Steve von Foerster's neighbors convinced him his Mustang GT needed to be quieter.

Ford has already announced some big news for the 2018 Mustang update, including the fastest-ever V-8 GT and a more throaty, tech-enhanced exhaust note for the turbo-four version of the pony car. But it’s also giving drivers a way to go, “Shh!”

It might seem like an oxymoron, but the 2018 Ford Mustang is adding two features intended to make it a good – read “quiet” – neighbor, allowing you to start the car up quietly and then drive it home later without the usual exhaust growl.

Credit the time a neighbor called the cops on Steve von Foerster, until recently the Mustang’s chief vehicle engineer as he was getting ready to leave for work in his Mustang one quiet morning. He got out of a ticket but it got him to think about ways to make his car a bit more neighbor-friendly.

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

The 2018 Ford Mustang GT is the fastes V-8 GT version ever, at under 4-sec 0-60.

(For more on the 2018 Ford Mustang, Click Here.)

The Mustang engineering team knew they’d be making the 2018 update even more powerful – and noisier – so they started brainstorming ways to also make it quieter, when necessary. They came up with two solutions.

The first is called “Quiet Start,” and it lets an owner pre-program the time of day when they’re likely to fire up their Mustang, typically the morning. During that window, the Mustang GT’s engine will produce only about 72 decibels of noise, or the same as a typical household dishwasher.

The new “Quiet Exhaust” mode serves a similar function. Drivers with the selectable exhaust sound system can choose one of four exhaust notes, including one that significantly reduces the noise the GT makes going through a quiet neighborhood.

But don’t worry. Fans of the classic Mustang GT roar can alternately choose Normal, Sport and Track modes and maximize the visceral pleasures of driving the big, 460 horsepower V-8.

“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,” explains Matt Flis, Ford exhaust development engineer.

Both quiet functions are included in an $895 active valve performance option package on the 2018 Mustang GT which goes on sale this coming autumn.

The 2018 Mustang with the EcoBoost engine adds a feature to enhance its exhaust note.

(Doing the Demon Drag. Click Here to see what it’s like to drive the 840-hp Challenger Demon.)

Motorists with that package will be able to adjust their engine note by accessing a special menu if they also opted for the 12-inch, all-digital instrument cluster. Otherwise, with the 4-inch digital display the exhaust mode pops in the vehicle settings menu.

Ford is taking a number of steps to counter declining U.S. sales of the Mustang for 2018. Demand has fallen nearly a third this year, after a 13% decline in 2016. It’s not a complete surprise, however, as demand for all passenger cars has been on the wane as more and more American motorists opt for SUVs and other light trucks.

On the other hand, Mustang isn’t trotting off into the sunset. If anything, it’s on a runaway gallop abroad. The classic American pony car is now being shipped to 140 countries, with Ford adding Brazil, Palau and the Ivory Coast this year. If anything, sales are up 40% in China for the first half of 2017. But now, the Detroit maker is looking for ways to combat the SUV boom and draw American motorists back to the classic pony car.

(Ford powers up the police with pursuit-ready F-150 pickup. Click Here to check it out.)

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