Car & Driver: Tesla Model S 70D Is Car Of The Century


Tesla Model S 70D - Image Credit: InsideEVs / Mike Anthony

Tesla Model S 70D – Image Credit: InsideEVs / Mike Anthony

Recently, Tesla Motors posted this on its Twitter and Facebook pages:

“Car and Driver names Model S 70D “Car of the 21st Century: new ultimate in 4-door sedan engineering & technology.”

High praise from one of the world’s leading automotive magazines.

The statement posted by Tesla comes from Car and Driver’s recent instrumented review of the Model S 70D, which you can (and should) read in its entirety here.

The 70D is perhaps Tesla’s best all-around Model S to date and it’s this version of the car (not the far more expensive P85D) that’s most important for Tesla.  Luckily for Tesla, the 70D knocks it out of the ballpark.


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34 Comments on "Car & Driver: Tesla Model S 70D Is Car Of The Century"

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The Tesla Model S 70D would be my choice as well. Good all-rounder.

Good stats: 70 kWh Battery, All-Wheel Drive, 440 km range, 5.4 seconds 0-100 kph, 245 kW total output, 225 kph top speed.

I love the choice of course, but can we not wait another 80 or so years? A bit soon considering the top cars of the 20th century were rewarded in 1999, 2 of the top 3 I remember being the DS and Model T, maybe the Beetle was the 3rd one.

I’m sure in 2100, the Model S will be as famous as the Citroen DS or the Ford Model T and will indeed win this title… But, does no one think it’s too soon to confirm this title yet?

How about “Tesla Model S 70D Is Car Of The Century…So Far” ?

Car of the century, already? Woof.

If GM delivers the Bolts as promised — meaning range, price, and broad availability — then I would rank it above anything from Tesla, simply because of the broader impact it would have on the public view of EVs and the response it would force from other car companies.

They already backed off a little bit on the 200m range saying only in the most ideal circumstances would you come close to it. The Bolt sounds like a 130-150 max range car to me.

Do you have a link for that?

Agreed, link please. I have not heard of that.

And if you read it you find:

“UPDATE: We contacted General Motors immediately on the change of wording surrounding the range expectations of the Chevrolet Bolt from China, and they put the focus on a “incorrect” statement on the part of the “team in China”. The press release has now been corrected to reflect GM’s earlier assumptions.”


Ignore all range estimates. Pay attention to 3 things, roughly in order, to determine which car has better range:

1. accessible kwhr of pack
2. weight of vehicle
3. shape of vehicle
4. quality of engineering

We know nothing about 1-3 for the Bolt. We know Tesla has uber EV engineering.

Plenty of spy shots for the Bolt for #3.

Well, future cars don’t exist yet so this is car of the century for now.

Yeah, a bit premature, especially since M3 isn’t out yet.

Lets see what the designers and engineers at Tesla come up with, for their mainstream offering. 🙂

Perhaps, Lou. But without Tesla, GM would likely never have embarked on the Bolt. It’s a bit of a moot point.

I predict the Bolt will be too high priced, to small, not really 200 miles and compliance like.

LOL the Bolt ranked higher than the Tesla hahaha

thats funny

I wouldn’t rule it out. I think a lot depends on whether the gigafactory succeeds in cutting battery costs.

In the abstract, I’d certainly take a $35K Model 3 over a $37K Bolt. But it remains to be seen who is able to deliver a car close to their target price and target time. If Tesla’s past is any indication, they’ll deliver a car long after the target ship date and at a price higher than the target price.

But I’m certainly rooting for them.

I think the Tesla Model S has had a bigger impact on changing the public perception of EVs and that the Bolt (and the bunch of “200 mile” EVs including the Model 3 and next-gen Leaf) largely will ride on its coat-tails.

The biggest impact the Bolt (and similar “200 mile” EVs) may have is in greatly increasing the volume of EVs sold, but GM doesn’t appear set up to sell more than the annual volume of the Model S and Leaf. So while the Bolt may allow GM to claim “first” on an affordable 200 mile EV, it remains to be seen if it will be the first to break the 100k annual sales barrier.

Bolt will get plenty of attention and sell OK in the U.S. for an EV if it is 200m and $35k or under but won’t sell particularly well in the entire market. This is for the same reason the Spark and Sonic don’t sell particularly well in the U.S. coupled with the fact that being an EV cuts out at least 1/2 of the market. GM needs a more desirable package and fast charging network (faster than CHADEMO and at least 150mph) to have a shot at significant sales. Bolt, as shown, would sell better with 140m EPA and $25k price.

What you say is actually true but consider the auto market is millions of sales per year, half of that is a very large number. A 200 mile range is needed to win over more people to the EV camp.

The Bolt will hardly sell, at least outside California. It’s being released under a tarnished brand by a company that will relegate its marketing efforts to states where it gains compliance credits. And it’s ugly.

I cant name a better car, it is the best car ever

and i dont see anyone making a better car besides Tesla

I don’t know if this will be the car of the century or not, but I do know that the cars that filled that role from the last century were low cost mass market cars (Ford Model T and Volkswagon Beetle).

It will be the Tesla Model 3 or Model Y that might be that car. The Tesla Model S-70D is just a killer car for folks who can afford a $75k-$90k car.

The average selling price of a Model S is about $100,000.

Model S 70D
All-Wheel Drive
Red Multi-Coat Paint
All Glass Panoramic Roof 19″ Wheels
Black Next Generation Seats Piano Black Décor
Black Alcantara Headliner
Autopilot Convenience Features Premium Interior and Lighting
Destination and Regulatory Doc Fee
75,000 Included
1,500 Included
2,500 Included Included
2,500 3,000

The 70D isn’t the average Model S. I suspect buyers of the 70D won’t buy anywhere near the amount of options compared to other trim levels. 100K doesn’t apply to the context of 70D sales

Nope… The car of the century WILL be a Tesla, but not this one. It will be Tesla’s 1000 mile range, all electric flying car, made from hemp bioplastics, 0-60 in 2 seconds and a hyperdrive that will fly it on autopilot to a top speed of Mach 1… OK, Elon Musk… I know you can do it…. When do you start taking deposits ?

100 years from now Tesla will be known as the company that saved the world from pollution.

I wonder why Car and Driver didn’t mention anything about supercharger instead focusing on how the cost of installation of a 220V charger will bring the $20K price gap (after tax incentives) close to the price of the Mercedes.

Car of the century ? I would say car of the millenium.
I wonder why nobody thought yet about making some sort of Tesla pilgrimage, at the end people afflicted with an incurable disease would be allowed to touch a Tesla, for sure there would be plenty of miraculous healings…

Most likely the car of the century will be you know, at the end of the century. We can probably fill a top 3 spot for the most revolutionary car of the 21st, like the Model T was for the 20th. 70D is a great car, but it’s not going to change the world. The model III might be though.

For me personally, I wouldn’t have considered ever owning the 60, even if I could find a cheap used one. Now with the 70D replacing it as the base model, now I find it to be my first choice of all the Model S variants that I would want to spend my own money on.

I’m clearly not the only person who feels this way, so the 70D is a huge win for Tesla. They needed a base model that could attract more buyers, the same way BMW sells more 528’s then they sell 550’s or M5’s. The old 60 just wasn’t holding up to the role that the 528 plays for BMW.