Your neighbors will love the Ford 2018 Mustang, thanks to this exhaust silencer

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Why it matters to you

The roar of an American V8 is great, unless it causes your neighbors to call the cops.

If you own a V8 American muscle car, chances are you want to hear the roar of its engine every chance you get. But it’s equally likely that your neighbors don’t. The 2018 Ford Mustang GT includes a new feature designed to make everyone happy. Its “Quiet Exhaust” and “Quiet Start” modes silence the exhaust system when making noise isn’t a good idea. Its usefulness is expressed in the nickname Ford engineers gave it: Good Neighbor Mode.

Engineers decided this system was a good idea after someone called the cops on one of them. Steve von Foerster was backing a Shelby GT350 Mustang out of his driveway in suburban Detroit when a neighbor got annoyed by the loud exhaust and called 911, according to Ford. The incident led von Foerster and other Mustang engineers to discuss some exhaust-quieting tech.

Many cars offer active exhaust systems with a quieter operating mode for normal driving, but Ford claims to be the first to give drivers precise control over when the car silences itself. Using controls on the steering wheel, drivers can actually set specific times for the quiet exhaust modes. For example, they can set the car to automatically engage the quiet modes during morning hours, in order to pacify neighbors.

Quiet Exhaust and Quiet Start, which specifically muffles the exhaust on startup, are both available as part of the optional active valve performance exhaust system on the V8-powered 2018 Mustang GT. The Quiet Start mode drops the noise level by 10 decibels to 72, about the level of a dishwasher, according to Ford. This system also includes Normal, Sport, and Track, modes.

Besides the trick exhaust system, the 2018 Mustang features a controversial restyling, including a new front fascia that is decidedly less sleek than before. The infotainment system gets an upgrade, including a 12.0-inch digital instrument cluster. The 2018 model will also be the first to get the host of driver-assist systems already available in most other mainstream cars, including a pre-collision system, lane departure warning, and lane-keep assist.

On the mechanical side, Ford is dropping the V6 engine option, leaving buyers to choose between a 2.3-liter turbocharged EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a 5.0-liter V8. The latter makes 460 horsepower and will get the Mustang GT from 0 to 60 mph in under four seconds. While a six-speed manual is still available, Ford will also offer a 10-speed automatic from its F-150 pickup trucks.