- The Majestic Tailpipe of the Focus ST

The Centre Tailpipe: Inspired Design or Utter Stupidity?

Is the current trend for these exhausts a good thing?

People like symmetry. Strangely however they don't like too much. Cars are intentionally designed to be subtly asymmetrical to make them easier on the eye. People's faces are subtly asymmetrical and if you use copy, paste and flip to create a perfectly symmetrical face...

Well you end up with an image that is slightly disconcerting. It veers into the 'uncanny valley' where our normal desire for things to look natural is overturned by a discomfort at artificial things which seem TOO real.

At some point in time, car manufacturers started ditching the traditional off-set exhaust on their sportier models, and even the twin exhausts - for the now popular centre tailpipe. The thing is, though I bought a car with this design feature - I'm not entirely sure it's a great idea. Here's why:-

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My thoughts on the centre pipe.

Now you may disagree with me. There may be a perfectly reasonable non-aesthetic reason for piping the exhausts out of the car in the perfect position so as to give a man putting things in the boot carbon monoxide poisoning. I'll be honest, if there is - I don't know what that reason is!

It IS worth noting, that on the most premium Focus a man can buy these days - the Focus RS, Ford have reverted to a more traditional and slightly less annoying twin tail pipes, allowing you to fit a tow bar and load the boot without getting exhaust fumes blasted at your legs.

Martyn Stanley

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Comments (8)

  • I like it, it’s quite rare these days. Yes, it’s a little pointless, but it does add a serious touch of sport to the arse-end of a car. I love it on my Cooper S, and it looks even better on the John Cooper Works hatchback.

      2 years ago
    • Oh I like the aesthetics! I mean I quite like the XJR 575 which has a wider twin pipe. The trouble is you can't tow with a modern XJR at all anyway! Apparently the chassis isn't designed to take a tow bar. Pity really as the pre 2009 XJ was a great tow...

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        2 years ago
    • Thanks!

      I can’t actually think of many more cars with central pipes. The Alpine A110 has a cracking set:

        2 years ago