Eleven cars enter, one car leaves. Silently and with zero emissions.

Tesla has earned one of the most coveted prizes in the automotive world, as its Model S has taken home the Golden Calipers as the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. In the process, the Model S beat out a field that included 10 other contenders.

In case you were wondering, this is the first time an electric car has earned this accolade. No internal combustion here, folks. In an impressive run the Model S was also named Automobile Car of the Year and one of the 25 Best Inventions of the year by Time Magazine.

Motor Trend's very own Angus MacKenzie calls the Model S "perhaps the most accomplished all-new luxury car since the original Lexus LS 400." High praise indeed, considering how Toyota's luxury division ruffled feathers in challenging Germany Inc. way back in 1989. MacKenzie goes on: "At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel."

Two aspects of the Tesla Model S that weighed heavily on Motor Trend staffers were performance and efficiency. With maximum horsepower sitting at 416 and torque an astounding 443 pound-feet – resulting in a dash to 60 in just 4.0 seconds and an average of 75.5 miles per gallon equivalent during MT's testing – this all-American electric sedan is worthy of accolades.

Somewhat shockingly, every single judge for Motor Trend picked the Tesla Model S as their winner, causing MacKenzie to sum up the pick this way: "America can still make things. Great things." Indeed. Read the official details from Motor Trend here, and scroll down below for a video.


