Active Noise Control: fake engine noise for Mustangs

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Active Noise Control was conveniently left out of press releases for the 2015 Mustang Ecoboost – and it’s worse than it sounds. Find out why.

People who buy performance cars are generally fans of performance driving. There’s a pretty basic formula in place for it. We’ll call it E = MC^2. Where E is Enjoyment, M is a manual transmission, and C is for cabin acoustics and features.

Okay, maybe not, but you get what I’m driving at. Fast cars should look and sound fast to get maximum enjoyment. Ford knows this. They’ve been building fast cars, and specifically, fast Mustangs, since 1965 (1964.5, but who’s counting?).

In fact, they conveniently left out this “feature” they decided to include on the EcoBoost model. They call it Active Noise Control, and it’s just as stupid as it sounds. Active Noise Control pumps fake engine sound into the cabin of the 2015 EcoBoost Mustang to “enhance the acoustic appeal,” or so they say.

Ford never mentioned it in the press materials for the car. They never talked about it at NAIAS (I was there live at that press conference), and have only recently confirmed it to a statement given to Autoblog. Ford engineer Shawn Carney was the one who verified the news of Active Noise Control.

Active Noise Control is controlled by the same fuse the radio is. How do we know? Thanks to one intrepid editor fromĀ Road and Track, Jason Cammisa, decided to pull the fuse for the stereo system. Both the radio and the engine went as silent as a monk.

No, Ford isn’t the first company to do this. BMW did it in the M5. Even the M3 and M4 do it (the most recent models), but there’s something just… wrong about a pony car with a fake sound.

And, of course, you can’t disable it without pulling the fuse and disabling the stereo system as well. We’re sure the aftermarket will come up with something to defeat Active Noise Control, but in the mean time, you can enjoy your turbocharged Mustang with the roar of a… speaker.

Not pictured: fake turbo noise solenoid.

Not pictured: fake turbo noise solenoid.

Ray Saez, Jr.

Ray is a lifelong auto enthusiast. His father worked on the dealership side of the industry for many years, and his passion for fast, fun, and unique cars has been passed on. Particularly fond of American cars and trucks, Ray is an avid General Motors fan. When not writing, he can be found with his dogs, or at a local car show.

View all contributions by Ray Saez, Jr.


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