At Akrapovic, the exhaust system R&D department is truly the heart of the company. The experienced and highly motivated team has a wide array of modern high-tech equipment to create enhanced performance exhaust systems, including three dynamometers (two motorcycle and one four-wheel automotive), a digital 3D scanner and a 3D printer that allows the rapid creation of full-size prototypes from ABS plastic for fitment simulations. It takes approximately one month for the full cycle process of completely redesigning the exhaust system for superior performance, high quality and TV approved sound, reduced weight and greatly improved aesthetics on a typical high-performance car. The OEM exhaust system is first analyzed for temperature and backpressure characteristics, and from this it is determined which components require redesign. The main goal of creating an exhaust system with improved performance is to reduce backpressure in the system, but at the same time maintain or increase exhaust gas velocity. Temperature data throughout the system, although not as critical, is utilized in the new design prototype to account for material expansion and to minimize pressure changes. The prototype development also creates a performance exhaust system such that individual components can be replaced separately in a modular fashion. And, of course, all final prototypes are fashioned in full titanium.
Akrapovic sold its first aftermarket full titanium exhaust system for a mass produced street car in April 2009; that system was for the Mk I Porsche 997 GT3. Setting the bar high and towards the top end of the performance sports car spectrum they now manufacture full systems and mufflers for many European brands: Audi, BMW, MINI, Porsche, Volkswagen; Mercedes-Benz and Renault were added in late 2010; and Ferrari and other exotics are being considered for 2011. Several North American and Asian models will also be targeted. Akrapovic plans to add 12 to 14 new models per year. In addition, the company plans to partner with OEM manufacturers, which will account for approximately 15 percent of its automotive activities. In their first OEM project, Akrapovic successfully partnered with Porsche on the 2008/9 Porsche 997 GT2—not a bad place to start.
Getting truly serious about the automotive world also means creating a strong presence in North America. On July 12th, 2010, Akrapovic opened its new subsidiary, Akrapovic America in Irvine, Calif. From this new headquarters, orders, distribution, warehouse, dealers and PR will be organized for all North America. This will undoubtedly streamline the availability and flow of products from Slovenia.
Akrapovic’s ultra high-end brand of performance exhaust systems will most certainly fill a unique niche in the automotive world. So let the next titanium revolution begin.
The Akrapovic Stylized "Skorpion" Logo
Back in the early days Skorpion was used as the company name. It seemed fitting enough as the founder’s name Akrapovic could be loosely translated from Turkish (Akrap) to mean Skorpion (spelled scorpion in English), and the company’s exhaust systems certainly provided a stinging bite to all competition. However, in 1997, with continuing world-level success in motorcycle racing, it was decided that this name had to be changed as it was very similar to other registered trademarks around the world. The logical solution was to revert back to the family name of the founder of the company, Akrapovic, who was very well known in the industry. Today, Akrapovic uses an abstract pictographic representation of the scorpion as the company logo. Interestingly, the founder’s wife was strongly involved in the design process of this logo; she is a successful artist, and also designed the buildings and interior workspace of the new factory.