Billy Boat Performance Exhausts, who have been making industry-leading, high-quality exhausts for some time now, have put their know-how to work on the C6 Z06 and ZR1 again, and they’ve created something brilliant and fantastic. The newest exhaust line from their R&D team is their PRT Exhaust–PRT stands for Purge-Resonance Technology. The PRT systems are designed and manufactured to ensure that at normal cruising speeds there is no cabin drone within the vehicle, but that once opened up in to the higher-RPM ranges the vehicle itself has the powerful, throaty, and classic muscle tone that people want and expect from a Chevy small-block V8.
Of course, the success of Billy Boat exhaust systems is nothing new. From their renowned Bullet exhaust systems (known for their loud, powerful, and aggressive tones) to their even more well-respected Fusion systems (which took the best aspects of the bi-modal stock exhaust, made those their own, and improved the tone), Billy Boat has been impressing the Corvette crowd for some time. For this reason, and the prior success of their other PRT systems, I was happy to see B&B produce this PRT exhaust for Z06 and ZR1 Corvettes. It seems like a potentially great match.
Of course, the exhaust isn’t without its questions. The first, and most obvious of these, is why buy a non-bi-modal aftermarket exhaust? Chevrolet has done great work designing and producing their Bi-Modal exhaust systems, and they’ve gained a lot of press and praise for good reasons, so it seems a little counter-intuitive to remove that b-modal functionality when you upgrade. Of course, the bi-modal exhaust doesn’t work for everybody, does it? I’ve heard many times from people who don’t like the very abrupt change in tone up the RPM range. Also, by keeping the tips closed, the bi-modal restricts air flow at lower RPMs and ultimately restricts HP at start off. The difference is small, of course, in HP and Torque, but it does exist, so if you’re trying to squeeze the most ponies out of your Chevy, it’s not necessarily a good thing. The second question would then be: if you’re eliminating the bi-modal, how do you keep the vehicle drone-free? This is an area where the PRT system works wonderfully.
Specially designed and acoustically tuned (in much the same way the new, well-reviewed Borla ATAK exhaust systems are), the PRT mufflers are designed to specifically minimize cabin drone by focusing on the tonal range of the Corvette. This then allows for the system to maximize external volume and tone, and to offer a clean, powerful, pure, and throaty exhaust noise that doesn’t come coupled with insane interior exhaust drone. This rare combination of exterior sound and interior comfort has become the exhaust system holy grail that most exhaust manufacturers have found themselves looking to achieve, and few have done so as well as Billy Boat has. That combination, too, is what makes their PRT exhaust systems so special.
So, what does a PRT exhaust ultimately mean for your vehicle? For one, it’s improved quality. The stock exhausts aren’t, necessarily, poorly made. They’re just not as well constructed as after-market exhaust systems tend to be. GM uses cheaper stainless steel materials for production to save on their bottom line, and, when you view the stock exhaust next to much any other exhaust system this is incredibly obvious–and especially obvious when viewed next to the quality that Billy Boat provides with their 304 Stainless Steel, Mandrel Bent exhaust system for the C6. The Billy Boat PRT system also results in impressive weight reduction. Various parts associated with a bi-modal exhaust become unnecessary when moving away from it, and the Billy Boat system is designed more efficiently than the stock mufflers, which results in a lighter exhaust system.
The best aspect of the PRT exhaust definitely comes in the tone. I had the luxury of hearing one, because I’ve got a good friend over at B&B, recently, and I was amazed at the tone. At lower RPM’s it was about as quiet as the stock Bi-Modal exhaust, although the tone was undeniably deeper. When my friend accelerated through the RPM range, the tone became incredible. It picked up quickly and assuredly, and had this fantasticly deep rumble. The rumble, not even up in to the 6000rpm range, never became a raspy or whiney note either. It maintained a brilliant middle-ground in tone, keeping it away from the dirtiness of a Magnaflow type exhaust on one end of the spectrum, while also keeping it shy from the high whistle that a lot of the new Formula-1 inspired exhausts are striving for. Instead, it had a powerful, deep, and throaty crescendo through the RPM range that’s exactly how American muscle should sound. Inside the vehicle, too, we were able to turn off the radio and hear no drone at all at cruising speeds. The exhaust is still audible, of course, but there’s none of that deafening exhaust drone that blocks out your radio, your conversation, or your own train of thought, and that’s nice. As we accelerated, too, the exhaust became increasingly more audible, but maintained a fantastic interior tone that still allowed us to speak (or, in my case, laugh with giddy delight at the tone–it’s amazing how a car, more specifically THE car, can always make me feel like an excited child. Gotta love the Corvette).
In all, I must say that I’m excited to see Billy Boat release their PRT system for the Z06 and ZR1. Is it for everyone? No, it’s not, and the Billy Boat Fusion (my favorite exhaust, personally) exists for those people that wish to maintain their bi-modal exhaust functionality. Is it amazing? Yes, it certainly is. The development and technology that Billy Boat has put in to their PRT exhaust line is obvious in the sound and the build of them. So, if you’re looking to move away from the Bi-Modal Exhaust, this is definitely an exhaust to consider.
On a side note, but still related, Billy Boat has started offering all of their exhaust systems with new, ceramic coated, Satin Black Exhaust tips. I love the look of them, especially on a vehicle with Carbon Fiber rear end work (like a diffuser, or something). The satin black finish is classy, and aggressive, and could really give a vehicle a much more custom look. That being said, I’ve also heard lots of things about Ceramic Coating chipping on Headers and other systems, so I’m not certain about the durability on exhaust tips. I imagine, being Billy Boat, they’re probably pretty strong, but I still wonder. With as beautiful as they are, and as great as the exhaust sounds, I’d hate to have them installed only to chip later. I’ll probably give it some time and check on them again, on my friend’s Corvette, and see how well they’ve handled the test of time! I can say, for certain right now, they’re gorgeous exhaust tips (they give his black Z06, with CF work, a very Batmobile-esque look, and that’s just awesome).