For those who think electric cars will never outperform gas ones, Consumer Reports has something to say. In its latest test drive of Tesla's new Model S P85D, the writers said the all-wheel-drive sedan "performed better in our tests than any other car ever has, breaking the Consumer Reports Ratings system." It so wowed the raters that they called it "brutally" and "explosively" quick, saying Tesla had created an "insane" drive mode whose 1.02 G's of force on acceleration (it goes from zero to 60mph in 3.5 seconds) is like jumping off a building, not to mention "frighteningly eerie in its silent velocity" sans the traditional engine roar. Basically, the 80-year-old publication's auto editor Mark Rechtin tells Business Insider, it "defies the laws of physics." And it was built by a startup in, wait for it, the United States of America.
Back in 2008, Popular Mechanics had Jamie Hyneman from MythBusters see how electric cars stack up against their gas counterparts in five tests—using a Ferrari, Harley, ATV, compact car, and hand-built go-kart. The electric versions beat the traditional gas models every time. Now Tesla is delivering proof of the electric car's superiority, but with a price tag that will make it unattainable to most: $127,820. (The Model 3, due in 2018, starts at $35,000.) And while it broke the scale at 103 out of 100, forcing a restructuring of the rating system to get it down to a cool 99, it does have imperfections, including interior materials that aren't as "opulent" as those in other luxury cars and a ride that's "louder" than the base Model S. The rating also doesn't account for reliability, which perhaps thanks in part to the 200-plus-mile drive range is rated average by surveyed owners. (See what Tesla calls this new mode of speed.)