Tesla Model S Starts Racking Up Vehicle of the Year Awards

By · November 02, 2012

Model S

The sporty all-electric Tesla Model S is expected to win several major "Of the Year" awards before 2012 ends. Tesla is off to a strong start with top honors from Automobile magazine and Yahoo! Autos.

Automobile magazine's "2013 Automobile of the Year" award went to the Tesla Model S. Here's an excerpt from Automobile that explains why:

Actually, the Model S can blow away almost anything. "It's the performance that won us over," admits editor-in-chief Jean Jennings. "The crazy speed builds silently and then pulls back the edges of your face. It had all of us endangering our licenses."

Our Model S was of Signature Performance spec, which means its AC induction motor puts out 416 hp and that it blasts to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds. Even those numbers—positively absurd for a large sedan that uses not a lick of gasoline—fail to communicate how crazy it actually feels. "It's alarming to jam the accelerator of such a big car and have it surge forward so quickly and so quietly," says copy editor Rusty Blackwell.

Like most electric cars, the Model S generates its torque almost instantly. Unlike most electric cars, Tesla's torque amounts to a prodigious 443 lb-ft, all of which goes to the rear wheels. The only indicators of your stunning momentum are the rush of scenery around you, a faint whine, and the digital speedometer's difficulty keeping pace.

"Driving the Model S is decidedly not like piloting a Nissan LEAF or an electric Smart," notes road test editor Christopher Nelson. Contributor Ezra Dyer, meanwhile, was so impressed that he arranged an informal drag race to 100 mph with a 560-hp BMW M5. The Model S won. "It bears repeating: this thing is silly quick," he concluded."”

While Yahoo! Autos doesn't have the same level of recognition as Automobile magazine, it too selected the Tesla Model S as this year's most notable vehicles by announcing it the winner of its "2013 Car of the Year" award. Here's an excerpt from Yahoo! Autos' Marco R. della Cava:

While the Model S is content to quietly amble down the road as you take in its optional 580-watt Studio Sound Package ($950) stereo, simply flexing your right foot turns the car into a stealth fighter. Instant torque (and a 4.4-second zero-to-60 mph time) puts fellow travelers in your rear view mirror fast and without drama. That same composure is evident when carving up winding roads, thanks in large part to floor-stashed batteries that lower the car's center of gravity and provide its 265-mile range. The Tesla Roadster does the same thing; only now you've got your parents and your small kids plus some groceries along for the ride.

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The Model S challenges the competition on all fronts and, in several measurable aspects, destroys its competitors. Expect the Model S to continue its sweep of Car of the Year awards. Hopefully, this will give Tesla the moral and publicity boost it needs, as it works to ramp up production, and become financially viable for the long run.

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