The 2020 Tesla Model S Surges Past Its Electric and Nonelectric Rivals

One of the most influential vehicles of the last decade is the futuristic  Tesla Model S. The Model S is one of the most acclaimed electric vehicles because of its dynamic performance and extended battery range. And for 2020, you could say that this Tesla has transcended classes. 

It’s been an impressive year for the Tesla Model S

White Tesla Model S driving through the mountains
Tesla Model S | Tesla

Despite COVID-19 related challenges, it’s been a record-breaking year for Tesla. In Q3 2020, Tesla delivered almost 140k deliveries, exceeding Wall Street’s predictions once again. Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y have been the company’s frontrunners this year. Sales for the Model S have been impressive too.

Tesla Model 3, model X and model s in the exhibition hall of the newly opened Tesla experience center
The Tesla Model S | Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

According to GoodCarBadCar, Tesla sold 7,500 Model S vehicles. That’s a 140% increase compared to this time last year. Furthermore, the Model S’s recent sales figures make it the best-selling luxury car of the third-quarter and by a large margin. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class came in second with 2,447 unit sales. Rounding out the top three is the new all-electric Porsche Taycan with 1,858 units sold. 

“Elon Musk might say some crazy stuff, but he’s right about at least one thing: his electric vehicles have changed the world. When the Model S launched in 2012, it was the first long-range, widely desired electric vehicle, and mainstream automakers have been struggling to catch up ever since.”

Car and Driver

2020 Tesla Model S performance 

Metallic gray 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus driving around a mountain road
2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus | Car and Driver via Instagram

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What makes the Model S so enticing is its class-leading electric range and quick acceleration. Critics also recognize the S for its peaceful driving experience. As Car and Driver highlights, Tesla introduced a Standard Range version of the Model S in the middle of 2019. However, the company discontinued this offering only a few weeks later. The S currently features three trim levels: the Long Range Plus, Performance, and Plaid.  

Both the Long Range Plus and the Performance trims use a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system. The entry-level Long Range Plus starts at $63,920 and has an estimated all-electric range of 402 miles. This version can go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds. 

For a quicker experience, you’ll want to consider the Performance variant, which begins at $86,490. The Model S Performance has a 0-to-60 rating of 2.3 seconds and a battery range of 387 miles. Then there’s the dazzling Plaid edition. The Model S Plaid has tri-motor AWD, an estimated 520+ mile range, and can hit 60 mph in under 2 seconds. This high-performance variant begins at $134,490.

On the inside 

Tesla Model S dual motor all electric sedan on display at Brussels Expo
The interior of the Tesla Model S | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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The Model S doesn’t earn as many rave reviews for its interior. For a luxury vehicle, critics say that the S isn’t as lush as its competitors. There are also some misaligned interior panels. That said, those who favor a minimalist design will likely be pleased overall. 

This Tesla seats up to five and provides ample cargo space. As with its siblings, the main highlight of the S’s interior is its large touchscreen display and premium connectivity features. These connectivity features include in-car internet streaming and live satellite maps.