The 2015 Volvo XC90 will be the first vehicle built on the company’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform to feature a multi-filter that aims to improve the interior air quality for passengers. This is one of the many steps Volvo is undertaking as part of the company’s revised CleanZone concept.

By employing a larger, redesigned multi-filter, pollutants and toxic elements will be prevented from entering the cabin. An additional layer of active charcoal featured in the construction will help to further remove contaminants and allow occupants to breathe easier – in particular those with breathing difficulties.

With the multi-filter, pollutants as small as 0.4 micrometres are reduced by 70% compared to models without it. The filter is just one element under Volvo’s Interior Air Quality System (IAQS), which also features an “active” air intake which closes automatically when sensors detect an increase of pollutants from the outside.

Under the CleanZone approach, an additional feature allows for the remote cabin ventilation system to automatically remove unpleasant odours and pollutants before the driver enters. Apart from active features, Volvo has also worked to reduce pollutants from the source itself.

Volvo employs what it calls the ‘Volvo Cars Nose Team’, whose responsibilities include smelling different objects utilised to determine if the odour is too strong – the ‘new car smell’ is one example of low level pollutants from materials used that give off a distinct smell.

Another test involves heating the interior temperature to 65°C – pretty relevant when you consider our weather – and measuring the level of Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOCs). Volvo then works to reduce the level of TVOCs emitted – which in high doses, can cause headaches and trigger asthma attacks.