By on August 1, 2017

2018 Ford Mustang GT - Image: FordLike a good neighbor, Ford Mustang is there.

We noticed last week that Ford’s more costly 2018 Ford Mustang GT offers an $895 Active Valve Performance Exhaust option. Only now, however, do we know just what that performance exhaust system entailed.

Sure, it can be loud, but the 2018 Mustang GT’s optional exhaust is more than just a baffle that opens under heavy throttle. Now you can hush your Mustang at the crack of dawn to avoid waking Dan and Mary next door; the pesky neighbors who mow their lawn at 8 a.m. on Saturdays but hate everything about your all-American muscle car.

Though we’ve yet to test the Mustang’s active exhaust system, it’s not difficult to see from Ford’s own video that this is a unique setup. While the Mercedes-AMG C43 Cabriolet tester we drove a few weeks ago featured a simple button that enhanced the twin-turbo V6 burble, the 2018 Mustang GT’s exhaust has four settings available in the instrument cluster, selected by buttons on the steering wheel.

Moreover, the Mustang’s Quiet Start is programmable, so the Mustang will know to ignite politely if startup time is prior to 8:30. Quiet Start lowers the Mustang’s volume by roughly 10 decibels.

Ford began to look into the possibility of these features when Steve von Foerster, the Blue Oval’s former head of engineering, left his driveway in a Shelby GT350 only to discover his neighbor called 911 because of the noise. “It sounds so cool,” von Foerster says, “but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.'”

In addition to a quiet setting, the 2018 Ford Mustang GT’s Active Valve Performance Exhaust also features normal, sport, and track modes.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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55 Comments on “The Polite 2018 Ford Mustang GT Will Allow You to Schedule Quiet Times...”


  • avatar
    87 Morgan

    This is actually pretty cool. If only HD could come up with something similar as I find the Potatopotatopotato extremely annoying. Luckily the closest one is 6 doors up the street.

    I can hear my neighbor’s X5M with Dinan exhaust in my house year round when he fires it up every morning.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I have a loud diesel truck.

      In the winter I remote start it and let it idle for 20 minutes or so.

      The truck is 6 feet from my next door neighbors master bedroom.

      They tried to put wood fencing and stuff up, and I tried parking on the other side of the driveway.

      I still think it annoys the heck out of them, especially since I often leave about 5:30/6 AM.

      I do try not to slam on the gas (I always have a hard time saying that when driving a diesel), but I don’t know many other options.

      Fortunately I only drive the diesel when the weather is bad.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        I hope you do something nice for your neighbors to offset that.

        I cannot wait for these older diesels to die out.

      • 0 avatar
        brettc

        That’s because it’s not the “gas” pedal. It’s the go pedal! Do you have a 12v Cummins or something?

      • 0 avatar
        deanst

        If you idle it for 20 minutes just to warm the cabin, get an electric heater and a timer which will do the same thing in silence.

        • 0 avatar
          srh

          Seriously. It’s kind of you to try to do something to decrease the annoyance to your neighbors, but this kind of behavior (along with rolling coal, tailgating Civics, and giving cyclists a mouthful of soot) is the kind of thing that gives truck owners a bad name.

          A space heater can heat the cab, and a 100W lightbulb on an extension cord can heat the engine if you don’t have an engine heater.

          I grew up in Alaska. We used both of the above methods in our diesel Suburban to avoid waking the entire neighborhood.

        • 0 avatar
          redmondjp

          Yes, an idling diesel will NEVER warm up – you have to drive it to get the engine to put out any heat.

          • 0 avatar
            87 Morgan

            Arach. I had an 03 ram for 7 years, with edge tuner and magnaflow exhaust. 00′ 7.3 powerstroke before the Cummins. I live in the Rocky mountains, so kinda feel like i can opine on your comment with accuracy.

            20 minutes of idling is just being an asshole. Their are zero reasons your truck needs to run that long prior to you getting into it and driving to work.
            Install a block heater and plug it in if you need some warm air, which you will have little of just idling in the cold.

  • avatar
    Syke

    All part of growing up, I guess.

    I can relate, realizing my biker days are truly behind me. I passed on a Harley Street Glide for a Honda Gold Wing last month. And, like all my long distance tourers, I’ll be keeping the stock exhaust.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    I leave for work around 6:15am, this is brilliant marketing. I am very conscious of disturbing my neighbors with my car. I don’t start the Land Ark unless I have to until after 9am. I use my GTO to commute and have purposefully not put any sort of exhaust modifications on it. I have also avoided the “boxer rumble” on the Subaru for the same reason.

