2012 Tesla Model S

Eleven cars enter, one car leaves. Silently and with zero emissions.

Tesla has earned one of the most coveted prizes in the automotive world, as its Model S has taken home the Golden Calipers as the 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year. In the process, the Model S beat out a field that included 10 other contenders.

In case you were wondering, this is the first time an electric car has earned this accolade. No internal combustion here, folks. In an impressive run the Model S was also named Automobile Car of the Year and one of the 25 Best Inventions of the year by Time Magazine.

Motor Trend’s very own Angus MacKenzie calls the Model S “perhaps the most accomplished all-new luxury car since the original Lexus LS 400.” High praise indeed, considering how Toyota’s luxury division ruffled feathers in challenging Germany Inc. way back in 1989. MacKenzie goes on: “At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel.”

Two aspects of the Tesla Model S that weighed heavily on Motor Trend staffers were performance and efficiency. With maximum horsepower sitting at 416 and torque an astounding 443 pound-feet – resulting in a dash to 60 in just 4.0 seconds and an average of 75.5 miles per gallon equivalent during MT’s testing – this all-American electric sedan is worthy of accolades.

Somewhat shockingly, every single judge for Motor Trend picked the Tesla Model S as their winner, causing MacKenzie to sum up the pick this way: “America can still make things. Great things.” Indeed. Read the official details from Motor Trend here, and scroll down below for a video.

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By Jeremy Korzeniewski