It is that time of year when the best of awards start getting handed out for various things, including automobiles. Electric cars look to be making a bit of a showing in this regard, as we already talked about how the Coda Sedan was nominated for Motor Trend’s car of the year. Joining it now with a small cabinet full of awards already is the Tesla Motors Model S, which so far has racked up best of from Yahoo! Autos, Automobile Magazine and Time.
For the Time award, the venerable news weekly named Tesla’s all-electric sedan as one of the best inventions of 2012. It didn’t go a lot into why, but it did note the vehicle’s design, range and variety of technological features in its write up, so we have to assume those were key factors into it making the list.
Yahoo! Autos, meanwhile, noted it chose the Model S as its 2013 Car of the Year because the vehicle and its maker Tesla Motors have “erased long-perceived limitations of electric cars (poor range, small size, spartan interiors) and, going where no established automaker has yet to tread, creating an uncompromised yet practical object of desire.” It also noted in a follow up blog post the award, which apparently stirred controversy among readers, was aimed at “ those who push for excellence over incremental improvements,” with the editors feeling “there’s never been a car like the Tesla Model S. It’s a real car, not a science experiment, with a real business plan and a viable chance of success.”
And over at Automobile Magazine, they made it the choice for 2013 Automobile of the Year because they were blown away by its performance in field tests, noting “the crazy speed builds silently and then pulls back the edges of your face.” They were also taken by the wealth of technology in the car, including the “absolutely enormous, seventeen-inch touchscreen” that “dominates the dashboard and features the controls for everything from the radio to the steering effort. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, but here it works wonderfully.” It also “does an exceptional job at the things we expect any high-priced sport sedan to do well.”
The Tesla Model S is the successor to Tesla Motors’ first electric car the Roadster. It showed off the seven passenger sedan with a base price of around $49,900 after federal tax credits in Detroit in 2010, though it had been announced prior to that. The vehicle since that time has had a lot of hype build around it, culminating in its June debut earlier this year.
The car comes with three options of battery capacity which translate into its performance figures. The 40 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery will get you 160 miles of range, zero to 60 in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 110 mph. With the 60 kWh and 85 kWh options you get 230/300 mile ranges, zero to 60 in 5.9/5.6 seconds and a top speed of 120/125 mph, respectively. There’s also an 85 kWh “performance” level option, with specs of a 300 mile range, zero to 60 mph of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph.