It's official...The Model S is Motor Trend's Car of the Year!!!

It's official...The Model S is Motor Trend's Car of the Year!!!

Volker.Berlin | November 13, 2012

BTW, regarding the video I posted above, in case you wonder how far you can skip in the beginning: Just jump to 8:00 min (almost a third if the video).

Volker.Berlin | November 13, 2012

Bollocks! I meant to say 8 mins is almost a quarter of the entire video, which is 35 mins long.

Volker.Berlin | November 13, 2012

And here's the official Motor Trend video, worth watching IMO:

nickjhowe | November 13, 2012

@Volker - LOL - you speak English like a native.

Tesla229 | November 13, 2012

"All hail the new eclectic electric king."

AMEN to that! I've had mine for a couple of weeks, now, and I still can't resist going out to the garage, just to be sure I'm not dreaming.

This car leaps tall buildings with a single bound and deserve every accolade that it has received.


bfranks273 | November 13, 2012

I want a little window sticker for the corner of the windshield. I imagine Tesla can have literature with the MT COTY logo, I am sure there is some licensing and such worked out. And I want a few extra to save with the car papers.

Baltimore Tesla | November 13, 2012

I attended the Tesla event last night in New York and have the following observations....

About 200 in attendance including many from the New York and national media.

GB was a cheerleader and the faithful were loving it.

EM was much more subdued but had the full attention of the gathering.

I spoke personally with several of the Motor Trend judges who were in attendance. They all implied that Tesla ran away with the award with a unanimous vote but not without some concerns. I asked specifically about any reservations they had in choosing the Model S. Here are a few....

a. Creating a brand new car from a new company is a very difficult thing to do, something that Elon has admitted on many occasions. This is not going to be easy and there will be growing pains.

b. There is no data to review regarding how a Model S that is purchased today will hold up in three or four years.

c. There was some skepticism among the judges regarding the business plan and the ability to become profitable with it. Some of the judges doubted whether it can be done.

d. No one knows what the order flow will be after the first 10-20,000 reservations are made and delivered. How big is the market for an electric car with a price tag that pushes $100,000? The number of orders for the lower priced cars is underwhelming so far.

The judges were unconcerned with the many "deficiencies" cited on forums regarding missing or inadequate hardware (folding mirrors) or software items. They are easy to add later if needed.

Before you slam the judges for their criticisms, note that they did unanimously vote for the Model S, and that they are the heavyweights in the industry. They know automobiles better than any of us.

GoTeslaChicago | November 13, 2012

Items C & D above are what is holding back the stock price. I think 2 quarterly earnings reports based on 5,000 cars per quarter sales will largely answer C. If gross margins hold near the 25% target Elon has set, sincere skeptics will be more than satisfied.

By that time the answer to D should be taking shape. If 10,000 or more new reservations have come in while 10,000 Model Ss are being delivered, the questions as to what happens after the early adopters get their cars will be answered. i.e. as more people see the car, more people order the car.

Sudre_ | November 13, 2012

Where does the "early adopter" end. 20,000? 100,000? a million? There are about 15,000 reservations. This whole early adopter thing has to end some day. I am just curious what the general consensus is.

mrspaghetti | November 13, 2012


I'd vote that anyone getting a 2012 or 2013 model is an ”early adopter”

Brian H | November 13, 2012

I think once the "TCO" computations, like those on, start to sink in, the rhetorical question asked there will begin to bite:

Can you afford a Tesla or...? ?
Can you afford NOT to buy a Tesla?

Leasing will begin to make this even more clear-cut, IMO.

DouglasR | November 13, 2012


When the plug-in electric vehicle tax credit is phased out, i.e., when at least 200,000 cars have been sold for use in the U.S.

Brian H | November 14, 2012

That's per manufacturer. | November 14, 2012

Well done! Everyone at Tesla deserves this award (and all the others as well) for all of their hard work, ingenuity, and just plain thinking out of the box. Keep up the great work!

Max Mindel

TheAustin | November 14, 2012

Thanks for the great reply, Baltimore Tesla...I concur on just about everything you said.