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  • 217 Comments
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Telsa, Lincoln & Consumer Reports. Nothing will foster more comments on AB than these topics.
      macutty
      • 2 Years Ago
      This reminds me of Obama getting the Nobel prize when he'd barely finished taking the oath of office....
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @macutty
        How does that make you feel? It makes you sound like a jealous racist who thinks anyone cares about the opinion of a slug who doesn't know a politics thread from a automotive thread.
      schneller
      • 2 Years Ago
      Made in USA? Tesla is partly owned by Mercedes and just about all of the good engineers who work for TESLA are German. This is a German product. Just like getting to the moon (Wernher von Braun), Americans needed German brains to get there!
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @schneller
        Daimler sold off 40% of their share to a Saudi company that sold off all their shares a few months back. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-25/daimler-investment-arm-s-tesla-stake-cut-by-aabar-change.html This is an American company that sells its product to foreign buyers and builds power trains for Toyota and Mercedes because they are the best. Almost all the parts for the Model S are made in the factory and it has the highest percentage of US parts than any other car.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @schneller
        [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        @schneller
        come on schneller, this is pure SCHEISSE you are spilling here..except for the wernher von braun part maybe ;)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @schneller
        [blocked]
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Years Ago
        @schneller
        Your mental illness is showing again, Grandpa. Please take your meds. Every Single Pill. Now. :-) You troll on fool, I am convincing people to treat you accordingly. A nutter frothing at the mouth due to self mal-education is an hysterical thing to witness; I get so much enjoyment from your continued attempts to communicate with us here. Its the tenacity I saw when a brain damaged rabbit continued to jump headfirst into a wall til it died. Keep drinking the poised kool-aid. I LOVE this. BTW, did you finally break your caps lock?
          imoore
          • 2 Years Ago
          @purrpullberra
          Hah, poised is correct. You win on tha one, my friend.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        skierpage
        • 2 Years Ago
        You didn't read the review. Yet their 11 judges who actually drove the car were unanimous. I wish you luck with your own publication, "`Engine Trend', the whiny blog for people who can't stand new things, or American ingenuity, or any government support for new domestic manufacturing." "That the 11 judges unanimously voted the first vehicle designed from the wheels up by a fledgling automaker the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year should be cause for celebration. America can still make things."
        John Hansen
        • 2 Years Ago
        What's the matter. Karl Rove hasn't given you permission to concede that the Tesla is a better car yet? (thanks Simpsons!)
          Hazdaz
          • 2 Years Ago
          @John Hansen
          He's still butthurt from losing the election. He's dumb enough to believe the NeoCon feedback loop.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        The 11 judges seem to disagree with you. And...so far...Popular Science Grand Award winner for cars, Automobile Magazine COTY, Time Magazine's Top 25 inventions for 2012, Yahoo! Auto COTY, and more to come. So all those people and the 14,000 reservation holders seem to think the car IS worth it. I suppose they're all wrong and you are the person with the answer....
        XJ Yamaha
        • 2 Years Ago
        Bogus opinion.
          sensibility2
          • 2 Years Ago
          @XJ Yamaha
          Sorry! Posted to the wrong thread. The post was meant for Laser.
      biopsea
      • 2 Years Ago
      A 100k USD, range limited, hipster mobile with no track record. Car of the year? And nearly half a billion from the government and another quarter billion from equity offering in 2010. Yes it looks good but come on
        Serenespeed
        • 2 Years Ago
        @biopsea
        Shutup.
          biopsea
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Serenespeed
          Read the history of the EV1. Please. The parallels are interesting. I am for innovation as much as the next. But business, like the individual, cannot continue to exist on welfare
          tump
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Serenespeed
          Exxon's doing very well on welfare.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @biopsea
        Why are you complaining about 3/4 of a billion in startup costs for a company that will sell over 2 billion worth of Model S cars just by the end of 2013? Seems pretty reasonable to me. I remember when the car guys all said the Japanese couldn't break into the US market, with a long list of what they thought was wrong with them too. They dismissed the Japanese too. That didn't work out that well for them either. But yes, some people will take longer than others to come to accept new technologies. My grandfather thinks cell phones are silly and a waste of money when land lines work fine for him. Same thing.
          biopsea
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Tump. Please explain how Exxon is on welfare. fall for the semantic infiltration much
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @biopsea
        did you whine as much when the volt won 2 years ago? A brand new tech with no track record, and GM got who knows how many gazzilion from the government, in fact, if the government sold its GM shares right now, the american taxpayer would lose 17 bn dollars. If you think it is so easy to make a new car with 750 mil why not go and try it? You make it sound as if anyone could do it. And btw, the 450 million LOAN from the DoE program initiated under bush was for the production and TOOLING of a fully functioning car factory.
        Tech
        • 2 Years Ago
        @biopsea
        I love how anything forward-thinking or progressive is instantly deemed "hipster" by the douchebag brigades. If you're so much for innovation then anything, ANYTHING, that can make a statement within the mainstream media/public can only be a positive for anyone toiling in their garage to improve society through technology. I guess you'd have preferred it if a Porsche won? Or the BRZ?
      Pandamasque
      • 2 Years Ago
      Zero emissions? Well, I guess they can harvest enough clean energy if Nikola spins in his grave at the right rpm...
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pandamasque
        Zero emissions out of the car. Emissions come out of the power plant if that is where you get your electricity from. If you are lucky enough to have solar panels then it is truly zero emissions.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          [blocked]
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pandamasque
        I have solar panels on my roof which generate enough electricity for an electric car. What's your next snarky comment going to be?
