Nothing makes you neighbors as angry as waking them up at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning when you fire up your Mustang with the loud rumbly exhaust on your way to the local race track. I know this from the experience of owning six different Mustangs during my life with none of them left stock. Car guys and gals want a Mustang with loud rumbly exhaust, and your HOA wants you to respect quiet hours, especially early in the morning.
You can't really have it both ways, or can you? Ford has introduced a new feature for the 2018 Mustang that will help keep your neighborhood nice and quiet. The new feature for the 2018 Mustang is called Good Neighbor Mode by Ford engineers. This new mode came about after a run-in with a neighbor that Steve von Foerster, the former head of vehicle engineering for Ford, had when he backed a Shelby GT350 Mustang out of the garage. A neighbor called the cops due to the loud noise.
Von Foerster, who now heads the Ford user experience team in product development, was gone before "The Man" showed up, but the incident gave him the idea for Good Neighbor Mode. He said, "I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood. It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.'"
Good Neighbor Mode is available on "properly equipped" 2018 Mustang GTs and consists of Quiet Start and Quiet Exhaust modes. This mode allows the owner of the Mustang to schedule times when the exhaust will be quieted using thumb controls on the steering wheel. This feature lets the owner set quiet exhaust times between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. for instance.
These features are part of the available 2018 Mustang active valve performance exhaust. Also included are different exhaust volumes for Normal, Sport, and Track modes. "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.
"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."