Exhaust Talk: Episode 02 | The Cat Debate

Posted by Cobra Sport Admin

Returning to Cobra Sport's educational series Exhaust Talk, episode 2 sees Cobra Sport visit renowned VAG tuners Decimal Tenths to discuss catalytic converters.


What is a catalytic converter?

Catalytic converters have been present in our cars exhaust systems since their introduction in 1975, the catalysts main purpose is to control the emissions of your vehicle, reducing the harmful pollutants (hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide & nitrogen oxides) given off by your engine.

How does it work?

The catalyst consists of a metal honeycomb structure containing numerous channels for the exhaust gasses to pass through. Sports cats are covered using a special wash coat containing precious metals (platinum, palladium and rhodium) which encourage the chemical reactions that occur (oxidation & reduction) when your exhaust gasses pass through thus lowering your vehicles emissions.

What is the difference between a de-cat and a sports cat?

A sports cat is designed to allow more performance but still control your vehicles emissions to legal levels. A de-cat is built purely for motorsport or off road use and has no emissions control therefore will not pass an MOT and will deem your vehicle illegal for road use.

Why is a sports cat more expensive than a de-cat?

Although consisting of similar pipework the catalytic converter used within a sports cat downpipe is expensive to produce and contains numerous expensive metals however when compared with an OEM catalytic converter a sports cat downpipe can be much cheaper and still offer the same level of emission control.

Which cat is best for me?

Ultimately this does depend on your intentions for your vehicle. If you are looking to tune and get more performance from your daily driver then a sports cat will allow you to pass an MOT and  unlock your cars potential. If you are building a track build purely to be used off road then a de-cat will create the best flow and give a higher potential for tuning. If you are just wanting a little more tone from your exhaust system then leaving the stock cat in place and looking into cat-back or axle-back exhaust sets up may be your preferred route.

All Cobra Sport exhausts utilise precision TIG-welding techniques for exemplary fit and finish - a feature that gives Cobra Sport an advantage over other manufacturers. With over 25 years in the performance exhaust industry, each Cobra Sport exhaust system is designed, manufactured and tested in Sheffield, the heart of the UK steel industry.

Head to the Cobra Sport YouTube channel > to hear all of our performance exhausts in action.