What’s the difference between a centre exhaust and a centre pipe?
Mechanically the difference consist in the presence of a straight through silencer, with a drilled pipe in a muffler packed with basalt and stainless steel wool.
Performance-wise the difference is very small, the “back-pressure” difference is low. It’s more about sound, weight and homologation.
The centre silenced exhaust, fitted with the homologated rear exhaust, results in noise levels very close to the standard system and retains acoustic comfort inside the cabin even when fitted with the full system (for example headers and sports cats).
In case of a “cat-back” system, the centre silenced exhaust may be too quiet and the sound be too similar to the OEM system.
Keep in mind that the homologation is valid only when specified in the component description.
The centre pipe is obviously considerably lighter than the centre exhaust.