There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound. — Steve von Foerster, Ford

Born on the Shelby GT350 and making its way to the 2018 Mustang GT as an $895 option, Active Valve Performance Exhaust allows drivers to control the auditory personality of their ponies, which is great for toning things down or livening them up when you want to. However, what if you forget to tone it down early in the morning?

Former head of vehicle engineering for Ford Motor Company, Steve von Foerster, found out the hard way one morning when he fired up a Shelby GT350 and drove away. A neighbor disapproved of the robust exhaust note and dialed local law enforcement. Steve didn’t get busted, but he did come up with a technological solution to balance a proper V8 exhaust note with community standards.

You won’t have to worry about waking up the neighbors with your shiny new 2018 Mustang’s Active Valve Performance Exhaust system because you can program Quiet Start mode to tone down the volume at certain times of the day.

“I love the sound of the V8, but it can be loud, and you can’t annoy people like that in your neighborhood,” Steve, who now leads Ford’s user experience team in product development, said. “It sounds so cool, but I thought, ‘There has to be a way to give people more control over the engine’s sound.’”

To do so Ford engineers added a new Quiet Exhaust to the familiar repertoire of Normal, Sport and Track exhaust modes. Additionally, they also added the Quiet Start feature, which allows drivers to program when the car will start up in Quiet Mode.

Active valve performance exhaust gives Mustang owners the best of both worlds. — Matt Flis, Ford

“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,” Matt Flis, Ford exhaust development engineer, said. “When sounds get up into the upper-70-decibel range, that’s typically about when they start to bother people. 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.”

When the neighbors called the cops on Ford’s former head of vehicle engineering, Steve von Foerster, after he started a Shelby GT350 early one morning, he came up with a technological solution to keep 2018 Mustang GT owners out of trouble — the programmable Quiet Start mode for the Active Valve Performance Exhaust.

Depending on how your car is optioned, drivers can turn on Quiet Exhaust mode or adjust the Quiet Start settings either in the new digital instrument cluster or via the settings menu in cars with a standard 4-inch cluster display.

For more on the 2018 Mustang options, like Quiet Start, you can visit the car’s Build and Price site right here.