It didn’t take long for the barely out the door Tesla Model S to get high accolades. Times have changed when an electric car gets the Car of the Year award from a major car magazine.
Automobile magazine is smitten with Tesla’s Model S. And why not. This electric vehicle, EV actually delivers on most of the promises heralded by the brave new world of electric cars; performance, space and prices that are finally coming down, albeit in a shy manner. The Model S is not only a crucial car for the Californian start up company that needs to prove it can not only deliver a car it designed on its own but that it can also be financially rewarding. So far, Tesla Motors is on the right tracks.
AUTOMOBILE Magazine. According to the Tesla Newsletter: “"It's the performance that won us over," says AUTOMOBILE Magazine, as they determined who would hold the title of 2013 Automobile of the Year. "All that speed, along with powerful braking, super flat handling, and sharp steering, gives you the sense that you're invincible," No small acclaim as the editors also reported raving about the impressive body control and vacuum-like grip as the Model S negotiated corners. Overall, they were impressed with the suspension's ability to soak up bumps that tortured other test cars in the past.
And just in case you still weren’t convinced, the newsletter resumes with: "The electric motor does not define this car...but it is, at the end of the day, what makes this very good sport sedan an absolute game changer," AUTOMOBILE stated. "It has managed to blend the innovation of a Silicon Valley start-up, the execution of a world-class automaker, and, yes, the chutzpah of its visionary leader."
Automobile Magazine has come to grasp with the potential electric cars have. As they admit and as most of us alternative energy vehicle aficionados also have to contend, many of us didn’t approach this new electric car elation with an open mind. Mine was firmly intrenched in the: “If it makes no noise, has no vibration and no oil smell, how can it be fun to drive?” After all, I come from a world of pre-WWII Alfa Romeo, Bugattis and post WWII Ferrari, Maserati and more. A whizzing car was an oddity at best. That was until I drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster. The light bulb went on. And so it seems to have done for the journalists of Automobile Magazine.
Better Than A Subaru and Porsche? As if the original award hadn’t raised enough eyebrows, Automobile Magazine even admits how the Tesla Model S competed against well entrenched candidates, such as the sizzling red hot Subaru BRZ and the latest Porsche Boxster.
The Model S blew away almost anything and their perceived notions of what an electric car is. "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,"
The Model S is certainly a winner. Not only does Tesla show us it can design an electric car on its own using regular lithium-ion batteries, but it achieved to build one that really handles well, not in a no-concession way as so many performance vehicles can be but in a civilized fashion. The Tesla Model S is the quintessential electric car, delivering zen-like driving, enough performance to remove annoying slow cars from your windshield and stick to the pavement without bruising your posterior.