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          Just out of curiosity, how big are your panels to produce 85kW? I'm am guessing you would have to charge for weeks to be truly off the grid.
          Jens Kr. Kirkebø
          @Rotation
          You don't need to produce 85kW to charge the car, the charger goes down to 110V 12A or so. Driving 20kmiles per year will use 7000kWh per year, or 19kWh per day. That is 4 hours of output from a 7kW system or so. Being off-grid is NOT an advantage emission-wise. You'd want to use as little electricity as possible during daytime, when demand is at it's highest. Your panels will then feed the grid and relieve demand form coal plants. Then you charge the car at night, when demand is low and excess power is cheap and available.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Lachmund
        • 2 Years Ago
        it is the first innovative car coming from the u.s. in ages. alone this makes it a worthy winner!
          Lachmund
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Lachmund
          let's give a nod to the chevy volt as well
        nosoupforyou
        • 2 Years Ago
        So basically because this car costs a lot of money it can't be significant or have an impact on the automobile industry? Ok...
        Actionable Mango
        • 2 Years Ago
        What I gather from your particular requirements is that Motor Trend's car of the year must be (A) affordable and (B) sold to the most people possible. By those measures, the Toyota Corolla should win every single year. Yeah, THAT'S going to sell subscriptions.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        Oh peter nixon, knodoctor, luigi tony, thor petersen, or whatever else you choose to call your trolling self. It's not the car for you, you prefer your BMW 7 series that was recently recalled. Fine. No one has said you need to give up the gas guzzler you love. Yet you continue to go out of your way to spread misinformation and troll here. You said it wouldn't be made, you said it wouldn't work, you said no one would buy it, you said it was vaporware, and now you say it doesn't deserve all the awards it is winning. You have every excuse in the world because you are a troll and need to lie and create misinformation. You are obviously a sick individual as evidenced by the "conversation" you had with yourself under different aliases so you had at least an imaginary person agree with your ignorant points. 1. It's not a landmark car because it isn't a Model T or a Beetle - No duh. It doesn't mean it's not a landmark in its own way. 2. It doesn't sell as much as a Chevy Cruze - No duh. It's not supposed to. It's a luxury performance sedan not a mass market mid-sized sedan. 3. It's expensive - So what. So are lots of cars on the road. $50K to $100k is what 14,000 people have been willing to spend so far and that increases by 50 a day. Probably more that it is winning every award. 4. BMW 7 series is better you say - That's your opinion and again 14,000 people so far disagree with you and every reviewer - but you know better than they do. 5. Your 5th point is that it is an electric car and not a gas car - No duh. It works different than a gas car. You know that by now but you continue to point it out like it means something. That is why you are a troll. 6. You can drive it until it stops - No duh. If you drive a gas car until you run out of gas - it stops. 7. It's for the wealthy only. Hypocrite. You say you drive a BMW 7 series and it costs $73,300 to $142,200. That's $20K MORE than the Model S. See how you spread misinformation. Please see a doctor for your mental problems.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Grendal: There is no $57K Model S. Not this year. You cannot give a CotY 2012 award to a car that is not offered for sale in 2012. So the BMW 7 series starts about $15K lower than the Model S, not $20K more. Where do you get off complaining that people are applying strange criteria (range/recharging requirements) and then complaining the BMW 7 is a gas guzzler? If range/recharging are not material to the award, then why is gas guzzling material?
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Grendal
          Besides the Model S and Tesla the troll has attacked the Volt (which he calls the stupid stupid Volt) and the Leaf and any person who even likes an EV or EREV. Do I need to continue to defend myself from attacking a troll?
        Generic
        • 2 Years Ago
        The 85 kWh battery model S starts at 70K. For some reason, you seemed to have come up with a figure of the highest end model, with options. Half the range of a normal car? What normal car do you drive that gets 600 miles per tank? My turbo AWD fuel light comes on around 260 miles on a tank. I already rent cars for long trips anyway, that I hardly ever take because my gasoline car is not a good touring car. If you're buying a car like the Tesla S, you will likely be able to afford something called first class plane tickets. People who can afford luxury cars of any class are not packing their family in the sedan for a hellish road trip of endless miles. Fact is, the car isn't for you, you are not their demographic, and they don't care that you hate it. Exactly why does it take an extra 6 cars because this one can't drive across the country, go under water, compete in tractor pulling, go off roading, mounting climbing, go to space. Perhaps if I name every stupid thing the car can't do, it will make it look bad.
        Jens Kr. Kirkebø
        I have one on order, the top model. I do not have 6 other cars. In fact we will have only one other car, a Leaf. And over here the top model with all options doesn't cost more than a base Audi A7 2.8. They will sell a boatload of them here for sure.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Master Austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Vehicle winning should be one that appeals to the masses. This, isn't one of them. And as evidenced, MT COTY is like a bad omen since majority of them fail in the market place :-(
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        Sorry, but this is CAR of the Year, not Consumer Report's People's Choice Award or something.
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        this is car of the year, not car for the masses award. If you are looking for a car for the masses, try accord, camry, civic etc.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Master Austin
        [blocked]
      bleexeo
      • 2 Years Ago
      America, F**k Yeah!
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      I remember when Motor Trend picked the Chevy Volt in 2011 and Rush Limbaugh whined and cried like a little girl. I hope he whines all over again about the Model S. Motor Trend and Tesla could use the free publicity. Surely, some conservative talk show host will lose their cool over this. They're SOOOOOOOOO predictable.
      Lunch
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's nice and all, but really, this car is on the $$$$ side, so us regular Joes can never afford it.
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lunch
        this is not an award for the most affordable car of the year. They also had a lexus LS460 and a porsche 911 as contestants. Their SUV of the year is a Mercedes ML or something.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Val
          [blocked]
        Val
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Lunch
        as well as a mercedes SL550
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