Comparing Sound: Mustang Against Hellcat


Active Noise Control sounds like a feature you would want on your next car. The name implies that the car actively controls the noise you hear, or don’t hear, while driving.

That’s accurate, but Ford this week is catching all kinds of negative attention for the feature, which comes standard on all 2015 Mustangs equipped with the 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine.

You see, Active Noise Control doesn’t limit the sound coming into the cabin, it creates it. Since a 4-cylinder doesn’t sound like a muscle car, Ford pipes in some satisfying engine notes to make things feel like they match the 300+ horsepower the little engine delivers.

The Challenger Hellcat doesn’t require such technology.

There shouldn’t be anything wrong with that, but writers have noticed that if a certain fuse is pulled, the engine noise disappears.

I won’t jump on the “let’s bash Ford” bandwagon for this one. Buying a 4-cylinder, even in a Mustang, means you sacrifice the aural pleasures of a muscle car. The tradeoff is more torque than the V6 and the best fuel economy of any muscle car in existence.

If you want your muscle car to sound like a muscle car, buy a Hellcat.

Here’s the sound of an EcoBoost Mustang:

And here’s the ferocious sound of a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat:

Did you notice a difference?

Of course there’s a difference. The Hellcat has a 6.2-liter 707-horsepower V8 engine. The Mustang has a 4-cylinder.

I think Ford’s Active Noise Control is a good thing because it helps give people what they expect, even though they should be fully aware that a 4-cylinder will never sound like a V8.

Do you think Ford’s Active Noise Control is a good thing? 


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