Regarding your D comment, on what the market will be for the Model S going forward beyond these initial reservations, I think it's a little murky...I think the Motor Trend COTY award will generate a fair amount of interest, and some new reservations, but becaus there is already a crossover SUV in the pipeline, and the more affordable GenIII car in the not too distant future, I think many, many potential customers will say "Well, I'll see if Teala is still around when/if this GenIII car comes out." in between then, I'm sure they'll sell some more Model S and Model X cars, but I don't expect additional orders for those to do anything drastic, such as double the existing reservations, especially for the Model S (Although Model X has very few reservations comparatively, so those could double).

Of course, I don't wish this on Tesla...I want them the sell thousands and thousands...That's just my analysis of the market in comparison to the economy and Tesla's vehicle line-up and manufacturing timeline. Another thing to note is that, because of the timing of this award and the current waiting list, there is going to be a bit of a lost momentum effect, when new people get excited to discover the Model S, only to learn that they can' have one until later next yer, even if they can afford it.

Time will tell...

digitaltim | November 14, 2012

I was interviewed a bit at the event by Jim Motavalli who freelances for the NY Times...a bit of it ended up in this article:

Brian H | November 14, 2012

Elon will be disappointed. He figures this is the first major world-changing acknowledgement and accolade. The seas will stop rising, and the air will clear to all horizons, coming soon! ;D

Tiebreaker | November 14, 2012

On the financial side:

Tesla Motors Inc : Deloitte Announces 2012 Technology Fast 500(TM) Rankings"

"Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) clinched the top spot with fiscal year 2011 revenue of $204.24 million and a growth rate of 279,684 percent from 2007 to 2011."

tvntesla | November 14, 2012

I don't know if any of you have seen this program, but one of the people in the interview is still very skeptical about the success of Tesla Motors. Anyway, the Car of the Year award has no doubt raised the awareness that Tesla Motors has started the revolution of cars and it can not be reversed by the big oil/car companies.

Coincidentally, Mr. Vic Gundotra, Google VP, has just received his Model S and posted his impression on Google+, quote I've owned many 500 to 600 horsepower cars. So I wasn't prepared to be impressed with the Tesla's performance. Yet I was. This car is scary fast and the torque feels completely linear even at high speeds.

Peter Spirgel | November 21, 2012

Check out Elon on Jimmy Fallon talking about the award and other stuff:

TheAustin | November 21, 2012

He is just so painfully awkward, isn't he?!

jeanyvest | November 21, 2012

Too many thoughts all at once running in his head.

lph | November 30, 2012

Has anyone noticed just how quick the standard S85 is? Sure it is not nearly as quick off the block as the performance version (behind by .6 second to 30), but after that things are different: 30-90 acceleration handily beats the Porsche Panamera GTS, almost keeps up with the M5! and is only about .6 sec behind its big brother P85 (performance version).

Ref Motor Trend:
BMW M5 (dual clutch): 30-90 =6.3 sec, 45-65=1.8 sec @ $104,000
Porsche Panamera GTS: 30-90 =7.6 sec, 45-65=2.3 sec @ $146,000
Tesla Model S85 (std): 30-90 =6.6 sec, 45-65=1.9 sec @ $82,500+/-
Tesla Model S P85(performance): 30-90 =6 sec, 45-65=1.7 sec @ $96,000+/-

To put it another way .. If you can't afford the P85, you can still keep up with the big performance gas cars and save a bundle, if you don't mind not racing off the block. I don't know about you, I never race anyone, this is a real safety feature to have a car that can pass so quickly.
Compared to these, both of the Tesla model S's are actually relatively great value, even before savings in fuel to be realized later!

Brian H | December 1, 2012

Someone had the tag about the Roadster, "It's not passing, it's teleportation!"


EDH AL | December 17, 2012

Just stumbled across the January 2013 edition of Motor Trend Magazine. Don't know how long it's been out. Nice cover photo of Elon in a Tesla but "Tesla" is nowhere to be found on the cover!

I’m framing the cover as a great souvenir!

(Now I just wish my car would arrive!)

Tiebreaker | December 17, 2012

@lph ++1.

In everyday driving with the standard S85, you will still beat the big expensive performance gas cars off the block as well. They achieve those times on the track with launch control shenanigans and traction control off, hard to do in real-life driving. You will do that with all the safety and civilized features of the S.