Rightly or wrongly, if anyone can (and will) throw cold water on a new product launch, it will be Consumer Reports.  For sure, Fisker does not have happy memories from the media outlet's prior scathing review of the Karma.

Tesla Model S Will Be Making Its European Debut in Q4 of 2013

Tesla Model S Will Be Making Its European Debut in Q4 of 2013

So we imagine that even though everything has been coming up aces for Tesla of late, they probably still had a little hesitation when CR got their hands on a new Model S Signature Performance electric car earlier this month.

In the end, there was nothing to worry about, as Consumers Reports had the same teenage glee for the car as the rest of us:

"We've driven almost every electric car made, and tested most, but the Tesla Model S comes as a revelation. We've been taking turns driving a Signature Performance version on loan to us from Tesla for about a week now and everyone has come out of it impressed."

Consumer Reports finds that the 85 kWh version of the Model S they borrowed, has a very realistic range of over 200 miles, while adding the following other high points:

  • Range anxiety? Gone. A large (optional) 85-kWh battery realistically yields 200 plus miles with no pampering.
  • Slow charging times? Gone. A 10-kWh onboard charger or optional twin chargers (20 kWh), shorten charging times dramatically. A Tesla dedicated high-power charging station can funnel power quickly. Tesla is in the midst of setting up "supercharger" stations at rest areas along some interstate corridors to charge compatible versions of the car to 80-percent capacity in 30 minutes.
  • Slow acceleration? Gone. We clocked a zero to 60 mph sprint in 4.6 seconds.
  • Tight accommodations? Gone. The interior feels as roomy as a large luxury sedan, such as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, with a flat floor and plenty of cargo room.
The only hint perhaps of the Model S not living up to its promise is that their test car is showing a usable range of 245 miles as compared to the EPA's 265 (and Tesla's 'up to 300').  However, they do note they had the car for some particularly frigid days in November, and that cold weather is not the electric car's best friend.

Check out their full video report below (as well as CR's previous report on the Karma if you want to compare the two $100,000 plug-ins):

If you prefer your reviews written, you can find Consumer Reports Model S review here.