Along with Slovenia Akrapovič is also marking its 25th anniversary. This Slovenian highly innovative exhaust specialist will celebrate throughout the year with various events and the highly exciting production of a very limited edition of selected motorcycle and car exhaust systems.
To kick off the celebrations, Akrapovič has prepared a special logo to mark the occasion, featuring an interlocked “25” in the shape of a racetrack, with a chicane design element to honour one of the most important areas of the firm’s history: the highly emotive and exciting world of racing. The logo debuted on the 2016 Akrapovič calendar, with creative illustrations that reflect some of the company’s major milestones since its inception in 1991, when it was founded by Igor Akrapovič.
The 25th Anniversary Logo
The new logo will feature prominently through the season on all of Akrapovič’s two- and four-wheel racing platforms around the world, including MotoGP, DTM, and others. The first race to see the new design was the Supercross season opener on January 9th at Anaheim, California. Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Ryan Dungey (the reigning 2015 champion) along with teammates Marvin Musquin and Dean Wilson were riding with the 25th anniversary logo on the exhausts of their KTM 450 SX-F Factory Edition bikes. Image of the premiere appearance of this exciting new emblem is attached to this release and signify the first of many times that the logo will be seen at the highest level of racing through 2016.
Humble beginnings in the early 1990s
Since the company’s humble beginnings in the early 1990s, Akrapovič has gone from strength to strength. The first major milestone in its history came in 1993, with entry into international competition in the Pro Superbike and later WSBK championship, leading to a partnership with Kawasaki Deutschland after the Akrapovič system outperformed the factory version.
Continued expansion in high-level racing led to the company achieving its first victory on the world stage in 1997, when Japanese factory rider Akira Yanagawa won a WSBK race on a Kawasaki. On the retail side, Akrapovič designed and offered customers full titanium exhaust systems for Kawasaki and Yamaha sport bikes in 1997 – a product that has grown and become more innovative and widely available to a diverse range of motorcycles as the company has evolved.
In 1999 the company moved to bigger premises with the opening of a new 3,000 m² production plant. That year also marked a racing first, when every single Japanese team in the Superbike World Championship used Akrapovič systems, demonstrating the quality and high regard the exhausts had attained.
The first World Championship
Akrapovič hit new heights on the racing scene in 2000, winning its first world championship, when the WSBK title was taken by Colin Edwards riding a Honda. This was followed by the company’s entry into MotoGP in 2002 and cooperation with factory teams at the highest level of motorcycle racing. Further modernisation of the company continued, with production upgrades and improved workforce education, all leading to an enhanced development process.
In 2005 Akrapovič took the motorcycle aftermarket world by storm with the introduction of the first hexagonal exhaust system. This revolutionary and unique design marked a huge step for the company and another important landmark in its history. Akrapovič followed up its two-wheeled success by achieving its first victory in a 24-hour car race, with Manthey-Racing
Team taking victory at the prestigious Nürburgring 24-hour event in 2008.
High-profile car partnerships
As the first decade of the 21st century drew to a close, Akrapovič continued to expand, and 2009 saw the opening of a new state-of-the-art titanium foundry in a large purpose-built extension of the factory at Ivančna Gorica in Slovenia. High-profile car partnerships followed, as ventures with Audi Sport in FIA WEC and BMW Motorsport in DTM were announced in 2012. The Audi Sport partnership in 2012 saw Akrapovič win its first car world championship title with an Audi R18 e-tron quattro racing car, and added to the strength of the collaboration, which witnessed unbeatable performances by Akrapovič-equipped Audi LMP1 racing cars at the 24h Le Mans from 2010 until 2014. New partners were revealed in 2013, as Akrapovič became an official supplier to Aston Martin Racing in FIA WEC and the official exhaust sponsor to X-raid Team’s MINI ALL4 Racing cars – a partnership that led to victory in the tough and demanding Dakar rally.
With the company being heralded as the best premium exhaust manufacturer in the world, honours and commendations have been regularly bestowed upon the Slovenian specialists.
Winning the highly important Red Dot: Best of the Best award in the Product Design category – the highest possible honour available – for the Akrapovič Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust system for the Ducati 1199 Panigale in 2014 further underscored the high standards the company had reached. The system is now a permanent feature at the Red Dot exhibition in Essen.
New-generation exhaust system
Akrapovič pushed the innovative boundaries of exhaust design and manufacture even further in 2015, in both the car and motorcycle sectors. The Evolution Line (Titanium) exhaust system for the Mercedes-AMG S 63 Coupé, which was presented at IAA Frankfurt in 2015, is a new-generation exhaust system that is 45% lighter than the stock system, is EC/ECE type approved, and features an innovative active x-connection to create two distinct sound characters of the V8 engine. In the two-wheel market, 2015 saw the latest concept and the first titanium version of the (r)evolutionary Akrapovič exhaust system launched at the prestigious EICMA show in Milan. These cutting-edge, technically advanced designs feature a whole host of innovative features, and are a distinctive progression from the initial hexagonal muffler, showing that the Slovenian exhaust specialists are constantly looking towards the future with their innovative and hi-tech exhaust technology.
Akrapovič racing heritage has been a constant feature throughout the company’s history, and Akrapovič is certainly an organisation that can be #TrustedByChampions. The importance of racing led to a significant event in the company’s history in late 2015, as the milestone of 100 world champions was achieved when Jorge Lorenzo secured the MotoGP title at Valencia.
Source: RTVSLO.SI | Sinfo