Infiniti is making driving in the urban jungle a little more tolerable - with a breath of fresh air from the forest.
Next year's all new Infiniti M Saloon will be equipped with a newly-developed climate control system that emulates the air of the natural environment.
Infiniti looked to the forest for inspiration because it believes most people rate forest air as the cleanest and most refreshing. As such it's ideal at promoting an overall feeling of wellness and relieving stress - crucial in today's fast-paced world - as well as helping keep the driver alert.
Appropriately called Forest Air and to be fitted to all new M models, depending on market, the system avoids the air-conditioned artificiality of simple climate control set-ups by adding gentle breezes, optimum humidity and natural scents. All this is delivered at the temperature of the occupants' choice and with no unpleasant smells, bugs or pollen entering the cabin.
The result is Infiniti's most sophisticated climate control system yet and one the engineers who developed it believe is class-leading in many ways. The system offers exceptionally clean and refreshing air quality in all driving situations.
Forest Air is an umbrella term for six areas of technology, some new, some building on proven Infiniti innovations such as the Plasmacluster ioniser, now more powerful and sensitive than ever.
All-new for this third-generation Infiniti M is an aroma diffuser that subtly scents incoming ventilation air with forest-fresh fragrances, chosen for their specific drive-enhancing qualities. For instance, leaf scent is calming and reduces fatigue, while fragrant wood scent, from the tropical borneol tree, also has a calming effect but in addition aids concentration, important with a car as powerful and dynamic as the new Infiniti M. The scents alternate and are used intermittently.
Instead of blasting air into occupants' faces, the new Infiniti M will deliver a gentle breeze. Air from the dashboard vents is randomly modulated so it feels far more natural, making the whole cabin environment a more pleasant place to be.
Humidity plays a part in the Infiniti M's always-fresh interior. Air-conditioners are good at taking all the humidity out, making interior air very dry. Forest Air leaves a comfortable amount of moisture in the air, avoiding the dried-out feeling but without allowing the windows to fog up. The very precise humidity monitoring needed to achieve this is provided by exterior and interior sensors mounted at the top of the windshield.
For all this to work depends on a first line of defense in keeping bad air out, and the 2011 Infiniti M will have it. Again the system relies heavily on sensors - not just to close the air intake when an odor outside is detected but also to allow bad air already inside, such as tobacco smoke, to escape. Active control like this means as oxygen-rich an interior as possible with low CO2 levels.
Allergens are effectively kept out of the cabin by a new filter in the air-conditioning system. The filter's fibers are impregnated with natural grape-seed polyphenol that brings a remarkable rise in efficiency. The effect of cedar pollen allergens, for example, is cut by 88 per cent compared to a regular filter.
The sixth ingredient in Forest Air is Infiniti's Plasmacluster ioniser, already familiar in many markets around the world and soon to be available in Western Europe for the first time. Now more sensitive than ever, its stream of high-density ions is able to decompose the smells that cling to interior trim, down to barely-detectable levels. Apart from this improved deodorizing function, the Plasmacluster is more effective now at inactivating bacteria, mold, viruses, and allergens.
With Forest Air, the Infiniti M models demonstrate what Infiniti has always believed: that quality of air is a key factor in ensuring the driver remains stress-free and alert, and passengers comfortable and relaxed.
The Infiniti M luxury performance saloon will be launched in the UK in Autumn 2010, just as the leaves start falling.Published 23 October 2009