Elon Musk: automotive pioneer, environmentalist, doomsday prepper?
Tesla has—finally—built a car to ride out the apocalypse in. The luxury car company’s brand-new Model X has an unusual feature specially built to protect its passengers from the earth’s final destruction: a “bioweapon defense mode” button.
In case of a biological attack, pulling the trigger on the electronic dash display would activate the car’s air filter. The all-electric Tesla version is 10 times the size of a regular car’s filter and is lauded as being 800 times better at filtering viruses. In case of biowarfare, pressing the defense mode button would activate the maximum air filtration, which Musk called “hospital level air quality.” (It was a well-timed brag, coming right on the heels of a major scandal over emissions at Volkswagen.)
This third-generation Tesla is the company’s first SUV, and is roughly estimated to cost, at its most basic, $93,000. The higher-end Model X Signature Edition was dramatically unveiled by CEO Elon Musk at the company’s factory in Fremont, California on Tuesday. Musk, who won’t release another Tesla model until 2017, didn’t let his last moments in the 2015 spotlight flicker out without some drama.
“This is a real button,” said Musk, noting it was for “if there’s ever an apocalyptic scenario of some kind.”
Those fleeing in their Model X would take comfort in the fact that the car accelerates from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds.
The whole car gives off a Batmobile vibe. The “falcon-wing” rear doors open on a hinge, lifting them toward the sky. Their ultrasonic sensors will keep the doors from smashing into anything. Efforts were made to ease the installation of a car seat, and to allow passengers to get out with just 30 centimeters of space between cars.
It’s a family car, Musk claimed, and presumably his nuclear relations are apocalyptic preppers who need to flee really, really far and really, really quickly. The only hitch: If danger hasn’t passed after 250 miles—as far as the Model X goes on a full charge—passengers will have to face the world’s end without Tesla’s protective shell.