You mean not *everyone* loves the guttural rumble of a muscle car?
According to a recent poll by Ranker.com, the five most annoying noises neighbors make include early morning yard work, power tools, barking dogs, band practice, and loud engines revving. I’m all in on the incessant barking and booming construction noise, and I’d probably add excessive fireworks to that list, especially this time of year. My most despised sound is the leaf blower: when I hear a leaf blower early in the morning, I want to go outside and twist the nozzle into a pretzel.
Loud engines, though… man, I love that. In fact, when my son was a baby, we lived in a one-bedroom apartment above four garage stalls, and one of them housed a hot rod that had an engine that shook the whole building when its owner started it up. Once I realized that wasn’t going to wake my sleeping son, I looked forward to it. But I’m kind of weird that way.
When I was a sophomore in high school, my junior prom date drove a 1966 Mustang. That car had a glasspack muffler, which is basically an old muffler design that can be rather loud. Everyone could hear it all the way down the street, and I loved it.
Ford’s new Mustang GT allows drivers to turn the volume down on the engine for the first time
Today, Ford announced that they are now offering the 2018 Mustang GT V8 with an industry-first Quiet Start – also called “Good Neighbor Mode” – which allows drivers to not only choose a quiet start, but to set hours during which the Quiet Start is appropriate. The Mustang GT also offers new Quiet Exhaust mode, which limits the volume of 2018 Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8 engine using active valve performance exhaust system that closes valves to restrict the amount of noise made by the car.
Ford’s Steve von Foerster sidestepped a ticket for noise and came up with a brilliant idea
These features were the brainchild of former head of Ford vehicle engineering Steve von Foerster. One morning, von Foerster backed his Shelby GT350 Mustang out of his driveway in suburban Detroit. One of his neighbors didn’t take kindly to the booming thunder of his vehicle and called the police.
Luckily for Von Foerster’s wallet, he was gone before the officers arrived, and he didn’t end up with a ticket. Instead of getting angry or toilet papering the neighbors’ houses, he came up with an idea.
“I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” said von Foerster, who now leads Ford’s user experience team in product development. “It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the noise.’”
Engine volume adjustment with the touch of a button
While some sports cars offer active exhaust systems with on/off functionality, Mustang’s Quiet Start is the first to allow scheduling of times. Using steering wheel-mounted thumb controls, drivers toggle through a menu in the instrument cluster to select when they want to fire up their Mustang GT without sharing the event with neighbors. For example, between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., drivers can keep the peace by scheduling their car to start, minus the roar.
Both new Quiet Exhaust mode and Quiet Start features will be part of the available active valve performance exhaust system on the new Mustang GT, along with different exhaust volumes for normal, sport and track modes, giving customers more choice than ever before.
“Active valve performance exhaust gives Mustang owners the best of both worlds – that classic Mustang sound, and the ability to not wake up your neighbors when you leave the house early in the morning or arrive home late at night,” said Matt Flis, Ford exhaust development engineer.
Hey, new Mustang GT: won’t you be my neighbor?
With new Quiet Exhaust mode and Quiet Start, Ford is doing its part to foster better neighbor relations, especially in crowded cities, where it expects many of its owners to live.
“When sounds get up into the upper-70-decibel range, that’s typically about when they start to bother people,” said Flis. “With quiet start activated, the decibel level of the new Mustang GT drops by about 10 decibels, to a much more comfortable 72 decibels – about the level of a household dishwasher.”
Stay tuned, Mustang fans, because when the cars reach showrooms later this year, they will also boast a restyled exterior design and refined interior, an all-digital 12-inch instrument cluster, a 10-speed automatic transmission, MagneRide damping system and SYNC Connect with FordPass.
And pssssst – fellow speed fans – with its new Drag Strip mode (DRAG STRIP MODE!!), Mustang GT now reaches 60 mph in under four seconds – faster than a $94,000 Porsche 911 Carrera – setting a new standard as the quickest Mustang GT ever.