Watch: Meet Audi's dedicated 'Nose Team' who make sure every car smells right
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There's a reason that no one goes on about a new car's look, or feel. But the smell? That's something that people remember, and love to discuss.
It turns out that there is a lot more science than you might think that goes into getting that new car smell just right, and Audi has a dedicated team of scientists working on it, called the 'Nose Team'.
I don’t know who needs this, but… here’s some pictures of the Audi Nose Team hard at work. pic.twitter.com/zyiIjMHJN0— Audi (@Audi) May 12, 2020
Incredibly, the team was established back in 1985, and has been working away in their labcoats ever since. Their task is simple, making sure every Audi car smells good throughout its life on the road.
It's a matter of finding the perfect balance between a new car not stinking of chemicals when it comes off the production line, and also not smelling like a musty newspaper when in the middle of winter.
While most owners just hang an air freshener in order to mask a bad smell in personal cars, the Nose Team no that masking isn't an option, and the car mustn't be emitting any odours in the first place.
The science of smell is explained as a "pyramid" by Heiko Lüßmann-Geiger, one of Audi's head chemists. If a smell is off, the rest of the car's comfort factors are jeopardised.
"At the tip of this hierarchy pyramid is the well-being of the customer, right at the base is the smell," said Lüßmann-Geiger. "If the customer is now irritated by this odor from below, he will no longer correctly perceive all the other positive comfort properties of the vehicle. He is too irritated by the stress brought about by the odor.”
Both new and production cars are tested for odours, as the team will randomly pull cars into the laboratory to make sure that no bad smells have arisen since the car left the showroom.