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Old 05-16-2020, 08:02 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Audi Has an Entire Team of People Who Just Smell Things




Smell is a powerful sense. So much that it's said to be one of the most far-reaching and closely linked with memories and taste. It's important for auto manufacturers to get smells right, as the smallest offensive odor in a car could haunt them for life. Perhaps this is why Audi employs an entire team of scientists who spend their day smelling surfaces while wearing legit lab coats.

Since 1985, Audi's quietest group of heroes: the "Nose Team," have diligently worked to make sure that the manufacturer's smell science was on-point. Their goal was simple, to make sure Audi vehicles don't emit foul odors inside the cabin. This means making sure that the vehicle has no strong chemical smell fresh off of the line and won't stink like a wet dog when you open the door on a hot summer day.



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
This isn't as simple as hanging an air freshener on the rearview mirror. Audi's scientists know that it's impossible to have an odor-free car, so instead of attempting to mask the scents, they aim for the material and chemicals used during the manufacturing process to be as neutral as possible. If the leather smells a bit too much like fish oil or the floor mats like onions, the team sends the product back to the drawing board.

One of Audi's chemists, Heiko Lüßmann-Geiger, has lead a five-person sniffing team at Audi's Bavarian Quality Center since the early 2000s. He explained vehicle comfort as being a "pyramid", noting that the smell given off by a vehicle is one of the most foundational comfort features that can make or break vehicle 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 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.”

Smells are then graded on a scale from one ("odorless") to six ("unbearable"). Glass, ceramics, and metals are often rated as a one, given that they are a core component of the vehicle. Other materials must be rated below a four ("irritating") in order to pass the sniff test.

If you don't believe that these scientists take their job as professional smellers seriously, just watch their expressionless faces at work on these images from the mid-2000s.



The job isn't done once the vehicle leaves the lot, however. Audi says that it also randomly pulls production vehicles into the laboratory to ensure that vehicles don't begin to emit unpleasant smells after they leave showroom floors. If an odor begins to present itself, the team evaluates if something in the manufacturing process has changed, or if a parts supplier is using new materials. And there's a lot to go over inside of a vehicle.

Audi isn't the only automaker to have measures for smelling cars. It's a crucial part of auto manufacturing and something which even varies culturally. So the next time you sit in your car, take a big whiff and try to imagine it fresh from the factory. Then, thank the chemists who made it all possible.

https://www.thedrive.com/news/33439/...t-smell-things



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Old 05-16-2020, 08:37 AM   #2
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Pretty sure most auto manus have smell teams - especially all of the German and high end Japanese auto manus. New BMWs are intoxicating- makes me want to whip out the checkbook n drop $60K. The question is how long can you keep that smell going after purchase.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:46 AM   #3
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Guy's going bald for ingesting too much fume..
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:48 AM   #4
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I read an article years back that said the "new car smell" was a particular chemical, that was just part of the manufacturing process, that was a carcinogen; and, the whole industry was researching ways to get rid of it. I'm wondering how many people of these "nose teams" had ever developed cancer and could it have been related to their job of constantly inhaling the carcinogens.
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Old 05-16-2020, 08:53 AM   #5
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JustyWRC- my thoughts exactly. What we smell is mostly outgassing of all sorts of chemicals and materials especially after getting exposed to the sun and heat. It can't be good.. although I must say I like the new car smell.
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Old 05-16-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
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BMW specifically has psychology around the smell of their cars. Specific leather and leather treatment at manufacture is used and has been “honed” over the years and has had millions in R&D poured into it to get that sharp smell. It works. New Benzs and Audi’s don’t have quite that same smell - they smell great too, but each, slightly different.

But yes to the outgassing on certain more lower end manus, like Toyota, Subaru and Nissan, for instance. Especially after a full day in the hot sun when new, and the windshield has a “film” all over it from the dashboard outgassing.
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Old 05-16-2020, 03:24 PM   #7
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The smell of my R was absolutely intoxicating. Most German cars are.
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Old 05-16-2020, 07:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
Pretty sure most auto manus have smell teams - especially all of the German and high end Japanese auto manus. New BMWs are intoxicating- makes me want to whip out the checkbook n drop $60K. The question is how long can you keep that smell going after purchase.
German cars keep that unique new German car smell for a damn long time assuming you don’t trash it.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:50 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
German cars keep that unique new German car smell for a damn long time assuming you don’t trash it.
Yes, when I sold my 135i almost 4 years later after new, it still had “the smell.” That thing was kept meticulous.
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
German cars keep that unique new German car smell for a damn long time assuming you don’t trash it.


My wife’s 2011 3-series has almost 60k miles on it and it still has that distinctive BMW aroma, nice.

I gave a coworker a ride in my 2015 WRX Limited and he made the comment that it “smelled like the Prius he used to own”. Not so nice.

I must be nose-deaf since I only seem to smell the leather. Time for some Black Ice
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by godfather2112 View Post
German cars keep that unique new German car smell for a damn long time assuming you don’t trash it.
They seem to keep it forever. When I was a kid in the 90's, my step-dad had an old MBZ diesel from the late 70's and I can still remember the smell of the interior. Very pleasant well aged leather smell. Much different than the same-vintage Nissan he had.
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Old 05-17-2020, 06:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by n7slc View Post

I gave a coworker a ride in my 2015 WRX Limited and he made the comment that it “smelled like the Prius he used to own”. Not so nice.



Well, since they share several interior parts.........
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Old 05-17-2020, 07:28 PM   #13
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Well, since they share several interior parts.........


Does it share the same part number? 🤣
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Old 05-18-2020, 09:37 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Brahmzy View Post
Pretty sure most auto manus have smell teams - especially all of the German and high end Japanese auto manus. New BMWs are intoxicating- makes me want to whip out the checkbook n drop $60K. The question is how long can you keep that smell going after purchase.
I had a 2010 BMW, sold in 2016, which smelled great the whole time. My friend's complimented me on that.
Friend had a 2017 BMW. Didnt smell as good as mine.

My dad had a 1984 Honda Prelude which had a distinct smell. I grew up riding in that car. In 2016 I went to the Honda dealer and sat on a Civic. It smelled exactly like my dad's Prelude. Brought back tons of memories.

Subaru doesnt appear to have smell teams. My car smelled like **** when I bought it.
I didnt know if someone took a dump inside the car, or the under coating smelled like that.
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Old 05-18-2020, 10:29 AM   #15
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Please smell me a 6mt Quattro hatch.
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