Car manufacturing is already a labourious and finicky task – there are just so many things to consider, from design and engineering, to user interface and material selection, and those are just the basics. If there’s someone to go above and beyond the standard though, you’ve got to believe it to be the Germans.
Other than just making their cars drive, look, and feel good, Audi employs a team of scientists to make sure your car smells good too. No, seriously – we checked the date too.
According to The Drive, the dedicated smell scientists, called the Audi Nose Team, have been a part of the German carmaker’s research and development team since 1985. Their single goal is to ensure that the car doesn’t stink, not just when it’s fresh off the assembly line, but also under extreme situations, too.
And fortunately for us, they take it very seriously. Heiko Lüßmann-Geiger, Audi Nose Team lead since the early 2000’s, even said that the smell is one of the most foundational elements in the “comfort pyramid” that can make or break he experience of car ownership.
“At the tip of this hierarchy pyramid is the well-being of the customer, right at the base is the smell,” explained Lüßmann-Geiger. “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.”
All materials in the car are graded on a scale from one (“odourless”) to six (“unbearble”). For example, core carmaking materials such as glass, ceramics, and metals are often rated as a one. All materials must be rated below a four (“irritating”) in order to pass the sniff test.
According to the official Audi Twitter account, the nose team analyses over 500 individual interior components in each model to get the “new car smell” just right.
So the next time you get into an Audi, make sure you take a big whiff and remember – whatever you’re smelling has been fine tuned by a group of scientists. And for those who don’t have regular access to an Audi, at least there’s still the specifically-designed new car scent perfume, right?