Project 360: An 8,500rpm Singing Lesson With iPE Exhausts

An Italian minute can be anything from 60 seconds to many months.

It’s the same measurement of time used during a night out, right after announcing you’ll be leaving. Obviously, saying those words out loud must make them true, yet somehow another drink has already found its way into your hands.


This is why I’m exercising my right both as an Italian – and someone with terrible time management – to excuse the last Project 360 update. I had every intention of doing a ‘big reveal’ shortly after that post, but here we are, 10 months later. That’s bad even by my standards.


I had some good excuses lined up, mainly to entertain one Australian individual who rages in the comments section at every project update. But for their sake and mine, we’ll keep this one entirely positive.

Because even the really bad bits of Ferrari 360 ownership should only ever be met with the term ‘cry me a river’. It’s a bright red Ferrari race car; what are you moaning about? Practicality? Costs? Awkwardness?


Positive vibes only, even if both Kevlar-cased endurance fuel tanks need replacing and re-foaming. They’re supposed to be changed every five years, and these still have stamps from 1999. But I promise you that’s not me complaining; custom tanks can be made even if they are quite expensive. So cry me a river, Ferrari boy.

Right, back to what actually matters…


Since I last misled you on a far-fetched timeline, I’ve (obviously) had the Yokohama Advan A052 tyres fitted to the RAYS Volk Racing TE37s, and it looks completely wild.

It’s not going to be to everyone’s taste – personally I think I’ve cocked up the front tyre fitment slightly and need to come down a profile – but those were the ideal size for the increased width, and it’s exactly the kind of Japanese ‘Tsukuba monster’ look I was after.


And if we’re throwing in some more first world problems, there’s always this spare set of BBS RE700/701 wheels to run.

What the car has been plagued with for a while is an odd fuel cut/surge under hard acceleration which throws the engine into limp mode. Through much driving and science – which involved filling either tank in between runs – it seems to only happen when using the right-hand fuel tank.


For those unfamiliar with the fuel setup on Ferrari 360 Challenge race cars, there’s two 50-litre fuel bags encased in Kevlar tanks, one on each side of the engine. These are then joined in the middle with a balancer pipe allowing fuel to move freely between the two.


However, unlike normal fuel tanks, these are crammed full of foam inserts designed to stop the fuel from sloshing around under hard acceleration and cornering, avoiding surge even when the fuel level is decreasing.


Foam from the late 1990s is very different to the foam being used in race cars today, and over time the old stuff degrades and breaks down into many little pieces. The result? Foam getting everywhere you don’t want it – filters, pumps and every pipe in between.

After that very scientific research documented earlier, there’s a good chance that balancer pipe connecting the two tanks is jammed full of old foam. The ‘main’ fuel pump feeds from the left-hand tank too, which could also explain why – when the left tank is empty and the right one is full – the surge issue appears again.


That’s why both tanks and all the associated fuelling components are being removed, then cleaned or replaced by Paul at ICS Motorsport in the coming weeks. It’s a big job and it’s not going to be cheap, but this isn’t your typical road-going car after all.


Swapping out the fuel pump might seem excessive, but the last thing I’d want is that to fail once it’s all bolted back together. Because to remove both those fuel tanks requires disassembling most of the engine bay plastics, shielding and even the exhaust manifolds.

That last bit gave me an idea…


The stock 360 Challenge (race) exhaust isn’t stock anymore. It’s running a set of aftermarket manifolds feeding to a token back box which doesn’t appear to have any form of silencing or baffles inside. It’s one of the loudest and most obnoxious cars I’ve ever owned. Brilliant, isn’t it?


Well it was, until I realised I can’t actually get on any track day in the UK with a noise limit below 118db. And that’s most places in the UK. Bugger.

No limit days are an option, but there’s actually a bigger issue for me in the type of sound the current exhaust produces.


A 3.6-litre flat-plane V8 revving to 8,500rpm should fizz and zing. It should scream like an opera singer being kicked in the testes. But this particular Ferrari doesn’t; it’s rough, loud and almost American-like with its burble.


