As anyone who’s ever slept in a populated residential zone can attest, being woken up prematurely by the blare of a loud vehicle exhaust note is a true pain. A big, boisterous exhaust can sound good, of course – just not when it comes between you and your beauty sleep.
Ford has a solution for that: an industry-first “Quiet Start” feature for the 2018 Ford Mustang GT, a.k.a. “Good Neighbor Mode”. Quiet Start allows owners to select when during each day the Mustang GT should automatically be set to Quiet Exhaust Mode – for instance, from the hours of 8pm to 7am, so as to avoid making excessive noise during the hours when neighbors might be sleeping.
The idea for Quiet Start came about after Steve von Foerster, Ford’s former Head of Vehicle Engineering, had the police called on him by a neighbor. All von Foerster had done was back a Shelby GT350 Mustang out of his driveway, but the noise was enough to upset at least one member of his suburban community. No ticket was issued that day, but the experience got von Foerster thinking about how to avoid disturbing the neighbors in the future.
“I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” says Steve 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.'”
After discussions with fellow Mustang team members, Ford came up with Quiet Start – available on the 2018 Ford Mustang GT when equipped with the new Active Valve Exhaust system. When activated, it drops the exhaust volume by around 10 decibels to about 72, roughly the same as a household dishwasher, and your safety from phone-wielding neighbors is all but ensured.