I've spent quite a while researching available exhaust modifications for the SLK55 but I would appreciate opinions of other owners who have modified the exhaust. I don't have any experience with 8-cylinder engine exhausts so I have a hard time imagining what individual component changes would do to the sound.
I am not looking for a horsepower or torque increase, just a different (moderately to significantly louder, and meaner) sound. I would also like to stay below the California 90 dB limit (at least under 4-4.5 K RPM), so I am not aiming for anything outrageously loud.
I believe the stock exhaust is too restrictive. It sounds like exhaust gases strain to pass through which is not surprising given the number of obstacles in their paths.
I don't want to replace headers or catalytic converters, just the center resonator and the two rear mufflers.
My ideal sound is close to this SL:
The question is, what would give me this type of sound?
Option 1. Purchase an entire catback system (x-pipe and two mufflers) from Supersprint for $2800+.
Option 2. Remove center resonator, replace with straight pipes; keep stock rear mufflers.
Option 3. Remove center resonator, replace with an x-pipe; keep stock rear mufflers.
Option 4. Keep center resonator; replace rear mufflers with straight pipes; keep exhaust tips.
Option 5. Remove the entire catback exhaust, replace with straight pipes all the way; keep exhaust tips.
Option 1 is the most attractive to me because stock catback exhaust can be disconnected at the flanges and kept intact. However, I doubt this Supersprint setup will sound loud enough, or the way I want. Anybody here with Supersprint mufflers?
Options 2, 3 and 4 make it impossible to put the stock exhaust back together in its original form. Having searched through existing threads, I know that several members of this forum have done option 3 and maybe even 2. I'd like to hear their opinions. Is the sound achieved by the Supersprint or any other x-pipe similar to the SL sound in the clip above?
Options 4 and 5 require a good exhaust shop that is probably next to impossible to find. They may end up way too loud as well.
What do you think?
P.S. If anybody between Santa Rosa, Walnut Creek and Santa Cruz, CA has a modified exhaust I'd appreciate the opportunity to hear it.