If you’ve ever listened to Cardi B speak, you’ll know that simply adding volume doesn’t equate to a better sound being produced. I don’t have the power to solve that issue – nor does anyone in the world – but for cars at least the solution is far simpler: an iPE exhaust system.


All road cars are subject to much compromise, and expensive supercars are no different. In the case of the Ferrari 360, they made roughly 15,000 examples over five years. That’s hardly VW levels of production, but any cost saving can still make a decent margin here. Especially on large, heavy items like the exhaust system.


When you throw all that compromise in the bin and build an exhaust with nothing but noise and performance in mind, you end up with something like the iPE (Innotech Performance Exhaust) system pictured here.


In terms of physical silencing there’s not a massive amount, but the shape and tube diameter are designed to refine that engine note as much as increase the volume.

Spend a few minutes on YouTube and you’ll be inundated with ‘F1-sounding’ supercars, all the result of fabricators like iPE cleverly manipulating exhaust flow to give that iconic high-pitched scream.


While the iPE name may be familiar already, what you may not know is just how long they’ve existed for. iPE started back in 1998 as the Jim Header Industrial Company, debuting at the Tokyo Auto Salon the same year. By 2010, company founder Gary Chien had decided to create his own brand known as Innotech Performance Exhaust with more focus on sports and supercars rather than OEM.


What drew me towards the iPE system – aside from the obvious F1-inspired sound – is their use of electronic and vacuum-controlled exhaust valves as an option on almost all of their systems.

The stock Ferrari 360 comes with a vacuum-operated exhaust valve; the 360 Challenge race cars, not so much. But I was reassured the system would come with all the relevant hoses and wiring required to make it work once again.


I’m 33 years old now; I have a young child and I live in an estate where neighbourhood watch is seen as an actual profession rather than being inherently nosey.

Understandably, a bright red Ferrari race car causes some complaints. So the option to keep noise reduced with a valve is exactly the kind of early midlife crisis I can get on board with.


Will it work? Of course not, these people are idiots. But it does mean I can get the car to more track days, and that’s absolutely worth getting glares from the 9:00am curtain twitchers.


I’ll go into more details on the iPE system during the actual fitting process, and I promise this will include actual videos of noise, fly-bys and persistent revving. Just give me a minute – or several months – to get all that together. It’ll be worth it.

Mark Riccioni
Instagram: mark_scenemedia
Twitter: markriccioni



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Always coming through with the best commentary, Mark. Hopefully catch you out at a trackday sometime this year to hear what that mental-case sounds like at 8500rpm!


Goddammit Mark! Always leaving us hanging... LOL!


Awesome build, Mark, and well worth the wait.
Those T-37 wheels look just different enough from stock to invite a closer look.
Years ago, I found that a louder exhaust system actually made my motorcycle (a 750 Kawasaki Ninja) "slower" on the streets because it invited unintended attention from both civilians and police.


“For those unfamiliar with the fuel setup on Ferrari 360 Challenge race cars” *reading intensifies*

I saw the 360 and R34 at Silverstone last year. Mighty impressive. I’m glad you harbour ambitions of getting the Fez on circuit. Très bien!


Cheers Tom! It is absolutely not happy being on the road, so track is a must - and after briefly doing Anglesey last year it is beyond addictive. But also a tad too loud, so fingers crossed we get it rectified.


"If you’ve ever listened to Cardi B speak, you’ll know that simply adding volume doesn’t equate to a better sound being produced." Such wise words :)


Man a 360 or let alone any Ferrari would make one hell of a build especially this one
Just such a nice build love the JDM touch


The 360 has a special place in my heart. Theres faster and more exotic Ferrari of course, but this one is perfect to me... Also, that steering wheel... I'm a sucker for a gorgeous race steering wheel in alcantera.


Ah, those of us more familiar with SH know better than to have expectations. Mark Riccioni's car life is like the weather - you can't predict it, it just *happens*, often surprisingly and sometimes shockingly. Like sunshine - don't expect Mark's updates, but make sure to enjoy it when it comes.

