New Mustang GT V8 “Quiet Start” Tames the Growl

Tori Tellem

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Name a sound that really annoys you. How about dogs that won’t stop barking? You were probably beyond thrilled when the kid next door took up a musical instrument – and that it was drums. Because you’re a visitor to, it’s likely that a sound that doesn’t bother you is the sweet roar of a Mustang engine. But it may be just as irksome to your neighbors as that annoying barking or the junior drum major next door.


That’s why we created the industry’s very first Quiet Start, which has been nicknamed “Good Neighbor Mode” by Ford engineers. You probably know where this is going.


Quiet Exhaust mode and Quiet Start were born out of necessity, one that hit close to home. Former head of Ford vehicle engineering Steve von Foerster had someone call the police on him after he backed a Shelby GT350® Mustang out of his driveway. He didn’t get a ticket, but he did get a stroke of genius.  


“I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” said Steve, who now leads the Ford 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.’”


Discussions among Steve and the Mustang program team members helped lead to the development of this new mode on properly equipped 2018 Mustang GT vehicles to keep the engine sound to a minimum and also allow for programming quiet start-up times in advance. Rather than on/off functionality, this is the first of its kind to allow for scheduling. For example, between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., drivers can keep the peace by scheduling their car to start minus the roar.


“When sounds get up into the upper-70-decibel range, that’s typically about when they start to bother people,” said Matt Flis, Ford exhaust development engineer. “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.”


This is part of the available active valve performance exhaust system on the new Mustang GT, which joins the existing volumes for Normal, Sport and Track modes. With the optional all-digital 12-inch LCD 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 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,” Matt added.


Now your neighbors may appreciate your new Mustang GT as much as you do.

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