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Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Philips GoPure cleans the air in your stinky car

The Philips GoPure Automotive Clean Air System can purify the air in a car's cabin in about 10 minutes.

Philips GoPure Automotive Clean Air System
The Philips GoPure Automotive Clean Air System can purify the air in car's cabin in about 10 minutes. Antuan Goodwin/CNET

High-tech air filtration systems and HEPA filters are becoming standard fare in luxury vehicles these days, but what are you going to do about that funny smell in your 2004 Chevy Aveo? There's only so much that a pine tree air freshener can do.

Perhaps you should check out the newly announced Philips GoPure Automotive Clean Air System.

The GoPure was the odd bird in Philips' booth at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, which was otherwise filled with the manufacturer's line of automotive lighting products. This portable air filtration system is aimed at motorists with allergies, drivers with small children who may be sensitive to airborne germs and particles, and people who want to remove bad smells from the air in their car.

The GoPure takes advantage of a three-stage filtration process that Philips says was developed by its Healthcare division. The first stage is coarse prefilter that captures hair and large airborn particles. The next stage is a HEPA filter that captures fine particulates, such as dust and pollen, and airborne bacteria. The final stage consists of three HESA filters that Philips claims will reduce bad odors such as cigarette smoke. The GoPure circulates air through its filtration system with a two-speed fan. Philips claims that the GoPure can clean the air in a car's cabin in about 10 minutes when set to its high-speed "boost" mode.

The demonstration unit on display at AAPEX 2011 sat on the dashboard of a 2012 Fiat 500 and was held in place with a suction cup--a great position for showcasing the product, but I wouldn't want to drive around like that. Philips' product shots showcase some better mounting and placement options, such as under a seat, on the rear parcel shelf, and affixed the back of a seat. Wherever it's mounted, the GoPure draws its power from a 12V plug and automatically powers on and off with the vehicle's ignition.

Philips GoPure Automotive Clean Air System
The GoPure can be placed under a seat, in the rear of a vehicle, or mounted on a seat back. Philips Automotive Lighting, N.A.

Sensors and LED indicators illuminate to communicate the current ambient air quality. Blue is very good; deep purple is good; and light purple is poor. Lights automatically dim at night to minimize glare while driving. There's also a filter replacement indicator to let owners know when to swap the HESA and HEPA filters.

The Philips GoPure carries an MSRP of $249.99, but I'm already seeing prices as low as $185 around the Net.