Cars

Tesla's New Car Is So Good, It Literally Broke the Consumer Reports Scale

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This score is kind of insane.

Tesla Motors Inc.’s all-wheel-drive version of the battery-powered Model S, the P85D, earned a 103 out of a possible 100 in an evaluation by Consumer Reports magazine.

The combination of power and efficiency was so off-the-chart that the group had to recalibrate its ratings methods “to account for the car’s exceptionally strong performance,” according to a statement. Ultimately, the car was given a score of 100 that set a new standard for perfection.

The Tesla sedan is the quickest Consumer Reports ever tested, accelerating to 60 miles (97 kilometers) per hour from a stop in 3.5 seconds using the car’s “insane mode.” (Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has since released an even-faster “ludicrous mode.”) The P85D is a high-performance, all-wheel-drive version of the all-electric Model S that achieved the equivalent of 87 miles per gallon of gasoline.

“This is a glimpse into what we can expect down the line, where we have cars with the performance of supercars and the comfort, convenience and safety features of a luxury car while still being extremely energy efficient,” Jake Fisher, the magazine’s head of automotive testing, said in an interview. “We haven’t seen all those things before.”

Based on the P85D’s scores, Consumer Reports had to reassess how much to weigh things like acceleration, where the Tesla is as much as twice as quick as other vehicles, Fisher said.

“Once you start getting so ridiculously fast, so ridiculously energy efficient, it didn’t make sense to go linear on those terms anymore,” he said.

Interior Materials

Tesla rose 8.1 percent to $242.99 at the close in New York for the biggest daily gain since October. The shares have climbed 9.3 percent this year.

Tesla reported 11,532 Model S sales in the second quarter, and the company, based in Palo Alto, California, delivered 21,577 units in the first half. Because of production risks as it begins volume assembly of the Model X sport utility vehicle, Tesla said it now aims to deliver 50,000 to 55,000 autos this year, down from an original target of 55,000.

Despite the record score, the magazine criticized the $127,820 test vehicle for the quality of its interior materials compared with other luxury models, as well as a ride that is firmer and louder than the base Model S. The starting price for a P85D is $105,000.

The Model S topped the magazine’s buyer survey last year for the second year in a row, scoring 98 out of a possible 100, after posting a 99 the previous year. The car was also the top overall pick for the second year in a row by the independent magazine testers.