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Lethal Performance - Exhaust Megathread


New Member
South Florida
2020 Explorer ST
Hey everyone!

I wanted to put together a showcase of the exhaust options currently available for the ST! We've tested multiple ourselves, so we have a lot of footage and information to share, but we could always use input from everyone else and help compile the options.

For those who do not know, the stock ST exhaust is 2.25" and is relatively quiet. The routing goes downpipes to mid-pipe and then follows through a cat-back. There are a variety of aftermarket exhaust options that can replace every piece of the exhaust system.

Since we'll look at it in order, I'll start with the downpipes.

SPD has a rather unique approach where they brought a 3" option to market that comes with the mid-pipe already. This can adapt to a 3" exhaust or a stock exhaust.
SPD/mid Downpipe combo

FenFab offers a true downpipe replacement where it is 3" but reduces down to fit oem/aftermarket exhaust. They are offered in both off-road and catted.
Off-road & catted

CVF is the newest offering for the Explorer ST platform and are also 3" with a reduction to fit oem/aftermarket exhaust. They are offered only catted.
CVF Downpipes

The next in the order of the exhaust would be the mid-pipe! The stock/OEM mid-pipe is known to have a rattle issue, so many people replace this section even with an otherwise stock car!

We offer our own branded mid-pipes for the Explorer. These are 304 stainless steel and fit OEM or aftermarket exhausts that utilize a factory connection.
Lethal Performance Mid-pipes

Thermal R&D also offers their mid-pipes that fit their cat-back exhaust.
Thermal R&D Mid-pipes (for their cat-back)

The last portion of the exhaust is the cat-back which contains the rear mufflers as well. There are multiple options that range from 2.5" - 3" and a variety of sound profiles. We'll post some sound clips in a separate comment as there are so many different options.


Thermal R&D has multiple options for the Explorer ST. They have a 2.5" and 3" option, where the 3" option also includes the mid-pipes and both of which are 304 stainless steel. The 3" is significantly louder than the 2.5", but Thermal R&D strides to reduce drone with catted setups.
Thermal 3" with polished tips
Thermal 3" with black tips
Thermal 2.5" with polished tips
Thermal 2.5" with black tips

Corsa is exclusively offered at Lethal Performance and it is a 2.5" 304 stainless steel exhaust and has a relatively mid-range sound profile. It sounds great with catted downpipes.
Corsa with polished tips
Corsa with black tips

MBRP has two options that are only differentiated by their tip. They are 2.5" diameter, aluminized steel and are in the mid to louder range for a sound profile.
MBRP with polished tips
MBRP with black tips

AFE also has two options only different by the tip option. It is a 2.5" 304 stainless steel exhaust and it is in the mid to loud range sound profile as it also includes the mid-pipes.
AFE with polished tips
AFE with black tips

Borla offers two different sound profiles, the S-Type and ATAK. The S-Type is their mid-range sound profile whereas the ATAK is their more aggressive and loud profile. They are offered in a variety of tip options and are 2.25" 304 stainless steel, which is the same diameter as stock.
Borla S-Type with polished tips
Borla S-Type with black tips
Borla S-Type with carbon fiber tips
Borla ATAK with polished tips
Borla ATAK with black tips
Borla ATAK with carbon fiber tips

Magnaflow has one option which is in their mid-range sound profile and has black tips. It is 2.5" diameter and made with 409 stainless steel.
Magnaflow with black tips

CP-e has one of the most recent releases for Explorer ST in terms of cat-backs. They are offered in three different finishes, all of which are 2.75" diameter and 304 stainless steel. This system includes the mid-pipe section as well.
CP-e with polished tips
CP-e with titan finish (satin)
CP-e with black tips

MRT has two different sound profiles, the interceptor and extreme. They both are 2.5" diameter and 304 stainless, but the interceptor is less loud as it contains mufflers. Both of these cat-backs contain the the mid-pipe section as well.
MRT interceptor
MRT extreme

There is an alternative to the cat-back which would be going with an axle-back, which is essentially just replacing the muffler section. This is one of the cheaper options as it contains the least amount of exhaust components.

MBRP has a muffler delete/axle-back that has two different tip options. The polished tip option uses aluminized steel. The carbon fiber tip option uses 304 stainless steel.
MBRP with polished tips
MBRP with carbon fiber tips

MRT has a muffler delete/axle-back that has two different tip options, both of which are 304 stainless steel.
MRT (choose your own tip option)

Gibson offers a muffler delete/axle-back with two different tip options, both of which are 304 stainless steel. Gibson uses a ceramic coating on their exhaust components.
Gibson with polished tips
Gibson with black tips

I plan to update this list as more systems come out. The next comment on this thread will have sound clips. I intend to update this, too.




New Member
South Florida
2020 Explorer ST
Thread Starter #2
Corsa cat-back:
Lethal Performance Exclusive: Corsa Performance Catback for the Explorer ST - YouTube

Corsa cat-back with SPD catted downpipes and Lethal Performance mid-pipe:
PURE EXHAUST SOUND - 2020 Ford Explorer ST Full, Turbo-Back Exhaust - YouTube

Thermal R&D 3" with SPD catted downpipes:
INSTALL AND SOUND CLIPS - Thermal R&D 3 Inch Catback System for 2020+ Explorer ST - YouTube

As we gain more information/context from customers & videos, I'd like to do a 1-10 rating on loudness, drone, and scaling the tone from raspy to deep.

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1000 Post Club
Very nice, this thread has been needed for a long time.

I guess this is a thread where I can describe my experience with the Thermal R&D 2.5" system.

It's not the exhaust system for you if you're looking for a Race-Race system/sound, perhaps Thermal's 3" system would be a better choice. That said, it is the perfect choice for someone that wants a little rumble at idle or light throttle but still gets a bit rowdy when your foot is on the floor. There is no rasp or buzzing sound.

Mine has zero drone and I'm pretty particular. This system literally checked every box on my list of wants for this particular vehicle. From larger black tips to slightly larger than the factory diameter to a better mid-pipe set-up this system hits the mark.

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