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Consumer Reports

Tesla's Model S P85D Just Broke The Consumer Reports Ratings System

BEC CREW
3 SEP 2015

Feast your eyes on the best car money can buy - the fully electric Tesla S P85D sedan. This thing is safer, faster, better to drive, and more efficient than anything else on the market right now, and it does it all without a drop of gasoline.

 

It's so good, the world’s largest independent product-testing organisation, Consumer Reports, initially scored it 103/100, which forced the magazine to recalibrate its entire rating system to compensate for its awesomeness. "It’s a combination we’ve never really seen before," the director of automotive testing Jake Fisher told The New York Times, referring to its unprecedented achievements in performance and fuel efficiency. "It’s not perfect, but in terms of the way the car performs, it’s the closest to perfect we’ve ever seen."

Back in 2013, Consumer Reports gave Tesla’s Model S electric sedan a 99/100 rating - the highest score the US-based magazine had ever given. That one point was withheld due to the relative inconvenience of finding a charging station. But as they said at the time, the Model S didn't outscore every other car in spite of the fact that it was electric, it did so because it was electric.

Until this week, that score had been unchallenged, but Tesla managed to one-up itself with its S P85D, giving the Consumer Reports staff not only the best electric car they'd ever seen, but the best car they'd ever driven, full stop.

"The P85D is brutally quick, with instant acceleration. The car’s thrust is forceful and immediate. Its near-instant g-forces can otherwise be achieved only by leaping off a building - literally," says the magazine. "That this electric car accelerates from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 3.5 seconds without an engine’s roar makes it frighteningly eerie in its silent velocity. It’s so explosively quick that Tesla has created an 'insane' driving mode."

The bad news? This is the best car you'll never own, with a price tag of US$127,820. Other cons include the fact that its interior materials "aren’t as opulent as other high-ticket automobiles" - which should be a given when you're forking out that much cash - and the consideration that you're going to have to charge it around every 320 km (200 miles) or so. That sounds like a pretty long leash, but it could be a problem if you want to take it for a long drive in the country where there won't be any charging stations for some time.

And for that price tag, we can't overlook those flaws, says Jonathan M. Gitlin over at ArsTechnica. For his money, BMW's hybrid model i8 is a better car, but with 98 percent of Tesla owners saying they'd buy their cars again, "it's hard to escape the legions of happy Tesla owners everywhere", he concedes.

While the technology that powers the S P85D will be completely unattainable to most of us for the foreseeable future, Telsa plans to release its Model X crossover in 2016, and then an even more affordable compact sedan named Model 3 in 2018, which will cost about US$35,000. All we can say is we couldn't be more excited that the future of driving is here, and it could not be more electric.

Watch the Consumer Reports review below: