Quiet Start makes Ford Mustang owners less annoying

Innovation lets owners program Mustang GT engine to fire up quietly

Published: August 1, 2017, 5:40 PM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:09 PM

Ford's Steve Von Foerster helped develop Quiet Start

You know what’s annoying? When you’re just drifting off to sleep and a loud car roars by on the street. Or you’re getting all comfy looking forward to a Sunday sleep-in, when the neighbour decides to get an early start on his day road trip.

According to a recent poll on Ranker, loud exhausts rank second on the list of most annoying neighbour sound disturbances behind early-morning lawn mowing. Power tools, barking dogs and garage band practices round out the top 5.

However, owners of new Mustang GTs will soon not have to inconvenience the neighbours when they arrive late at night or depart early in the morning, thanks to a new quiet exhaust feature. Well, unless they want to …

The idea came to Steve von Foerster, former head of Ford vehicle engineering, when a neighbour called the cops on him as he headed out in a Shelby GT350 Mustang.

“I love the sound of the V-8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” explained 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 engine’s sound.’”

The experience led von Foerster and fellow Mustang program team members to develop the New Mustang’s Quiet Exhaust mode and industry-first Quiet Start, affectionately known internally as “Good Neighbor Mode.” Both will be part of the optional active valve performance exhaust on 2018 Mustang GTs.

Although on/off exhaust notes are not new in the industry, Mustang’s Quiet Start is the first in the industry to allow time-scheduling, meaning drivers can schedule the V-8 to fire up without the tell-tale rumble between 11 pm and 8 am, for example, via a menu in the instrument cluster display. The feature also allows owners to turn up the volume from Normal mode to Sport or Track.

The sound reduction under Quiet Start reportedly drops the sound of the Mustang GT firing up from 82 decibels to 72 — about the same as the typical dishwashing machine, and below the uncomfortable sound level of the upper 70-decibel range.