    If I could control the loudness of the exhaust for when it’s appropriate (to, you know, show off and be obnoxious) I would consider it. And if I were in the market for a car and one had loud exhaust and one had one I could control, that’d move it up for me.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Many of us have installed cutouts for this reason. I LOVED the cutouts on my Cadillac CTS ST Performance. I left them closed in the mornings, coming home at night, or when driving someone for a work activity… the rest of the time they were wide open, controlled by a switch.

      Mine cost $450 installed, which is a LOT cheaper than this option, although I know factory options are always more expensive than getting it done yourself… howoever, if its something that really interests you, its worth checking out.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Very cool idea, but it is rarely cars that are disruptive in my neighborhood.

    It’s the god-damned motorcycles and the twats who open them up in a residential area.

    • 0 avatar
      tommytipover

      I’ve got an HD twat too. Worse, he makes two or three trips back home each night. At first I thought he was just doing some sort of test and tune, you know, come back home to the garage to adjust something but it seems it’s just to open it up more often. Upon start-up, upon leaving, upon returning, and upon shut down.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        If Dan and Mary lived next door to me and mowed their lawn on Saturday at 0800, I would invite 6 HD twats from the nearest biker bar to stop at the house for breakfast at 0700 on Sunday.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      I’ve rarely given a loud car a passing thought, but some of these Vance & Hines shorty-equipped headers are WAY above the decibel levels you’d get from diesels, big-blocks, or “fart cans”.

      If the kid down the street can get a noise ordinance for his stereo system but his neighbor doing full throttle rips down the cul de sac at 6:45 on his Sportster cannot, something’s wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Yap Trash, leaf blowers, backup beepers, light aircraft and helicopters, are infinitely worse noise polluters than either cars, bikes or stereos will ever be.

        A friend has a house little more than a stone’s throw from the Rock Store in LA; and even there trashy, untrained, neglected dogs, despite most lots being in the 2-40 acre size range, still manage to be plenty more annoying than the bikes and sports cars ripping by.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      I’ve contemplated following a couple of the worse offenders on my street to their houses and bluntly stating that if they rip down my road again I will repeatedly call the police until they pay them a visit or order me to stop calling, but you never know who is an agro meathead with poor impulse control.

      • 0 avatar
        srh

        It’s not clear from your post who is the bigger agro meathead, the biker or you. I suggest you try a different approach.

        Go to his house with a spare beer, ask to check out his bike (he’ll probably be outside polishing the chrome anyway), and ask nicely during the conversation that it’d be cool if he can wait until he’s off the surface streets to open it up.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I’m going to drive through a neighborhood with my palm planted on the new 150 decibel air horn I installed in my car because I like the sound of it. If that makes your toddler’s ears hurt, oh well. Deal with it cupcake.

          Reward me with beer and conversation.

          If you can do that, srh, you’re a better person than I. But I’m no agro meathead for wanting that sh*t to stop or for thinking that someone doesn’t need to be delicately catered to when they are intentionally bereft of any fundamental courtesy for others. They know what they are doing.

          • 0 avatar
            everybodyhatesscott

            You’re offering to threaten them instead of going down and asking nicely. You’re the meathead. My neighbors called the cops on me for something that a “Hey, could you please stop this” would have prevented because I didn’t know it annoyed them but since they’re passive aggressive little twats, I open up my bike a little bit every time I go by their window at 2am. If you come out of the gates swinging, expect them to swing back. If you ask or asked nicely, and they’re still a-holes, then it’s a bit different.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I agree with srh and everybodyhatesscott. Asking someone to stop something before going to the police is not “catering”. Despite, your claim that “They know what they are doing” they legitimately might not know it’s causing so much neighborhood derision.

            If you ask them to stop and they tell you to screw off, then you can escalate it as needed.

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            If your neighbors had asked politely for you to stop whatever you were doing, and you had responded with anything but “Go f*ck yourself,” you’d be a rare outlier.

            I don’t know how many times you’ve tried to politely tell someone to turn down their music or stop ripping down a densely populated residential street, but I suspect this discussion is abstract for you, if you actually believe doing so is worth the effort.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            @brenschluss

            What Kid Rock-loving street do you live on?

            Maybe it is because I’ve been lucky enough to live in relatively nice places or because people knew I was a fed, but no neighbor has ever told me to “f*ck off” at a polite request.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            everybodyhatesscott,
            I’ve talked to neighbors about the little things that neighbors need to work out. Stuff like a pony-sized barking dog left out until 3 AM that other people would have called on long before. I’ve never called the police on anyone, including the motorcyclists despite this going on for years. See the word “contemplated”? Do you understand that it doesn’t mean “did” or “will”?

            I’m amazed it has to be pointed out to you, but if you’re opening up your bike now in petty, juvenile retaliation against your neighbor, that makes you both a meathead and a passive aggressive twat. And if you’re capable of doing that, you probably would have been an a-hole to them if they *did* ask. Find it ironic that you’re offended by the thing I’ve thought about doing but never have, while you’re the one actually doing the obnoxious thing?

