911 call inspires “quiet mode” for latest Ford Mustang GT
New features let drivers hush sports car's iconic V8 engine roar.
You probably know the sound of a Mustang GT engine thundering as it drives down the street. It’s an iconic sort of sound that shows off the power of the vehicle.
However, not everyone is as appreciative of noise on their streets. And Steve von Foerster, former head of vehicle engineering for Ford Motor Company, has a story to tell.
In his suburban Detroit neighborhood, von Foerster took his Shelby GT350 Mustang out for a spin. As the car’s V8 engine boomed, an annoyed neighbor picked up the phone and dialed 911.
Von Foerster had left before the officers arrived, and he didn’t end up with a ticket. But he was inspired by the incident leading to an idea for a new Mustang.
“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. He believed that there had to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.
And this is where the Quiet Exhaust mode and industry-first Quiet Start, known as “Good Neighbor Mode” among Mustang engineers, was born. The new features on properly equipped 2018 Mustang GT vehicles allow drivers to keep engine sound at a minimum if they wish and to program quiet start-up times in advance.
The unique Quiet Start time scheduling mode is a unique feature. Drivers are able to set a time frame using steering wheel-mounted thumb controls for when the car starts without 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.
“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.
According to a recent poll by Ranker.com, loud engine revving ranks among the most annoying noises neighbours make.
“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.”