It’s not the real thing, but Ford hopes that you don’t care enough to know the difference

The Ford Mustang Mach-E proudly carries the nameplate of the iconic muscle car, but as an electric crossover, the Mach-E noticeably lacks the aggressive exhaust note that has come to define the Mustang name. Ford knows this, and instead of letting the Mach-E sound like a wispy electric car, the Blue Oval decided to inject an audible soundtrack that would convey the typical sounds of power and performance without compromising the crossover’s all-electric persona. The result is a sound that imitates an internal combustion engine without one actually being there.

How About Some Fake Engine Noise For a Fake Mustang?

There were rumors even before the Mustang Mach-E made its highly anticipated début last week that Ford was thinking about sound synthesizing.

Sure, it’s not out of the ordinary for Ford to take this measure — the EcoBoost-powered Ford Mustang also uses a form of speaker-generated tones to mimic a V-8 engine’s burble — but there’s a difference between using it on a Mustang muscle car and using it on an all-electric crossover that happens to share the Mustang’s name. This is where the disconnect happens.

Granted, I understand why Ford is doing it. I understand that certain trade-offs need to happen when you use the name of your most iconic nameplate on a model that has nothing in common with it. Ford wanted to give the Mustang Mach-E a bit of the real Mustang’s identity, even if it meant doing so in a completely inauthentic manner.

Ford Mach-E Performance
Battery Type Drive Type Performance Horsepower and torque
Select Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Select Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range Rear-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Standard Range All-Wheel Drive 255 HP / 417 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
Premium Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
First Edition Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 332 HP / 417 LB-FT
California Route 1 Extended Range Rear-Wheel Drive 282 HP / 306 LB-FT
GT Performance Extended Range All-Wheel Drive 459 HP / 612 LB-FT
Ford Hopes That Fake V-8 Engine Noise Will Help You Forget that the Mach-E Isn't Really a Mustang Exterior
- image 871931
Ford worked with a team of sound engineers to create a score that implied power and performance, two audio attributes that you naturally hear from the Mustang.

To be fair, Ford didn’t directly try to imitate the sound of an internal combustion engine because that’d be cheating the whole process. Instead, it went for sounds that mimicked the sound of a burbling V-8 engine. Ford even tried to draw inspiration from sci-fi elements, specifically from movies like Batman and Blade Runner. So while it’s not exactly the sound of a natural V-8 engine, you can make out elements of a V-8 engine’s burble, albeit with some fancy scores mixed in for good measure.

The good news is that there are ways to not subject yourselves to this fake sound.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E’s “Whisper” and “Engage” driving modes deliver little to nothing in terms of this fake sound. Go for the Unbridled mode and it goes on full blast. But if you really want to spare yourself from all the trouble of listening to any of this, you can turn off the setting completely in all modes.

Final Thoughts

Ford Hopes That Fake V-8 Engine Noise Will Help You Forget that the Mach-E Isn't Really a Mustang Exterior
- image 871930

I appreciate what Ford’s trying to do here, but there’s a fine line between doing something for the benefit of prospective customers and doing something for the sake of doing something. This is one of those times. The Ford Mustang Mach-E doesn’t need fake engine noise. It’s an electric crossover. It’s supposed to be quiet. If Ford wanted to make its customers happy, perhaps it shouldn’t have used the “Mustang” name on the EV in the first place.

Source: Motor1

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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