By Philippe Crowe
Just as publications and other knowledgeable industry watchers differed from negative pundits in loading up the Volt with positive awards in its first full year, 2011, this year the Tesla is more or less following along in the Volt’s tracks.
Earlier this month, the start-up manufacturer was – like the Volt was – named Automobile magazine’s Automobile of the Year, and now not two weeks later, it’s been named – like the Volt was – Motor Trend’s Car of the Year.
Can we say it again for good measure? So much for political leaders inferring Tesla is a “loser.” The company’s S Model actually surpassed the Volt’s winning of 2011 COTY considering that Motor Trend’s panel of judges for the first time in recent memory unanimously named it to its top honor.
Tesla says it considers this one of the automotive industry’s most coveted awards.
The unanimous vote was given by a panel of Motor Trend judges and guest judges, and Tesla says they are considered by some to be among the savviest and toughest critics in the industry.
“Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport,” said Elon Musk, Tesla Motors co-founder and CEO. “Nothing illustrates this more clearly than winning Motor Trend’s Car of the Year by unanimous decision against a field of exceptional competitors.”
The 2013 field of competition included entries from the whole automotive industry; it was initially narrowed to 11 finalists including the Porsche Boxster, BMW 3-series, Lexus GS, and Subaru BRZ.
With a rigid body structure, nearly 50/50 weight distribution and a remarkably low center of gravity due to its skateboard chassis design, Tesla says the Model S offers the responsiveness and agility expected from the world’s best sports cars while providing the ride quality of a luxury performance sedan.
The Model S offers 40-kwh, 60-kwh and 85-kwh battery options; the 85-kwh variant achieves an EPA-estimated range of 265 miles. Tesla says all three batteries use automotive-grade lithium-ion cells.
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