By Kaitlyn Fajilan
Get ready for the newest in luxury electric cars to hit the street of Orange County. It’s been called revolutionary and it is the 21st century standard in car luxury. Motor Trend and Automobile magazine voted it as the Car of the Year for 2013, Consumer Reports gave it a 99 out of 100 rating, and Time magazine listed it as one of the best inventions of 2012.
First displayed as a prototype at a Frankfurt Motor Show in 2009, the full-sized, four-door hatchback made its official U.S. debut in June of 2012 at Fremont, California. Now, lauded as the World Green Car of the Year (no tailpipe emissions or use of gasoline) and garnering a five-star safety rating by the NHTSA, the electric Model S has taken the automobile world by a storm. The business magnate and inventor, Eon Musk (founded PayPal and SpaceX), stated that the new Tesla boasts a sleek, sexy exterior, an impressive electric power train, and a lithium-ion battery pack, an array of on-demand features, and unprecedented range and performance. Consequently, it’s being hailed as the upcoming, upscale electric vehicle for both A-listers and VIP gents.
So why does the Tesla Model S manage to be above the rest? It has impressive speed, great mileage and safety, an excellent interior, and incomparable style. Additionally, its electric components means it is environmentally friendly—a pretty welcome sight in an age of petroleum skies and exhaust-filled atmosphere.
Electric cars often get flak for limited range and battery development. Tesla Motors, fully aware of this marginalization, decided to add several dimensions of speed and energy to their new car in order to compete with gasoline vehicles. With the Model S, you’re offered two trim levels—standard and performance—and two battery packs: the 60 kWh and the 85 kWh (with option: 85 kWh performance). The standard model has a 302 hp electric motor, and, with the 85 kWh battery pack, it can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed of 125 mph. The Performance model, on the other hand, using the 85 kWh performance battery pack, boasts an hp of 416, with the ability to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, and a top speed of 130 mph—pretty fast! The Model S also has the lowest drag efficiency of any car on the market, with the exception of certain Mercedes-Benz CLA-Class models that have been released since the Model S’ debut. Since it’s an electric vehicle, the mileage isn’t anything to snooze at either, according to Fueleconomy.gov, the official U.S. source for fuel economy information. The Model S has a combined gas mileage of about 95 mpg. With the Performance model’s range of 300 miles and the car’s propensity toward speed, traction, and awesome design, the new Tesla combines the gritty thrill of a sports vehicle with all the grace and pinnacle of a sedan, bringing the ride-ready gentleman the best of both worlds in high-energy performance and cool luxury.
For the high-rolling gentleman, the Model S offers a myriad of fancy built-in features, including a seven speaker stereo system, heated front seats, dual front USB ports, LED daytime running lights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt and telescopic steering column, and a 17-inch touch screen with Google Maps navigation, an Internet browser, Bluetooth wireless technology, a hi-def backup camera, HD radio, and energy consumption visuals. It’s even got a third row of 60-40 split-folding-rear seats that you can adjust to economize cargo space. The Tesla also comes with a panoramic moon roof that is constructed entirely from lightweight safety glass and opens with a single swipe of the touch screen, blocking out 98% of visible light and 81% of heat. The door handles reduce drag by retracting when not in use in order to streamline airflow; sliding back into place the key is no longer in use. With another touch of the key, the car can turn itself on while you fasten your seatbelt. Press a button on your connector, and the side taillight opens to reveal a hidden charge port. The new software update even includes an energy-saving “sleep” function that allows you to power off the cabin display and electronics whenever they’re not in use.
The new Tesla is all heady refinement with sizzling sex appeal. With its hardy, lustrous bodywork (available in red, signature red, blue, gray, white, pearl white, black, silver, brown, and green), seductive leather upholstery (also available in a range of colors), and 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, the Model S is the perfect vehicle for cruising around town with a lady friend. Offering smooth rides to women everywhere won’t be the only good service you’ll be doing the community—the environment will thank you, too. Instead of burning refined petroleum like gas-powered vehicles and hybrids, the Tesla runs solely on electricity (which can be harnessed from a number of alternative energy sources, including hydro, solar, coal, and wind power), resulting in greater overall energy efficiency for the user.
In the end, the new Tesla offers the public diversity. Though it’s certainly carved itself a top spot in the marketplace due to a tantalizing blend of speed, range, design, and gadgetry, the true ingenuity of this vehicle lies in the fact that it will revamp the automobile industry by offering a sporty sedan for consumers who are looking to go green and haven’t yet been sold on lower plug-in electric vehicles like the Volt, the Prius, or the Leaf.