Meet Audi's 'Nose Team' who make sure all its new cars smell just as they should
The nose knows.
If you're a lover of a good new car smell the same way I am, if you find the inside of Audis take your nose by fancy it turns out their interior scent is no coincidence.
In perhaps the strangest news you'll learn all week, Audi, it turns out, has a special Nose Team it employs to ensure that all of its cars smell exactly right inside. Yes, seriously.
On the company's official Twitter account, several images of the Audi Nose Team hard at work smelling steering wheels and leather cuttings in jars were shared much to the surprise of many.
Now, if you're thinking this is some sort of incredibly late April Fools Joke, you can be sure that it isn't, as the Nasenteam – Nose Team in German – has been a part of the company since all the way back in 1985.
The team of five operates out of Audi's Bavarian Quality Centre and grades a variety of different materials and chemicals used on the inside of Audi models on a scale of one to six, one being 'odourless' while a six equates to being 'unbearable', with the aim for all interior materials to smell as neutral as possible.
A score of less than four – which equates to being 'irritating' – is required for a material to pass testing. And don't think that it's just things like cloth and leather that undergo testing, as even materials typically thought of as being odourless such as glass and metal undergo olfactory testing.
Worth noting as well is that, from time to time, random production vehicles will be brought into the Nose Team's lab to ensure that they still keep smelling as fresh over time as they did while on the production line. Should they not, the team will look to make changes in the manufacturing process to ensure the issue ceases.
Material samples set to undergo testing by the ever-telling noses of Audi's scent authorities.
Heiko Lüßmann-Geiger, a member of the Audi Nose Team since the 2000s, has previously gone on record to note that the importance of the smell of a car's interior as part of the ownership experience cannot be understated.
"At the tip of this hierarchy pyramid is the well-being of the customer, right at the base is the smell. If the customer is now irritated by this odour 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 odour," says Lüßmann-Geiger.
Oh, and just in case you are one of the people who Audi's social media manager figured might need to see the Nose Team hard at work, I've had a dig through Audi's archives just for you and pulled out another photo of a member of the team hard at work.
Admit it, you wish this was your job now, don't you?