            Frankly, it looks like you and your neighbor deserve each other.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “they legitimately might not know it’s causing so much neighborhood derision”

            Are you serious?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “I open up my bike a little bit every time I go by their window at 2am.”

            That’s productive. Why not take your own advice and talk the situation over with the neighbor instead?

          • 0 avatar
            everybodyhatesscott

            “That’s productive. Why not take your own advice and talk the situation over with the neighbor instead?”

            I did. I walked over, gave them my phone number and said “If I’m doing anything that is bothering you, feel free to call me and we can work it out” They then proceeded to call animal control and code enforcement for petty things that weren’t violations multiple times. I talked to my other neighbors, who I get along with just fine, and they told me “They do this to everybody”

          • 0 avatar
            brenschluss

            People who don’t care whether or not they’re pissing you off, or who aren’t competent to tell, won’t give you a positive response when told they’re doing something wrong.

            You will never, ever be able to teach an adult stranger how to be polite.

            “Bad” neighborhoods are almost better in this regard, because you’ll probably just be offered a black and white choice between simple, immediate violence and sucking it up, rather than a war of who can trifle the hardest.

            Yes, I am from a place where the major export is angry people, quite nice though it may be; and if, like ajla, you’re “a fed,” that probably helps too. Point stands that I’ve not yet been shown that it’s worth trying to reason with as*holes, regardless of social context.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          When you have to ply an a-hole with beer to get him to stop being an a-hole, I’d say the odds of success become rather low.

          (And, no, calling someone on being an a-hole doesn’t make you “aggro.”)

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            Going *directly* to the police over a noise complaint is unnecessary.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            As I put it to a (particularly bad) neighbor once: I’m calling you on your noise, and if it doesn’t stop, I’m calling the police and they can call you on your noise…your move.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Play Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits super loud.

    • 0 avatar
      scottcom36

      They say loud pipes save lives, but if they want people to know they’re coming, why don’t they aim the pipes FORWARD?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Eh the only thing that bugs me is the neighbor (who works for the same district I do) who has an old Econoline fleet van. It has one of the loudest backup alarms I’ve heard on a non box truck/non construction equipment.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    And Ford continues its quest to completely emasculate the V8.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    They should do this by location rather than time. Once you get within some distance of your house, quiet mode on the exhaust. Could also set it to put the loud mode on automatically on certain roads.

  • avatar
    Stanley Steamer

    It would be even more considerate, and simpler, if Ford along with Toyota and Honda, simply did not cause the horn to blare to indicate you have locked your doors and set your alarm.

    • 0 avatar
      True_Blue

      Most of those can turn the horn off in an options menu. Hell, my ’02 300M has a push button on the overhead console that allowed you to turn off “horn when locking” as an option.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      Fords don’t beep the horn on the first push of the remote lock. only if you push it twice.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Toyotas beep, they don’t blare the horn. The beep is incredibly annoying, and there are two beeps for every press of the lock/unlock button on the fob. To unlock all doors you must press it twice. Which means “BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP”.

      You cannot disable this on your own in the 4Runner. I requested the dealer do so for free upon taking delivery so my car doesn’t irritate everyone else in the vicinity the way other Toyotas and Subarus irritate me. They also kindly programmed the fob to roll down all 4 windows if the unlock button is held for about 3 seconds. Love that feature.

  • avatar
    True_Blue

    It’s a great option to have, no matter the make. There’s certain times you just want to turn the volume down, even just for a minute. Quiet neighborhoods, that cop sitting on the median, trying not to wake your infant at 6AM.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    We have a C2 Corvette 427 with factory sidepipes come down our street regularly, but the noise is very pleasant burble because he just idles the car in residential areas. When you have 400+ horsepower and huge torque there is no need to rev the beast on your way out of the driveway or down the street.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      There are some Harley riders in my neighborhood who similarly take care to avoid excessive noise. You can tell the bike can be very loud, but they are deliberately gentle with the throttle. I appreciate those guys.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        On the other hand, there were folks like my neighbor growing up, who literally idled his Harley from 5 AM until whenever I woke up on weekdays on a regular basis. Mothers, love your sons, lest they become overcompensating Harley riders.

  • avatar

    Yay! More weight and more complex electronics to fix when it inevitably breaks!

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This is a cool feature. As much as I appreciate a nice bark on cold start and some burbling, it gets old fast.

    I had a neighbor with a Viper, and while he didn’t start it too early, he would come and go several times a day and sometimes rev it in the driveway like he was making exhaust videos for youtube. I swear he was using it for random errands that he never consolidated.

    Certainly not the same category as a Harley at 6am, but I could have done without it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    His neighbors called 911 over the noise coming from a stock GT350 Mustang?

    First
    World
    Problems

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