Motor Trend Names Tesla Model S as 2013 Car of the Year
American-made, All-Electric Car Rises to Top of Most Competitive Field Ever
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- November 12, 2012
Source Interlink Media, LLC (SIM) announced today that Motor Trend has
selected the 2013 Tesla Model S as its 2013 Car of the Year®, marking the
first time a vehicle not powered by an internal combustion engine has been
selected in the 64-year history of the award.
2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. (Photo: Business Wire)
2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. (Photo: Business Wire)
The announcement, made via an extensive feature on MotorTrend.com and a
special presentation on the Motor Trend YouTube Channel, comes after a diverse
group of 25 contenders (45 with variants) were put through Motor Trend’s
extensive battery of testing designed to examine virtually every aspect of
each vehicle. When all was said and done, the panel of 11 judges voted
unanimously for the Tesla Model S.
To determine which car deserved top honors, the Motor Trend staff conducted
Phase I of its testing at Hyundai/Kia’s state-of-the-art facility near Mojave,
Calif. During the intense workout, the judges were able to test each vehicle
in a closed course environment, which allowed for consistency and
repeatability. Judges narrowed the field to a short list of finalists for Car
of the Year with the following tests:
1.Standard testing: 0–60 mph and 1/4-mile acceleration, 60-0 mph braking and
Motor Trend’s signature figure-eight handling test.
2.High-Speed Loop: three lanes, 6.4 miles with a smooth surface and
constant-radius turns to evaluate engine noise and transmission shift
quality during significant acceleration.
3.Freeway Surfaces: one lane, 1.25 miles sectioned into replicas of L.A.’s
most notorious freeways, allowing observation of ride quality, noise, and
4.Winding Track: two lanes, 3.1 miles consisting of a combination of
fast-sweeping corners, decreasing high-radius hairpins, a tight
right-left-right switchback and three manmade hills to test power,
braking, and chassis balance.
Phase I was intended to eliminate vehicles that did not measure up to the
award’s six criteria: Advancement in Design, Engineering Excellence,
Efficiency, Safety, Value, and Performance of Intended Function. The Car of
the Year is not chosen from a direct comparison against the other contenders,
but rather as a result of how it measures up to these key criteria.
Judges narrowed the field to 11 cars that would live to fight on in Phase II,
a 28.5-mile mix of highways, city streets and tight canyon roads through
scenic Tehachapi, Calif. Judges focused on how the 11 finalists performed in
real-world conditions to evaluate factors including road and wind noise,
steering response, and ride quality, as well as features in the car such as
audio, climate, and infotainment systems (navigation, hands-free voice
controls and smart phone pairing).
After this stage, the judges revisit the six criteria and deliberate in order
to select the Car of the Year.
Judges were impressed by the luxurious and sporty Model S on all levels,
particularly its unparalleled engineering excellence. With its exceptionally
aerodynamic, aluminum-intensive body structure and stunning performance of its
innovative electric powertrain, the Model S won the hearts and minds of even
the most cynical judges on our panel. The car is just as exceptional from a
comfort and style standpoint, with its roomy cabin, impressive storage space
and giant touch-screen “nerve center.” The Model S is supremely efficient; in
separate tests Motor Trend confirmed its EPA-certified 265-mile range, and
achieved as high as 118 mpg-e. Just as compelling are its numbers as a
performance sedan (0-60 in 4.0 seconds, a quarter-mile in 12.4 seconds at
112.5 mph, and top speed of 133 mph). It’s also at the top of its class in
safety and is a solid value compared to the competition in both the luxury
sedan and electric-vehicle segment. In performance of intended function, the
car passes with flying colors: it’s well-equipped, high-tech, fast and fun to
“We had an extremely competitive field for Motor Trend's Car of the Year,"
said Edward Loh, Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. "However, the Tesla Model S
floored our panel of judges. The goal of the award is to name the car that
best meets our six criteria, and the Tesla Model S accomplished that best. It
is a testament not only to the luxury sedan and electric car segment, but to
American engineering overall. To be the first car in the 64-year history of
the award to be powered by something other than gasoline must mean it is very
special. It is, and thus we're excited to name the Tesla Model S our 2013 Car
of the Year.”
In addition to the Tesla Model S, the 2013 Car of the Year competition
BMW 3 Series (Finalist)
Cadillac ATS (Finalist)
Toyota Avalon (Finalist)
Family Cars: Premium Lux Cars:
Chevrolet Malibu Cadillac XTS
Ford Fusion (Finalist) Lexus GS (Finalist)
Honda Accord (Finalist) Lexus LS
Nissan Altima Mercedes-Benz S
Porsche 911 (Finalist)
Porsche Boxster (Finalist)
Ford C-Max Hybrid (Finalist)
Toyota Prius C
Subaru BRZ (Finalist)
Car of the Year® is one of several coveted honors Motor Trend bestows upon
automakers, including Best Driver’s Car®, Sport/Utility of the Year® and
Truck of the Year®.
About Motor Trend Magazine:
Motor Trend, a publication of Source Interlink Media, LLC, was founded in 1949
and has a circulation of 1.1 million and a total readership of 7 million.
Internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in automotive
publishing, MOTOR TREND comprisesMotor TrendMagazine; the award-winning
website motortrend.com; the Motor Trend YouTube Channel; Motor Trend
Radio;Truck Trend;Motor Trend Classic; Motor Trend International Auto
Shows;Motor Trend en Espanol;and the renowned Motor Trend Car, Truck, and
SUV of the Year Awards program. The MotorTrend.com website attracts more than
5.5 million unique visitors per month and its YouTube channel averages more
than 1 million views a week. Motor Trend's social media presence spans 1.1
million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google
Plus. Follow along @MotorTrend.
About Source Interlink Media
Source Interlink Media, LLC is the premier source of special interest media in
the United States. With more than 75 publications, 100 Web sites, 800 branded
products, 50+ events, and TV and radio programs, SIM is the largest provider
of content to enthusiast communities interested in automotive, action sports,
home theater and other niche activities. The division's strategy is to wholly
focus on targeted audiences by leveraging and expanding upon its core
market-leading brands through a multiplatform media approach.
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Source Interlink Media, LLC
Jeremy Riffle, (O) 317-602-7137, (C) 310-210-1336
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.