Car and Driver Releases Instrumented Test of Tesla Model S


Road tests by reputable automotive types usually provide us with the inside scoop of vehicle performance when used under extreme circumstances.  Such seems to be the case with Car and Driver’s instrumented road test of the 2013 Tesla Model S.

Let’s open with this choice quote from Car and Driver’s Csaba Csere:

“We measured 0-to-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, a quarter-mile of 13.3 seconds at 104 mph, and a governed top speed of  134 mph. That’s similar to the performance of the V-8 German sedans.”

“The figures, however, don’t reveal the Tesla’s instantaneous response. When you floor the accelerator on a conventional car, the airflow has to increase, the turbos must spool up, and the transmission unlocks its torque converter and usually downshifts. In the Model S, you’re shoved into your seat right now, with an immediacy that no Corvette, Ferrari, or Porsche can match.”

Though it’s unlikely that most Model S owners will often floor the accelerator, the notion that it moves out quicker than some supercars puts the true performance of Tesla’s “family sedan” into perspective.

211 miles at excessive highway speeds ain't too shabby for a vehicle rated at 265 miles.

As for range, Car and Driver discovered that, even at expressway speeds of up to 80 miles per hour, the Model S didn’t run out of extra electrons until 211 miles passed, a bit shy of its EPA-rated range of 265 miles for the tested 85-kWh version.

Car and Driver lists thrust, range and splendor as the Model S’ “Highs” and provides this final verdict: The electric to buy when you’re buying electric.

There’s more to read of the instrumented Model S test on Car and Driver’s website, so be sure to check it out by clicking here.

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6 Comments on "Car and Driver Releases Instrumented Test of Tesla Model S"

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If you want the entire thing on video, along with the above quotes – here’s the link:

Car & Driver tested the S in October, and contributing editor Csaba Csere seemed
very impressed! Any of you familiar with Car & Driver would know this is
extremely surprising, being their infamous hatred for anything hybrid or with a
plug…. In fact, they introduced the newest gen Prius in a test which compared
it to a 1992 Geo Metro – with favorable nods to the Metro… and photos
of the Prius missing a hubcap! C&D’s “tests” of the Volt were photographed
in a drab black and white antiqued light, in front of oil derricks, giving them
a kind of “end-of-the-world” negative vibe, and the reports pretty much reflected
the photos.

Given all this, the shining report ( comparitively ) of the Model S from these
die-hard gas junkies has given me a smile, and hopefully will for you also.



I suspect they’re acceleration junkies more than gas junkies. If the Model S was underpowered, C&D would probably dislike it as well. Even a gas-junky can’t help but love rocket-like acceleration. I think that’s why they also liked the Karma.


Have they ever said “If you are buying ICE, this is the ICE to buy” ? 😉


I can’t wait to see the figures and Reactions to the upcoming new Roadster.
I would expect it to be after the massmarket car, which means that prices have come down from the old roadster A LOT.

I do not think Tesla will try to make the new Roadster cheap – so if they still aim for 100k$ then in 2016 this will be a beast that no ICE can compete with, maybee 3sec 0-60 flat – no rotary mass problems, excelent center of gravity ….. oh man – exciting times ahead when all those ICE folks realize they are no competition anymore 🙂

John Vonbokel

“it’s unlikely that most Model S owners will often floor the accelerator”

I disagree. I used to rarely floor the accelerator, but now that I drive a Model S, I do it daily.

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