The 2015 Ford Mustang EcoBoost represents a huge change for the Blue Oval as the first pony car in decades to be available with a four-cylinder engine. But a recent tweet (below) from Road & Track raised our curiosity about the new vehicle. Editor Jason Cammisa pulled a fuse while driving the latest ‘Stang with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, and he found that both the stereo and engine went quiet in the cabin. That indicated the coupe might have some form of artificial engine sound being piped in – a feature not previously heavily reported for the model. Autoblog spoke with Ford engineer Shawn Carney who confirmed that only the turbocharged four-cylinder Mustang comes with this system, called Active Noise Control.
In fact, Carney is partially responsible for tuning and shaping the EcoBoost’s note in the Mustang, and he said the setup serves two distinct functions. First, it cancels out some of the coarse noise as part of the ‘Stang’s refinement strategy. It also allows Ford to enhance things by “layering in certain sound characteristics on top of what’s already there,” he said. To determine the right mix, the engine processor monitors torque output and changes things accordingly. “The intent is to be a natural experience,” said Carney.
According to Carney, Mustang fans actually helped to shape the enhancement mix. Ford held clinics with clubs dedicated to the model and played different “sound concepts” for them. With that input, the company eventually narrowed it down to a final one.
Some drivers might find some potential downsides to Active Noise Control, though. For buyers that hate the idea of artificial sound in the cabin, the system can’t be turned off (except pulling the fuse and killing the radio). If you like the way your 2015 Mustang sounds with ANC on, we hope you like the sound of the original stereo, too. The tech is integrated into the head unit, so if you upgrade your audio system, your car’s powertrain isn’t going to sound the same.