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2014 Tesla Model S

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/9/2014 Erick Ayapana

Vehicle Overview

The 2014 Tesla Model S is unmatched in its ability to combine efficiency, luxury, and sports car-like performance. Crowned the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year award, the Model S continues to impress during our long-term testing. The all-electric sedan is offered with varying powertrain levels. The base 60-kilowatt-hours model is rated at 302 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, while its 60-kW-hrs lithium-ion battery pack provides an estimated 230 miles of range. The midlevel 85-kW-hrs model produces 362 hp and 325 lb-ft and travels about 300 miles on a single charge, while the top-of-the-line 85-kW-hrs Performance model is rated at 416 hp and 443 lb-ft.

Our long-term Model S Performance model (or P85+) has averaged 86.5 mpg-e in about five months. While slightly lower than the EPA rating of 88/90 mpg-e city/highway, our real-world efficiency isn't surprising considering frequent visits to the track and our inability to resist hard launches. With a 0-60 mph time of 4 seconds, the Tesla Model S P85 will outrun a number of high-powered German sports sedans including the BMW M5.

"While there's a handful of sedans as fast as the Tesla (and only a couple that are faster) none come close to its lighting reactions," we noted in a recent update. "You can dispatch unsuspecting cars (some of them very powerful Audis and BMWs) with a violence that borders on cruel." Also notable is the sedan's safety, having just earned a five-star overall score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest mark available from the agency.

New for 2014

For model year 2014, the Tesla Model S gains a three-layer battery shield made of high-strength aluminum and titanium. The shield provides added protection for the battery pack and other powertrain components.

You'll Like

  • Sports car-like acceleration
  • Growing network of Supercharger stations
  • Efficient powertrain

You Won't Like

  • Relatively small network of service centers
  • Simple interior design
  • High price point

Key Competitors

  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class/E63 AMG
  • BMW 550i/M5
  • Honda CR-V
  • Porsche Panamera

Rating

5 star

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