The 2012 Tesla Model S is the most anticipated all-electric car of 2012, but it is also the most enigmatic. 

That’s because even though it launched back in late June, access to -- and time behind the wheel of -- the Model S has been strictly controlled by Tesla. 

Our own 1-hour test-drive proved to us that the Tesla Model S was a viable, impressive car, but because of our location -- the busy streets of Manhattan -- we were unable to push the luxury sports sedan to its limits. 

Edmund’s Inside Line was a little luckier, persuading Tesla to ship a Model S to the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California so it could put Tesla’s claimed Model S performance specifications to the test. 

The results? 

With a clear, clean test track, the Model S Performance romped to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds, a 0.1 seconds faster than Tesla’s official time. 

The $94,350 Model S Performance then went on to 75 mph in 6.1 seconds, posting a quarter mile of 12.6 seconds at 108.3 mph. 

Braking was similarly good, with Inside Line’s test driver Mike Monticello reporting consistent, firm braking. 

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

2012 Tesla Model S Signature

On the handling tests, Inside Line reports the Model S managed 0.86g on the skid pad, impressive for a car of its size. 

Meanwhile, the full slalom course was handled at a speed of 66.8 mph, illustrating excellent weight distribution and suspension. 

LIke us, Inside Line admits it has only had limited time behind the wheel of the 2012 Model S. 

But with impressive handling and speed tests confirming Tesla’s own specs, it continues to look as if Tesla’s Model S is a very special electric car. 

Of course, with a race driver on staff who’s most eager to get the Model S on a test track, we’d like to offer our own race-track skills to Tesla, just in case it wants a second opinion. 


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