Ever get into a luxury car and revel in the glorious smell of fine leather? It might sound odd but some luxury cars smell better than others on the inside. As it turns out, that’s no accident, at least for an Audi. In fact, Audi actually has entire team of people that smell different parts of its cars’ interiors, to ensure the best possible aroma. It’s called the Nose Team and, yes, this is real.
The leader of Audi’s Nose Team of expert sniffers is chemist Heiko Lüßmann-Geiger. “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.”
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
Each smell is rated on a scale of one to six, with one being considered “odorless” and six being “unbearable”. To pass the sniff test, most materials have to rank lower than a four, with some materials typically ranking at a zero. The idea is to ensure that there are no glue or chemical smells inside the cabin and the leather smells like leather, not dye.
If you’ve ever sat in a premium GM product, you’d understand the importance of a Nose Team. Most Corvettes smell like glue factories inside.
What’s also interesting is that Audi doesn’t just smell-test new cars. In fact, the Nose Team randomly pulls current production cars into the lab to give them a good sniff. This ensures that no unpleasant smells end up surfacing over time.
These photos from Audi’s Twitter account are sort of hilarious, as it’s not often you see a photo of a fully-grown man sniffing a steering wheel. Still, it’s nice to know that Audi has your aromatic needs covered.