Surprising New Tesla Feature: 'Bioweapon Defense'

Elon Musk intros Model X's air-filtration system for 'apocalyptic scenario'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 30, 2015 1:06 PM CDT

USA Today says that Tesla's new electric crossover SUV "will shake up the luxury vehicle market." But what really impressed crowds at the $132,000 vehicle's unveiling Tuesday night in California is the Model X's apparent ability to shake out dangerous contaminants from the vehicle's cabin in case of a bioweapons attack, Business Insider reports. As CEO Elon Musk first introduced the air-filtration system's "Bioweapon Defense Mode," the audience wasn't quite sure what he was getting at, since Tesla "is known for using over-the-top names—such as Ludicrous Mode—for some of its cars' features," the site notes. But then Musk elaborated: The air filters are comprised of three layers of activated carbon to purge the cabin of acidic and alkaline gases and hydrocarbons, "scrubbing the air to the cleanliness quality of a hospital operating room," per Business Insider.

"If there's ever sort of an apocalyptic scenario … hypothetically, you just press the Bioweapon Defense Mode button. This is a real button!" Musk said—to which the crowd simply kept cheering. Makes sense, observes the Verge, "because what else do you want from a futuristic, semi-autonomous, all-electric car that's as fast as a Porsche than the ability to survive biological warfare?" (A different Tesla vehicle recently "broke" the Consumer Reports testing scale.)

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