The Fake Exhaust Holes Of The Paris Auto Show Floor

It’s perhaps one of the most annoying design trends in the industry now, and no, we’re not talking about the lobster claw taillights again; this time we dive into the universally hated fake exhausts.

Having a sizeable set of exhaust tips is always eye-catching so pretty much every new model comes with them, despite most being obviously fake; the whole trend started a few years ago, with some cars having regular exhaust pipes resting inside much bigger polished tips but it went downhill pretty fast since then.

With the kind help of our photographers at the Paris Auto Show, we gathered an image gallery that shows who’s faking it and who’s really faking it. Some models go as far as having a chrome-trimmed hole that leads to emptiness while other don’t even bother drilling a hole at all. So, let’s investigate.

Audi A6

The new A6 doesn’t even care of pretending to have twin trapezoidal exhaust tips, so Audi just added a really shallow plastic cover within the trim pieces and called it a day.


The new BMW X5 on the other hand has the decency to actually route its exhaust pipes into the bumper. Still a bit frustrating but way better than the worst offenders here.

DS3 Crossback

Moving on to the new DS3 Crossback, which is actually one of the most honest new cars as far as exhausts go; just look at that snug fitment of the pipe within the tip! So satisfying.

KIA ProCeed

The new Kia ProCeed might be one of the most impressive wagon models we’ve seen this year but it too can’t escape from the fake-huge-tip syndrome. At least the real exhaust is nestled in there.

Mercedes – Every.Single.Model

Mercedes, along with Audi, is one of the worst offenders here, as every model comes with these infuriating pieces of trim on the rear bumper that pretend to be the exhaust tip, only to find out that the actual exhaust hides behind them.

Only the AMG models come with exhausts that actually point at the same direction with the tips, as portrayed here by the new AMG GT4 43.

Toyota Corolla

The new Toyota Corolla. I just can’t even.

Want to see more? Head to the gallery below and tell us which one you think is the worst offender in this despicable fake-exhaust-tip trend.

more photos...

Image Credits: Stefan Baldauf / Guido ten Brink for CarScoops


  • S3XY

    Do I even have to say it?

    • PK

      no need cause you’re a tesla fanboy.

    • Christian

      Do you like Tesla? 🙂

  • DetrinKD

    My question is why? They can’t be saving costs by putting effort and money into making it look like real exhausts.

    • Thunderbolt

      It’s the material, it must withstand high heat, and doesn’t get stained by the c02 coming out of the muffler. Cost saving goes into cheaper material.

  • Ruel Lewis

    Do they think this looks good?? I can excuse the cheaper cars but the so called luxury cars is where I draw the line. I’m appalled.I mean what is so hard to just make the exhausts a little longer and just? Shame on them.

  • salamOOn

    i dont care….. just like i dont care about fake “diffusers”.

    • LJ

      Not everyone shares your low standards.

      • salamOOn

        you know nothing about my standards….

        • Thunderbolt

          Take it easy man, only 1 more day until Friday.

  • karmat

    It’s because of customer satisfaction surveys. Dumb people complain about dirty exhaust tips. These are the same dumb people who complain about brake dust on the wheels. I’m surprised we haven’t see solid wheels yet with a picture of a brake rotor and caliper painted on.

  • Ditzebächer

    Exaust is dirty. Better hiding it.

    • LJ

      That’s fine. Then don’t include fake tips.

    • john1168

      You’re not a car enthusiast, are you???

  • lol but this is about holes..

    • DMax

      I mean… robo waifus are coming

    • Joe E

      Indeed, to quote from the article: “just look at that snug fitment of the pipe within the tip! So satisfying”

  • D3X

    Goes along with the fake intake and grilles. Both need to go honestly. Not only do they look bad, they cost more to make these unnecessary totally cosmetic parts.

    • DMax

      I think it’s the opposite, these fake tips are the result of penny pinching on the manufacturers part. It costs more to make the same shape steel muffler tip that just put some plastic piece instead.

      • D3X

        Well, I’d rather than have no fake tips and smooth body bumper like the older cars that have the exhausts pointing to the ground away from view. I would think this would be fine anyway, because EVs are the upcoming trend and they have no pipes.

      • performance models usualy have different bumpers and wings… So not sure it cost less to have fake tips. It’s just to have more “sporty” details on the design. Most people will like how it looks, like they love the big front Grille on an Audi, it’s just plastic unless you buy an S or RS model who really needs to breathe.

  • Jay

    If I’m not mistaken the current Camry has one real exhaust tip and one fake one right next to each other. Same on the model with the quad exhaust. Looks better than these but still..

  • falas

    ¿What is the car in the photo 23?.

    • Camel

      Gac gs5

  • eb110americana

    Out of these, only the A8, Mercedes GLE, and Corolla have fake tips. The rest are intercooled tips that actually have exhaust moving through them. The extra airflow prevents you from burning your leg against them, and is also necessary to prevent melting the rear bumper when that closely integrated.

    You could argue that all front grilles are “fake radiators,” as that is what they are emulating. Hood ornaments and emblems evolved out of the old radiator caps at the top center.

  • Salih Ahzem

    Let’s salute the one who started this trend going, 2006 Honda Civic HB (Euro spec):

  • PK

    why are they doing this? is there a reason?

    • Matthew Boyd

      Read my comment. Has to be one of those I’m guessing.

  • Matthew Boyd

    I assume its cost cutting, aero possibly, maybe more flexibility for designers. There has to be a reason behind it. Prepping people for electrification, idk.

    • Camel



  • Camel

    Dirty exhaust tips? And what?

    I like when it’s noisy, smelly and dirty!

    I leave this fake exhausts to fake people.

  • StrangerGP

    Audi’s exhausts are by far the worst and what’s worse it looks like that even in the S6 model.

  • Marty

    Double standards. For every fake exhaust you show me, I will show you ten fake intakes.

    • TheBelltower

      Perhaps. But no one cares about the intake note, or stares at the intake at a stoplight.

  • Adam

    Fake exhaust, fake vents, fake engine sound…

  • Brabusbus

    That new Audi A6 fake exhausts is very embarrassing.

    • exeptor

      Exactly. At least leave some sort of a hole or at least make it slimmer. This is disgusting.

  • DMJ

    I don’t know why they dont do like BMW with the 5 Series G30 (specially the M Sport models), that have a real set of exaust pipes integrated into the bumper and they are 100% real and big. Even diesel models.

  • DanSemering

    X5 :))

  • DanSemering

    The new X5 has a fake one too…remember when everyone was ecstatic about the Q5 having one.

  • Enter Ranting

    Honestly, automotive design hasn’t been this bad since the 1980s.

  • Wow thank you for this piece, sometimes I really fall for it.

  • People want sporty mean looking cars with small engines cheap to run… AMG, S or M trims are sold with diesel engines, Cars that can’t get more than 150hp look like they have 500hp… That’s sadly what the market seems to like.

  • Victor Ferreira

    The Audi ones are by far the worst. The current Q5/SQ5 suffers even more from this.

  • TheBelltower

    Whoever decided that this is acceptable should lose their job. I don’t mind such fakery on throwaway cars like Corollas. But when you are spending real money on an Audi or Mercedes, there should be no fake business going on.

  • ErnieB

    I think this is more akin to a transsexual.. no?

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