A nice interior isn’t just about design and feel

You can argue that owning a car today is a way more complex experience than it used to be decades ago. Carmakers usually run the whole nine yards to attract and keep the customer interested in their products. Special gifts, invitations to the plant, exclusive access to limited edition models, discounts, all of that is pointed at the owner these days. Audi, however, believes that smell is equally important when it comes to car ownership.

Enter the Audi Nose Team

You’d think that this is some sort of competition where dogs get to showcase their ultra-sensitive sense of smell. You’d be wrong. This is about actual people smelling car parts. And they’ve been doing it since 1985, according to The Drive.

On some level, hiring such olfactory experts makes a whole lot of sense. You don’t want your new car to smell badly, and these guys make sure that your nose will be treated properly since the moment you drive off your dealer’s parking lot.

Weird News: Audi Has Experts That Smell Car Parts
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Now, as we all know, each new cars smells in a particular way. It’s impossible to concoct an odour-free car, but at the same time, Audi understood that the cabin is no place for chemical odours that might come from the treatment of leather, for example.

As a rule of the thumb, you could say some smell is good for the overall feeling as long as it’s not too much and makes you nauseous or results in friends avoiding trips in your car.

This is how Audi describes the work of its Nose Team:

"They work to ensure a consistently pleasant odour level in Audi vehicles. Plastic parts that give off unpleasant odours, leather that smells like fish oil or floor mats that exude an aroma of onions don't stand a chance at Audi. <doc906411

In even more detail, here’s a broken down look at the process and its steps:

  • first, the odour "engineers" test the overall smell of the car
  • after that, the smelliest parts are located
  • then they identify what substance/material produces the odour
  • engineers and designers replace or improve the material so that it releases a more neutral smell
  • the new parts are added in, and testing the overall smell of the car starts once again

So next time you step inside a plush Audi, make sure to appreciate the hard work of these people.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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