The 5.0-liter V-8 in the 2018 Mustang GT is getting a power bump to make enthusiasts happy, and it's also adding a Quiet Exhaust mode to make the neighbors happy.
It's part of a new active valve performance exhaust system, and owners will be able to activate the mode on the go or choose a programmable Quiet Start function to make sure the car doesn't disturb those around it upon startup. Drivers will be able to toggle through a menu in the instrument cluster using steering wheel controls to pick the quiet startup times for their cars. For example, one neighborly setting might be 9:00 pm to 8:00 am.
Ford says the Quiet Start drops the engine's decibels by 10 to 72, which is about the level of a household dishwasher. Matt Flis, Ford exhaust development engineer, says sounds in the upper-70-decibel range start to bother people.
The active valve performance exhaust system will also have different exhaust volumes for Normal, Sport, and Track modes. Those who don't like their neighbors might like to rev their cars in the Track mode while driving down the block.
The idea for the Quiet Start started when a neighbor called the police on former head of vehicle engineering for Ford Motor Company, Steve von Foerster, after he started up a Shelby GT350 one morning.
Foerster didn't get a ticket and he didn't even get mad. Instead he spoke with the Mustang team and together they came up with Quiet Exhaust Mode and Quiet Start. “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. “It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.' "
Sometimes a fussy neighbor can be a good thing. Not usually, but in this instance, one neighbor saved a lot of other neighbors some morning frustration.