Great update, car looks very videogame-racer, very cool. Agree on going down a profile on the front tyres, but otherwise yeah looks top. Good luck sorting it out and enjoying it this summer!


That is almost poetic, and the perfect anecdote. Occasionally you get that rare double sunshine days... which nobody is prepared for and then instantly resents the heat. Too warm now, having spent months saying we're all too cold. Maybe that's a British thing.

Appreciate the kind words, you should come write for Speedhunters!


Is "Neighborhood Watch" the UK version of an HOA?


If I understand HOA correctly, then it's quite different.

Wiki says:

Neighbourhood Watch in the United Kingdom is the largest voluntary crime prevention movement covering England and Wales with upwards of 2.3 million household members. Neighbourhood Watch groups work in partnership with the police, corporate companies with aligned values, voluntary organizations and individuals who want to improve their communities. Neighbourhood Watch aims to help people protect themselves and their properties and to reduce the fear of crime by means of improved home security, greater vigilance, accurate reporting of suspicious incidents and fostering a community spirit as well as tackling new forms of crime such as cybercrime.

So here in the UK you get nice neighbours that keep an eye on your house/car etc whilst you're away. They might even feed your cat if they're double nice. But then, on the flipside of that coin, you could have a neighbour who will report you to the Police for driving too fast, when in fact, you didn't even take your car out of the garage that day. Most people are pretty nice and friendly in the UK, but there's always a few oddballs.

Hope that helps Ice Age.


Got it - sounds like a formalized version of the (lowercase) neighborhood watches we have here in America.

I don't know what country you're in but in America, HOAs (homeowners' associations) are sort of like secondary local governments that don't play by ANY rules, other than the ones they make up on the spot. If you buy a house in a neighborhood with an HOA, you're forced to become a member of the HOA. Sort of like a union shop, but for housing.

HOAs tend to be staffed by capricious, petty sociopaths who delight in forcing residents to repaint their houses every year on their own dime, prohibiting the parking of cars in driveways, seizing & auctioning people's houses for unpaid membership dues and various & sundry other sorts of villainy, all on the flimsy pretense of protecting property values.


Baddest 360 on earth


How hard is it to have a race car road registered in England? Here in Quebec, Canada, it wouldn’t even possible even in my wildest dream (which might or might not involve a 8500 rpm singing 360 challenge)!


It's a bit of a grey area - so long as a car meets all the road/safety requirements, you can register almost anything however it has to go on a certain registration (Q plate) to signify this. It's more complicated than that, i'm just overly simplifying it.

Your other option is returning a race car to as 'close' to road as possible, in order to IVA it as the stock vehicle. But this generally involves putting everything back to stock, removal of rollcage, you name it.

Obviously, if you have a road car you then convert to a race car it makes like a whole load easier.


And then there's germany, where you can get imprisoned by having open headers.


Strange...didn't the Germans spend the last seven decades RENOUNCING totalitarianism?


brilliant, see you at the next update - whenever that might be.


It might be easier to treat them as elections, although every 4 years might be optimistic


Man, you could be a comedian with your jokes. Oh also, nice car.


Generally speaking with hair this long you need quite a good sense of humor.


I bloody love your number plate


I love what's happening with this project. Low concern for value, and max effort on chasing a vision. I hope that someday I'll be able to run a project at this level with these priorities.


Gonna be badass!


I'm not knocking your choice to go with the TE37 but is it a requirement to have them if you write for Speedhunters? It seems like everyone has, at some point, had them on one of their cars.


Oh absolutely not, but i think the bulk of Speedhunters contributors are aligned in terms of their interests/what they think looks good and that tends to divulge into TE37s hence why so many go down that route.


Possibly one of the best looking Ferrari I’ve seen in a long time
Well done


Hi Mark,
I love getting updates on this car .
I yearn for the day one of these updates starts with
“So I’ve decided to do a manual conversion “

Inception maybe ?


Those BBS look so fragile in comparisson

TE37FIT perfectly