• Explosive acceleration
  • Impressive battery range
  • Balanced handling
  • Nondescript styling
  • Austere interior
SUM UP Putting the “new” in the Ultimate New Car Guide.

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for Model S in 2013

Practically everything, beyond some familiar Mercedes Benz–supplied switchgear...more


Tesla, known for its Lotus-based electric Roadster, started from scratch with this effort. The aluminum chassis, the streamlined styling, and, most important, the battery-electric power source, were all internally developed. That motor will eventually come in four varieties that scale up in battery range—Tesla estimates the increments at 160, 230, and 300 miles—and straight-line performance. The top-of-the-line Model S Signature Performance will hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. It also handles extraordinarily well, a credit to the low center of gravity provided by the floor-mounted batteries and some fine chassis tuning. An enormous touch screen dominates a modern, austere cabin. There’s plenty of room for five adults. If you opt for rear-facing third-row seats, two children can fit, too. Front and rear compartments offer plenty of room for luggage. All these qualities make the novel Model S a rather sensible alternative to the typical mid-size luxury sedan. Be mindful, though, that this is an unproven product from a young company. There’s also the matter of recharging. Tesla is installing so-called superchargers throughout the country that can replenish a 300-mile range in only an hour, but a more typical 240-volt charger will need about five hours to accomplish the same feat.


Front head, knee, and pelvis air bags; rear side curtain air bags; ABS; stability control; and rollover and crash sensors (the latter disconnects the battery in an accident) are standard.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Tesla Model S

  • BMW 5-series
  • Porsche Panamera

Read less

2013 Model S Standard Equipment

Braking and Handling

  • Four Wheel ABS

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning


  • Auto On Headlights
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Trunk/Liftgate
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Vehicle Information Center


  • Premium Interior Trim


  • Auto Dimming Mirrors
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • HID Headlights
  • Limited Slip Differential
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear View Camera
  • Stability Control
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control


  • Folding Rear Seat
  • Leather Seats

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc MP3 Capable


  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • Homelink Universal Transmitter
  • Navigation System

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels
What are the factory warranties? See Warranties
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