Faurecia's high-temperature or plasma-based regenerative filters fitted on the HDi version of the Peugeot 607 reduce the amount of particulates emitted by 99 percent.
The 607 is the first car fitted with this system.
The particulate filter is a porous structure made of silicon carbide, which traps the particulates as they pass through it. The particulates are then regularly burned off every 400km or 500km under the control of the common-rail injection system.
The innovation could have major consequences. Diesels are growing in popularity in Europe, but there are still major reservations about their use in light vehicles in the USA and Japan.
Unburned hydrocarbon particulates associated with diesel engines remain a problem.
Concern about particulates is one of the reasons why diesel-engined light vehicles have effectively been banned in California.
Widespread acceptance of diesels could offer a major opportunities to reduce carbon gases.