The rules of the automotive game have officially changed this week. For the first time in the history of the 64 year-old Motor Trend Car of the Year Award a car without an internal combustion engine has taken home the honor.

At the same time Automobile Magazine decided to award the Tesla Model S with their 2013 Automobile of the Year award.

The decision amongst both camps was unanimous. Each magazine conducted their tests independently and with the highest scrutiny.

Elon Musk’s brainchild has proven to be the benchmark car to beat across the globe – even without a “real engine”. The Model S even drag raced the new BMW F10 M5 and beat it out after three consecutive tests. Not only can the car whip the pants off the M5 but it can also get you to Vegas and back in a single charge (in the 85kWh battery option). 0-60 is achieved in 5.6 seconds and seeing as the car is fully electric it emits zero emissions.

Take a moment to think about this. The Tesla (American company) Model S (American Made ELECTRIC car) beat out the new Porsche 911, Honda Accord, Subaru BRZ, Cadillac ATS and BMW M5. The worlds most established and well respected brands, which have all taken home the COTY award at some point in their history, lost to the 9 year old nerdy kid on the block.

We tip our hats to Tesla and the misfit company for stirring up the pot and hopefully igniting a fire under the butts of other companies around the world. Inspiring them to innovate beyond traditional expectations and push into the frontiers of the unknown. This could be our “sputnik” moment of the new automotive space race.

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