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Audi gets serious on cabin filters

FOLLOWING the announcement by electric car specialist Tesla of the huge two-stage cabin filtration system with ‘bioweapon defence mode’ on its Model X SUV, Audi has announced it will fit upgraded anti-allergen filters to certain models from June production this year and make the upgrades available for retrofitting through its dealerships.

This focus on cabin filters by car manufacturers and the publicity surrounding them as a selling point is great for raising consumer awareness, even for people who do not own premium-priced Tesla or Audi vehicles.

Audi claims its new filter “not only removes fine particulates and harmful gases from the air, it also neutralises a majority of all allergens”.

“With the new filter, Audi is setting a new standard worldwide in the premium compact segment.”

It could be said that the filter is also useful when driving behind certain Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles caught up in the global ‘dieselgate’ emissions scandal.

Audi Q2

The first models from the German luxury brand to use the new filter will be the A1, A3, Q3 and TT. Audi’s as-yet unlaunched Q2 compact SUV will be equipped with the filter from the moment the first example rolls off the production line.

“Customers can also have their cars in the respective model series retrofitted with the new filter as part of their regularly scheduled service intervals,” says Audi.

The Ingolstadt-based carmaker describes two versions of the filter that work differently but are both made up of three layers.

“What makes them special is the new outer carrier layer, which now features an additional anti-allergen effect. One variant reduces allergens by means of plant-derived, bioactive substances called polyphenols, which attach themselves to the receptors of the allergens. The other uses a modification of the protein structure to achieve the desired affect.”

Two independent studies were commissioned in Germany to check the effectiveness of Audi’s new filters, one by allergy testing specialist SGS Fresenius and filter assessment firm Fiatec.

“A comprehensive measurement series documents the high effectiveness of the filter system,” says Audi. “The arrangement of the layers ensures outstanding separation performance and conditioner air throughput over the life of the filter.”

In addition to the new filter layer, the existing other two consist of special microfibres that remove tiny particulates and activated carbon that traps “gaseous impurities”.

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