Ford has quietly implemented fake engine noise to enhance the acoustic appeal of its new EcoBoost-powered Mustang.
Omitted from initial announcements, the controversial ‘feature’ was first discovered by a Road & Track editor Jason Cammisa after removing a fuse for the stereo system. After the circuit was broken, both the radio and the synthetic engine noise went quiet.
The artificial engine noise, known as Active Noise Control, was later confirmed by a Ford engineer in a statement to Autoblog. The company claims to have worked with customer panels to choose the best sound ‘concept.’
The noise is based on torque output from the engine, layering in additional sound characteristics.
Ford is not the first company to use the stereo system to enhance the sound of the engine. BMW faced strong criticism when it embraced the strategy for the M5 when the model transitioned from V10 to V8 power, and the new M3 and M4 both pipe a bit of amplified engine noise through the speakers.
Mustang purists may be disappointed to find that Active Noise Control cannot be killed without removing the fuse and consequently disabling the entire audio system.