Following a brush with law enforcement for the noise associated with starting his Ford Mustang Shelby GT350, Steve Von Foerster, who leads Ford’s user experience team in product development, was inspired to create Quiet Start, also called Good Neighbor Mode, to allow drivers to control when the engine roars or purrs.
Von Foerster and his team at Ford also created a Quiet Exhaust Mode feature, which can also help with noise reduction. Cost details were not released, but it is expected the offering will be available as an option in the fall.
“I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” says Von Foerster. “It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.’”
While some sports cars offer active exhaust systems with on/off functionality, Mustang’s Quiet Start is the first to allow drivers to schedule when their engine goes nearly silent. Using steering wheel-mounted thumb controls, drivers toggle through a menu in the instrument cluster to select when they want to start their Mustang GT without sharing the experience with the neighbors.
For example, drivers can schedule their cars to start quietly between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. daily, when neighbors might be more sensitive to the noise. The quiet mode is similar to the sound of a dishwasher.
Both features will be part of the available active valve performance exhaust system on the 2018 Mustang GT, along with different exhaust volumes for Normal, Sport, and Track models, giving customers more choices.
“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,” says Matt Flis, an exhaust development engineer at Ford.