Focus ST with an AWE aftermarket exhaust. The factory layout is very quiet, so there’s lots of potential for enhanced sound output with a modded system.

AWE Focus ST Exhaust Kit

Focus ST Touring Edition Cat-Backs

AWE offers flexibility with its Touring systems for the Focus ST. You can select from both resonated and non-resonated versions.

The resonated version has the 180 Technology, and is comparable to the volume level of most other aftermarket systems. The non-resonated version is louder, but not quite to the level of the Track Edition.

Many enthusiasts will find that the Touring systems are the sweet spot between the too-quiet stock system and the all-out Track system. The resonated Touring system makes it much easier to hear intake and blow-off sounds. Plus, it gives the car more of a burbly growl. The non-resonated system is louder, more aggressive, and raspy.

Focus ST Track Edition Cat-Backs

AWE’s Track exhaust for the Focus ST is one of the louder aftermarket options available. It’s got an aggressive European tone that’s raspy and lets through plenty of turbocharger noises. If you use your ST on the track, or just want one of the loudest exhausts available, this is the system for you. It also features a straight-through design to maximize performance.

Because it doesn’t have AWE’s 180 Technology, some minor drone at certain RPM ranges is possible. Still, many enthusiasts find it’s easy to live with.

If you’re lucky enough to have Ford’s hottest hatch, check out AWE’s track edition cat-back exhaust for the Focus RS. It will give you even more of a throaty growl, plus a noticeable increase in performance. You’ll get cracks and pops too, making your RS sound like it truly belongs on a rally course.

F-150 Cat-Back Kits

AWE F-150 Exhaust Kit

A mid-pipe system or cat-back will increase both the sound and performance of your F-150 pickup. AWE makes it easy to enhance the roar of your truck’s V8. Or, you can get your twin-turbo V6 Raptor sounding as mean as it looks.

For many owners, the 2nd-gen Raptor’s exhaust sounds too quiet and smooth. AWE’s aftermarket cat-back definitely helps to fix that. While it’s impossible to make a 6-cylinder sound like a V8, you can make the exhaust note much more aggressive. Plus, it’ll growl and purr in a way that makes the truck sound more performance-oriented.

With just the right amount of rasp, AWE’s kits are an easy way to get the sound you want from your Raptor. Plus, you’ll hear way more of the turbos coming through. This is nicely contrasted with some more low-pitched burbles. The 0FG cat-back is the most aggressive of AWE’s offerings, with a race-inspired sound and improved exhaust flow.

No matter which system you choose, you’ll get a clean, straight-through design that’s much less restrictive than stock. They’re lighter too, giving you a weight-savings benefit as well.

Choosing Your AWE Exhaust

For a complete look at all of their offerings, check out our AWE brand page. No matter how you want your car or truck to sound, you can find the perfect upgrade for your exhaust system. Take a look at our YouTube page for helpful installation videos for many AWE products. They also include sound clips, letting you hear how each specific kit will sound for different models.

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About the Author

C.J. is a Focus ST owner and car industry buff. He uses his first-hand experience and passion for the industry to craft interesting and helpful topics for fellow enthusiasts. Read full bio →

This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.

AWE Exhaust Guide

To get stronger performance and more aggressive sound from your exhaust system, take a look at AWE’s aftermarket upgrades. Whether you have a Mustang, Focus, or F-150, you can find a set-up that will provide the louder, sportier sound you want for your vehicle.