Tesla Model S rides away with Motor Trend's Car of the Year award

By on November 13, 2012, 4:00 PM

Motor Trend magazine has announced the winner of their coveted Car of the Year award. The Tesla Model S electric car rides away with the top honor for 2012 in a decision that’s sure to surprise a lot of automotive enthusiasts. What’s more, the publication says the competition wasn’t even close this year.

For the first time in as long as editors can remember, every judge on the panel agreed that the Model S was the clear winner. It beat out a number of other qualified candidates like the Subaru BRZ, BMW 3 Series, the Lexus GS and the Porsche 911.

Writers say the Model S drives like a sports car but is as smooth and effortless on the road as a Rolls-Royce. What’s more, you can fit almost as much stuff in it as you can Chevy’s Equinox crossover and it’s more efficient than Toyota’s Prius.

Tesla’s flagship sedan weighs 4,766 pounds but still manages to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds. The car is able to reach a top speed of 133 miles per hour using electric motors that have the equivalent power of a 416 horsepower gasoline engine. The magazine says they were able to get the electric equivalent of 118 miles per gallon out of the car.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a statement that the aspiration for the Model S was to prove that an electric car can be better than any gasoline vehicle. He believes that nothing illustrates this point more than winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year award.




User Comments: 18

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Littleczr Littleczr said:

Too bad a regular Joe like me can't afford it. But great none the less.

3 people like this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I have a buddy who is buying one (his is being delivered in March) and I've been on a couple test drives with him using demo models. It is one beautiful machine inside and out. The touch screen dashboard is incredible and customizable with pretty much any app out there. Being electric, there is zero engine noise. The only thing you can hear (barely) are the tires on the road. It's also very powerful. Whenever my buddy gunned it, we were thrown back in our seats. It's roomy, comfortable and has a knock-out stereo system. And it's damn good looking to boot.

If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

Littleczr Littleczr said:

If I had money I would install solar panels on my roof and recharge the batter with that. Of course it helps if you live in southern California.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

If I had money I would install solar panels on my roof and recharge the batter with that. Of course it helps if you live in southern California.

Standard house circuits are pretty low current which is one main problem with charging at home... you pretty much have to charge overnight unless you do something special like have high current batteries in the house that you charge overnight (or with your solar cells) then you can just dump the energy from those batteries into your car batteries.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

These Tesla's have a "super charger" option that will give you a 200 mile ride with a 30 minute charge. I think the super charger package is an additional $2000 (which my friend decided not to get as part of his vehicle build).

roberteastwood roberteastwood said:

If the US government loaned me $500 million I could make a car also. To top it off, Elon Musk is not even an American, he's a South African. Why are US taxpayers paying for these overpriced cars that the very same taxpayers cannot even afford? Oh, I know why. So a handful of Silicon Valley tech guys, and venture capitalists, can but the Tesla Roadster. The whole thing is a sham.

cmbjive said:

I have a buddy who is buying one (his is being delivered in March) and I've been on a couple test drives with him using demo models. It is one beautiful machine inside and out. The touch screen dashboard is incredible and customizable with pretty much any app out there. Being electric, there is zero engine noise. The only thing you can hear (barely) are the tires on the road. It's also very powerful. Whenever my buddy gunned it, we were thrown back in our seats. It's roomy, comfortable and has a knock-out stereo system. And it's damn good looking to boot.

If I had the money, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.

I hope your friend's ride doesn't brick or explode on him. Then again, that was the Tesla Roadster so maybe they've worked out the kinks for the Model S.

1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

If the US government loaned me $500 million I could make a car also. To top it off, Elon Musk is not even an American, he's a South African. Why are US taxpayers paying for these overpriced cars that the very same taxpayers cannot even afford? Oh, I know why. So a handful of Silicon Valley tech guys, and venture capitalists, can but the Tesla Roadster. The whole thing is a sham.

I was actually pleased that they invested money in it. I understand the whole "stay out of the private sector thing" but I don't mind an investment for the future.

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

That car is a pile of crap from an eng. POV. if it didn't have an green tag attached to it, it would have been panned across the board.

Geforcepat Geforcepat said:

No Wonder people have been dropping their subscriptions over the last 5 years or so

2 people like this |
Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

If the US government loaned me $500 million I could make a car also. To top it off, Elon Musk is not even an American, he's a South African. Why are US taxpayers paying for these overpriced cars that the very same taxpayers cannot even afford? Oh, I know why. So a handful of Silicon Valley tech guys, and venture capitalists, can but the Tesla Roadster. The whole thing is a sham.

Welcome roberteastwood to Techspot.

I think if everyone argued like you there would no longer be any cars made in the US

Or you think GM was doing a splendid job before the government bailed them out?

I see about 1 billion times higher ingenuity in the small team making up Tesla vs the giant bloated company named GM

But you're right, maybe it would be better to kick Elon Musk out of your country so he could come to Europe and develop his cars here instead.

