Sat, Aug 29, 2015 - Page 13 News List

Magazine praises Tesla sedan with highest score ever

NY Times News Service

Consumer Reports gave Tesla Motors Inc’s Model S P85D sedan its highest score ever for a car, breaking the magazine’s scoring system by initially giving it 103 out of 100. Editors were forced to adjust the scoring system, leaving the electric car with a mere 100 out of 100.

At US$127,820, it is not only the highest-rated, but also the most expensive car Consumer Reports has tested. Even if few people can afford it, the car remains “an automotive milepost” that is “a powerful statement of American startup ingenuity,” the magazine wrote.

“It’s a combination we’ve never really seen before,” the magazine’s director of automotive testing Jake Fisher said.

Fisher praised the car as “roomy, luxurious, comfortable and quiet,” but he took special notice of the P85D’s acceleration while using the car’s “insane mode.”

Whereas the original Model S went from 0 to 96kph in 5.6 seconds, the P85D takes just 3.5 seconds, a sensation Fisher compared to free-fall.

“It’s not even an automotive experience; it’s kind of like being on an amusement-park ride where you’re just catapulted forward,” he said.

“It’s almost disorienting, really. It’s not like any other car ever,” he added.

To set the record, the P85D unseated the Model S, also made by Tesla, which scored 99 out of 100 in 2013. The next-highest car, the BMW M235i, scored a 98 last year.

The 100 score does not mean the car is without warts, Consumer Reports said, criticizing the interior materials. The Model S was just average in terms of reliability, Fisher said, and there is no way to judge that yet on the new model. And the typical limitations of electric cars apply, potentially making road trips difficult if quick-charging stations are unavailable.

“It’s not perfect,” Fisher said.

“But in terms of the way the car performs, it’s the closest to perfect we’ve ever seen,” he said.

Tesla shares jumped 8.07 percent on Thursday, extending the spectacular market performance of the automaker, which produces only a small number of coveted vehicles.

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