Photo: Tesla Motors
Automobile Magazine just announced that it will name the Tesla Model S as its Car of the Year in its January 2013 issue. In the article, published online, it detailed many reasons for the decision, which did not include the vehicle’s potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.In the article, Associate Editor David Zenlea wrote the Automobile Magazine team did not expect the Model S to be in the running for the award; the Porsche Boxster and Subaru BRZ were likely contenders. But based on three key factors, Tesla’s innovative vehicle came out on top.
Performance: The Signature Performance spec Model S goes from 0 to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, especially impressive for a large, electric sedan. Editor-in-chief Jean Jennings said, “The crazy speed builds silently and then pulls back the edges of your face. It had all of us endangering our licenses.”
High Tech Interior: Zenlea cites the Model S’s “airy, modern, spacious, and impeccably trimmed” interior, packed full of high-tech features. The car turns on automatically when the driver sits down (if she has the key with her); a 17-inch screen controls everything and allows for surfing the web.
Associate Web Editor Ben Timmons compared it to the first time he used an iPhone: revolutionary but intuitive.
Handling: Again, impressive given the size of the Model S, which can seat seven (with optional rear-facing third-row seats). On the racetrack, the Automobile Magazine team found terrific braking and sharp steering.
Besides outperforming other cars in these areas, the Model S, which starts at $58,570 and costs as much as $105,000, offers enough range for even long drives. The largest battery can send the car 265 miles (enough to go from New York to Washington, D.C.). That “finally fits the American conception of driving,” Zenlea writes.
The final verdict hinged on Tesla’s ability to pack innovation and great driving into a vehicle that many dismiss as a boondoggle.
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