Sound plays an important role in building an emotional connection to an automobile and Ford is giving us a closer look at how it developed the exhaust note for the Mustang.
According to the automaker, the company used a team of engineers to create “acoustic exhaust sounds that excite the senses and deliver a note of performance.”
As part of the development process, automotive sound engineers used computational analysis to design components such as the new active exhaust system that will be available on the four-cylinder turbocharged 2019 Mustang EcoBoost. It has electronically-controlled valves which are adjusted by a switch on the center console.
The system has three different modes including a normal setting which provides a sporty yet pleasant exhaust note. If drivers want something louder and more aggressive, they can simply put the car into sport or track mode. Finally there’s a quiet mode which is ideal for when you’re leaving early for work and don’t want to wake up the neighbors.
Interestingly, Ford exhaust development engineer Hani Ayesh said the company allows them to have quite a bit of freedom to determine what sounds good. As he explained, “We’re probably the few engineers here who do not have to design to a number or a specification. Instead, we work to identify that signature sound DNA that connects drivers to the emotional expectation they have for a specific car.”
Ford says the connection to sound and our reaction is called the autonomic response and it dates back to ancient humans who successfully learned to react quickly to loud and powerful sounds that mainly indicated danger. The company goes on to say this “fight-or-flight response to avoid danger was passed along in our DNA and hardwired into our minds and bodies.”