Leaked Chart Reveals the Model 3 Lacks Tesla’s “Bioweapons Defense”


Elon Musk has been saying for months that the upcoming Model 3 is really a discount version of the Model S, but a leaked showroom comparison chart lays out the differences between the two cars in the plainest way yet. And one big loss on the $35,000 Model 3? No “Bioweapons Defense Mode.”

On Tuesday, a user on the Tesla Owners Forums posted a scan of Tesla’s internal, employees-only comparison chart between the Model 3 and the Model S. The chart runs down all of the basic specs for the two cars, making sure prospective buyers know exactly what they’re going to get.

The chart is mostly information we already knew: the Model 3 is going to be a bit slower (0-60 in 5.6 seconds, which is still pretty dang fast) than the Model S (0-60 in a ludicrous 2.3 seconds). It’s also going to have a shorter range, and purchasing it does not come with free supercharger use — you’ll have to pay to juice up your battery.

Down at the bottom, the chart also notes that the Model 3 won’t have the option for Tesla’s HEPA filtration system, the fabled “Bioweapons Defense Mode.” The mode was introduced almost as a gimmick last year, but could be a real selling point for users in heavily polluted areas (like, uh, China, for instance, where Tesla is putting up insane profit numbers).

Fresh air, recycled air, bioweapons defense mode. Tesla

It’s also a perfect example of what Elon Musk means when he says the company is “anti-selling” the Model 3. The Model 3’s success is integral to the company’s future as a whole, but Musk realizes that he clearly makes more money selling the more expensive, luxury Model S and X models than he does hawking $35,000 commuter cars. Musk would love to sell you a Model 3, and with reservation numbers estimated by most analysts to be around 400,000, he’s not really worried about the car languishing in Tesla’s lots. If you walked into a showroom on launch day and bought one, it wouldn’t get to you for about a year — so why not buy a Model S, for a chunk more money, that’ll get there in less than a month? Either way, Musk is happy, but there’s no question about which car is Tesla’s top of the line.

Here’s the full comparison chart:


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