Model S production has been slow to ramp up, and as recently as August, DeMatio says, they weren't sure they'd be able to get their hands on a car in time for their October Automobile of the Year evaluation. It was only after he and Zenlea got a long-sought interview with Musk that the company promised a car--which was duly delivered to west Michigan's GingerMan Raceway.
Editor-in-chief "Jean [Jennings] was a big supporter [of naming the Tesla Automobile of the Year] from her very first time driving it," DeMatio says. "It was the performance that won us over," she explained in Zenlea's article. "The crazy speed builds silently and then pulls back at the edges of your face. It had us all endangering our licenses."
Each of the sixteen contributors who took part in the evaluation had an equal say, and Jennings wrote that "a few stalwart believers raised a vote for the charming Subaru BRZ/Scion FRS" sports coupes. But in the end, says DeMatio, "an overwhelming majority" lined up behind the historic choice.
Former Car and Driver editor Csaba Csere points out that even with Tesla's promised network of "supercharger" stations, the Model S can't compete with a gasoline-powered car for interstate travel. But though he's "not a big fan of electric cars," Csere says, he too was impressed with the Model S--"it's moved the ball on electric cars."