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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Sexy? Yes! Practical? Yes! Fast? Yes! I ask again: Can you marry a car in Vegas? Tesla Model S

“Most people have lost their enthusiasm for cars, because car companies don’t offer anything really new. We have smart phones and large TVs as thin as a few sheets of paper that we can hang on walls, but cars remain oddly traditional.

Perhaps it’s because people are not always kind to new things. When in the early eighties Audi introduced the revolutionary 5000S model (Audi 100 in Europe) to the U.S. market, the press, the critics and some owners relentlessly attacked the company for imaginary problems for so long, until they nearly forced the company to withdraw from North America. Sales plummeted and it took good fifteen years for Audi to regain its reputation and return to profitability.
The available technology that could be used in a modern car is stunning. Car companies apply it selectively, but are afraid to take a brave step and build a revolutionary new car. Concerns for safety and performance forced aircraft manufacturers to radically change they way they build airliners. Why not cars?”

I wrote this in my community newspaper column more than three years ago, and guess what? It turns out that Elon Musk and his team at Tesla have been working on just such a car.

The new Tesla Model S has been named the Automobile of The Year and Motor Trend Car of The Year. And for very good reasons. The car is stunning. Its build quality, design and performance are on par with machines like the BMW M5. And the car is fully electric. No internal combustion engine at all, not even a small back up unit like in the Chevy Volt. The battery is located in the floor and is powerful enough to give the car a normal 500 km range. The electric motor sits between the two rear wheel, opening the rest of the car for crumple zones, passenger and cargo space. No engine under the hood!

As a result, and despite the car’s profile, the Tesla is very roomy. Roomy enough in fact, to offer a third row! The battery’s low location gives the car a very low center of gravity and, combined with its  excellent suspension, it allows for excellent handling.

The car’s powerful electric motor responds to driver’s demands with loads of torque instantly. The car is a point and shoot machine with outstanding dynamics. The tasteful interior only adds to the sensation of driving a truly revolutionary car. It has a 17”(!) center stack touch screen that operates and adjusts most of the car’s systems. Add good steering response, strong brakes and we have a winner here, ladies and gentlemen!
I name the Tesla Model S The Car Guru Car of The Year!

Automobilemag: Tesla Model S

Motor Trend: Tesla Model S

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