He would certainly be welcome, seeing as how he plowed every last million he earned into Tesla & SpaceX

A true visionary in my eyes!

3 people like this | Nima Kalbasi Nima Kalbasi said:

If the US government loaned me $500 million I could make a car also. To top it off, Elon Musk is not even an American, he's a South African. Why are US taxpayers paying for these overpriced cars that the very same taxpayers cannot even afford? Oh, I know why. So a handful of Silicon Valley tech guys, and venture capitalists, can but the Tesla Roadster. The whole thing is a sham.

Whatever you're smoking I want some of it.

It took nearly 4x that amount in to build Tesla, and if you think you can do it then what's stopping you? And keep in mind its a LOAN! you could also get one from a bank, the difference is the tax payer is making the interest instead of a banker.

For second if the government doesn't invest in anything it looses money, investment when done correctly is a revenue generator, on top of that to invest in something that is obviously for the collective good is in the interest of the citizens. If we can advance our way to a better economy its the most sustainable path, not withstanding the fact that we're also strategically positioning our selves for the inevitable end of fossil fuels. Not to mention the job growth it encourages in a sector that is so badly needed in any country, MANUFACTURING! and oh, by the way, the oil industry is one of the most highly subsidized industries, simply because the government believes it might bring the cost of fuel down, which most of the time it doesn't. important to note, SUBSIDIES not LOANS!

Your ignorance also knows no limits, Elon musk is an American! he just happens not to have been born here, like millions of other immigrants that make up this country, and are in many cases responsible for the greatest advances in technology in America.

your complaint about the price is just another example of pointless bitching. Every new technology must compete with established mass produced existing technology and so it has a huge price disadvantage. (hence the slow pace of mass innovation in established sectors) If you plan on taking up your own offer to start a car company I suggest you font start with low cost, extremely high volume and capital intensive product. You should probably start with an upper market product, with larger margins, lower production investments and better control on quality. Its called sound business management, read into it.

Nima Kalbasi Nima Kalbasi said:

If I had money I would install solar panels on my roof and recharge the batter with that. Of course it helps if you live in southern California.

Standard house circuits are pretty low current which is one main problem with charging at home... you pretty much have to charge overnight unless you do something special like have high current batteries in the house that you charge overnight (or with your solar cells) then you can just dump the energy from those batteries into your car batteries.

Yeah that's why we have something called the grid!

the grid acts as a battery for most solar installations, that means during the day you sell to the grid at whatever rate the sun happens to shine. Then you use the grid to charge your car whenever you want and as fast as you can. Some states even pay you more for the electricity you sell to them than the rate you pay to buy back.

And if you don't have a selling option in your state, you just roll back your meter, and save the equivalent of putting the energy in your car.

TJGeezer said:

"the grid acts as a battery for most solar installations, that means during the day you sell to the grid at whatever rate the sun happens to shine. Then you use the grid to charge your car whenever you want and as fast as you can."

In San Diego, the local legislated electricity monopoly tried to charge an extra fee to customers who got "too much" power from solar. (Too bad for them the idea thoroughly pissed off some moneyed people in the area.)

As for Elon Musk, what on earth does his place of birth have to do with it? Loan, not subsidy like the big oil companies, says it all. He did his SpaceX project to the U.S. and made privately owned near-space transportation possible. "Visionary" is not too tall a word to apply to him.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Yeah that's why we have something called the grid!

the grid acts as a battery for most solar installations, that means during the day you sell to the grid at whatever rate the sun happens to shine. Then you use the grid to charge your car whenever you want and as fast as you can. Some states even pay you more for the electricity you sell to them than the rate you pay to buy back.

And if you don't have a selling option in your state, you just roll back your meter, and save the equivalent of putting the energy in your car.

Actually the grid is far more complex than just a battery. The other problem is in reality, solar delivers power at certain times. Demand occurs also at certain times. Those times frequently do not overlap. What you get is power when you don't need it and you have to burn it off. You cannot store it in the current grid infrastructure. You get paid for it because that is what your contract says. Not because the power you are supplying is actually necessarily useful at all.

What you are talking about is how on paper the economics works but that is actually causing a lot of problems for the utilities and the problems the utilities face will be passed to the customer in the form of rate hikes as they have to build infrastructure to fix the problems solar cells cause the grid.

1 person liked this | peas said:

Too bad a regular Joe like me can't afford it. But great none the less.

The base model will sell for $50k after fed tax credit. This is competitive with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus's offerings. Still high for most middle class families, but much more attainable than the $100k Roadster.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

The base model will sell for $50k after fed tax credit. This is competitive with BMW, Mercedes and Lexus's offerings. Still high for most middle class families, but much more attainable than the $100k Roadster.

$50k is a great price point as a first step. There are plenty who *can* afford that price mark and hopefully with it, some decent market penetration.

Zoltan Head said:

It might be slightly more use if it had a better range....

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