So what propelled Tesla's Model S above the rest in 2013? It couldn't hurt that Model S is the only zero-emissions luxury sports sedan on the market.
"But having an electric powertrain isn't enough to be Automobile of the year," according to Automobile Magazine Road Test Editor Chris Nelson, who can be seen driving the sleek EV through the streets of downtown Chicago in the video below. Nelson sites interior design (including a massive 17" touchscreen), performance and an EPA-estimated 265 miles of range as determining factors in favor of the Model S.
"We recognize Tesla for creating an alt-powertrain luxury sedan and revel in the fact that it's good. Really good," said Nelson.
Not bad for a company that's only on its second car. Update: Tesla Model S was also named Motor Trend's "Car of the Year."