You know that guy that always comes bellowing by your house at 5:30 in the morning on his Harley? He’s on his way to work and has to let everyone know that he is the baaaadest guy in the accounts pending department. Yeah, him. Don’t be that guy. As it turns out, Ford has come up with a way to help you not be that guy, and they can do it on a schedule of your choosing.
Ford calls it Quiet Start – although Mustang engineers refer to it as “Good Neighbor Mode” – and it’s an industry-first being available on the Mustang GT.
Essentially, what Quiet Start allows you to do is schedule the time when the Mustang GT’s V8 engine can make lots of noise, and when has to shut up. You know, to show courtesy to your neighbors.
It seems this all started early one morning with a suburban neighborhood, a Shelby GT350 Mustang, and a rather uncouth neighbor. I don’t mean Steve von Foerster, former head of vehicle engineering for Ford Motor Company and owner of said Shelby GT350 Mustang. No, I’m talking about von Forester’s neighbor who, upon hearing the Shelby GT350 Mustang backing out of von Forester’s driveway, became annoyed at all the racket. The neighbor decided the proper course of action was to pick up the phone and call the cops. (Let me just say, as an aside, this is a totally lame move on the neighbor’s part. Walk over and talk with him, ya dork. Call the police? Sheesh!)
The cops actually showed up, but Von Foerster had already left so he skipped the whole ticketing process.
The whole deal caused von Foerster and fellow Mustang program members to develop a Quiet Exhaust mode, along with the industry-first Quiet Start. Both new features come on “properly equipped” 2018 Mustang GT vehicles (i.e. the ones with a honking V8 and a bunch of dash gizmos) and allow drivers to keep engine notes at a pianissimo if they wish.
The Mustang’s Quiet Start is not a simple on/off switch that some sports cars already offer, oh no. Quiet Start is the first to allow scheduling of the times your car will be allowed to make more noise or not. This is all done by steering wheel-mounted thumb controls. The driver toggles through a menu on the instrument cluster to select times their neighbors may consider “quiet hours,” say between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. – the Mustang will then keep things at a more mellow tone if it is fired up between those times. Personally, I think this is overkill, rather stupid, and makes a driver seed more control to the car rather than taking control and responsibility for themselves. A simple switch would have done Ford, but oh no.
The new Quiet Exhaust and Quiet Start features are part of the available active valve performance exhaust system on the new Mustang GT. The active valve performance exhaust system allows three different exhaust volumes: Normal, Sport, and Track modes. That’s all very handy, and I know lots of people who like to constantly fiddle with these available options, but me, I’m more of a set it and forget it sort of gearhead, or in the case of that “Track mode” option, a fire and forget it sort of gearhead.
FoMoCo points out that according to a recent poll by Ranker.com, loud engine revving is among the most annoying noises neighbors make alongside power tools, barking dogs, and band practice. I point out this is why I hate most people. Ford further points out that “only early-morning lawn mowing is more robustly despised.” Robustly despised? Sounds like Ford has a recent “creative” writing grad in their press department.
In addition to its active valve performance exhaust, other changes to the Mustang will include a restyled exterior, a redone interior, an all-digital 12-inch instrument cluster, a 10-speed automatic transmission, MagneRide damping, and SYNC Connect with FordPass. With its new Drag Strip mode, the Mustang GT hits 60 mph faster than a Porsche 911 Carrera. The refreshed and enhanced Mustang will reach showrooms later this year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He means well, even if he has a bias towards lighter, agile cars rather than big engine muscle cars or family sedans.