Ford’s ‘Good Neighbor’ active exhaust can be programmed for quiet operation at certain times.
Who doesn’t love a well-tuned, throaty exhaust note? According to Ford, that would be your neighbors. Actually, Ford points to a list from Ranker on the noises neighbors hate most and sadly, revving car engines is currently in the top three. While we’d simply argue that you need better neighbors, Ford is offering a new option for the 2018 Mustang GT called Good Neighbor Mode (yes, that's the real name) that quiets the car down, so you don’t ruffle any feathers like Steve von Foerster did.
Wait, Steve who?
Steve von Foerster is Ford’s former head of vehicle engineering and current head of the company’s user experience team. One morning while backing a Mustang Shelby GT350 out of his driveway, a nosy neighbor called the cops to report the offending sound. Nothing came of the incident, save for von Foerster thinking it might be a nice gesture to put some kind of quiet mode on the Blue Oval’s newest Mustang so sensitive ears aren’t offended be the sound of America. Seriously? Yeah, seriously.
There are already several cars on the market with active exhaust systems that can generate more or less noise on demand, but Ford says Good Neighbor Mode is the industry’s first system with both a quiet start mode, and a timer that can be programmed to automatically set the exhaust note to quiet during certain times. It works in conjunction with the other features of Ford’s active valve performance exhaust for the new Mustang GT, which means yes, you can also crank the engine volume to make especially sure your fragile neighbors hear the beast come to life.
Honestly, we didn’t think a factory-stock 5.0-liter Mustang was very loud in the first place. Never the less, this will be a neat feature for those who want to hear the engine’s roar without being blacklisted from Todd and Margo’s monthly backyard brunch. All things considered, we’d rather have the roar.
Gallery: 2018 Ford Mustang: Chicago 2017
New Mustang GT Owners Can Now Hush the V8 Growl to be Good Neighbors; Brush with Cops Gave Engineer the Idea
- Industry-first Quiet Start – also called “Good Neighbor Mode” by Mustang engineers – allows drivers to schedule the time of day when their Mustang GT’s V8 engine will roar and when to keep it quiet to show courtesy to neighbors
- New Quiet Exhaust mode limits volume of 2018 Mustang GT’s 5.0-liter V8 engine using active valve performance exhaust system that closes valves to restrict the amount of noise made by the car
- According to a recent poll by com, loud engine revving ranks among the most annoying noises neighbors make, alongside other common nuisances including lawn mowers, power tools, barking dogs and band practice
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 1, 2017 – Someone called the cops on Steve von Foerster. The former head of vehicle engineering for Ford Motor Company wasn’t thrilled, but he understood why.
On an otherwise peaceful morning in his suburban Detroit neighborhood, von Foerster had just backed a Shelby GT350 Mustang out of his driveway. As the car’s V8 engine thundered, an annoyed neighbor set aside their coffee cup and dialed 911.
Von Foerster had left before the officers arrived, and he didn’t end up with a ticket. Nor did he get angry. What he got was an idea for the 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. “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 fueled a discussion between von Foerster and fellow Mustang program team members that led to development of Quiet Exhaust mode and industry-first Quiet Start, known as “Good Neighbor Mode” among Mustang engineers. 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.
While some sports cars offer active exhaust systems with on/off functionality, Mustang’s Quiet Start is the first to allow scheduling of times. Using steering wheel-mounted thumb controls, drivers toggle through a menu in the instrument cluster to select when they want to fire up their Mustang GT without sharing the event with neighbors. For example, between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., drivers can keep the peace by scheduling their car to start, minus 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, giving customers more choice than ever before.
“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.
Neighborhoods across the country should be thrilled. According to a recent poll by Ranker.com, loud engine revving ranks among the most annoying noises neighbors make, alongside other common nuisances including power tools, barking dogs and band practice. Only early-morning lawn mowing is more robustly despised. With new Quiet Exhaust mode and Quiet Start, Ford is doing its part to keep the peace.
“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.”
On Mustang GT equipped with the available all-digital 12-inch instrument cluster, the exhaust mode menu appears within the pony menu. With the standard 4-inch cluster, exhaust mode is found within the settings menu.
Active valve performance exhaust is one of many changes Mustang fans will see when cars reach showrooms later this year. In addition to its restyled exterior design and refined interior, Mustang will offer an all-digital 12-inch instrument cluster, a 10-speed automatic transmission, MagneRide™ damping system and SYNC® Connect with FordPass™.
With its new Drag Strip mode, Mustang GT now reaches 60 mph in under four seconds – faster than a $94,000 Porsche 911 Carrera – setting a new standard as the quickest Mustang GT ever.