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GregF said:
Well then, how long with the stock exhaust last? And more importantly, over time will the stock exhaust note improve (i.e.; deeper, throatier)?
This is another one of those 'it depends' answers. If you drive the car enough distance so that the exhaust system is regularly warmed though and can evaporate any water within it, then it will last longer, I'd estimate 3-4 years. If the exhaust is regularly driven short distances, it will will contain some water, which will corrode the exhaust over time. Driving on salty roads will also have a marked detrimental effect.

The engine note does not get deeper over time, just a little less 'tinny' from when the system is brand new. I ended up replacing my system with a Playmini stainless cat-back exhaust (no center muffler). A mate of mine has the AC Schnitzer back box, that sounds deeper, but I'm not sure if it's stainless.
 
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