New Infiniti FX Fights Foul Smells

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Malodorous mishaps, meet your match (and thus ends our weekly allowance for words beginning with M). Infiniti’s redesigned FX crossover will include a feature called Plasmacluster Filtration that ionizes and deionizes the cabin to remove any olfactory offenders within. The result is a car that can clean its own air, FX product manager Stefan Conrady told Automotive News.

The system has two settings: Clean Mode emits ions to catch mold spores and other particles, while Ion Mode floods the interior with negative ions to replicate the crisp-air freshness you get after a rainstorm. Infiniti reportedly put the system through a battery of tests, including blowing cigarette smoke into the car and leaving leftover food behind. Spokesman Kyle Bazemore said Plasmacluster can reduce allergens, and because its filtration techniques strictly clean the air, it won’t introduce any new smells to cover the old. Frankly, we hope it doesn’t work too well — we’d hate to forget a leftover salad long enough for the ranch to turn into Roquefort.

Toyota also has a plasmacluster system that ionizes the cabin in certain trim levels of the Camry. Both come from Sharp Electronics, the company behind everything from widescreen TVs to, well, plasmacluster. The system is standard in the 2009 FX50. It’s not available in the FX35, but Bazemore said that if the market likes it, Plasmacluster will likely spread to other models.

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Former Assistant Managing Editor-News Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey Mays

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