According to von Foerster, while backing a Shelby GT350 Mustang out of his Detroit suburb driveway early one morning, the sound of the car’s thundering V8 engine annoyed one of his neighbors so much that they called the police to complain about it.
Fortunately von Foerster didn’t receive a citation, but instead of doing donuts on his neighbor’s lawn in retaliation, he decided to be proactive.
“I love the sound of the V-8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” said von Foerster in a statement.
“It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.’”
Von Foerster and Mustang engineers quietly developed “Good Neighbor Mode” as an option for the 2018 Mustang GT that allows drivers to keep engine sound to a minimum and program quiet start-up times in advance.
To access this feature, drivers toggle through a menu in the instrument cluster to select when they want to cater to the quiet whims of their nosey neighbors.
Ford says both Quiet Exhaust mode and Quiet Start features will be part of the active valve performance exhaust system on the new Mustang GT.
“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, in a release.
The new Quiet Exhaust mode limits volume of the engine by using an active valve performance exhaust system that closes valves to restrict the amount of noise made by the car.
“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.”
The 2018 Mustang GT arrives this fall. So until then, let’s hope a fraternity or sorority moves in von Foerster’s neighborhood to keep things interesting.