The Model S beat out 25 total entrees for the award and the 11 finalists. In the end, "The vehicles that placed second and third didn't get more than three votes. But it was unanimous for the Tesla Model S," the magazine's Editor-in-Chief Ed Loh said in an article about this year's award.
In a release Tesla made note that it was the first time the prestigious engineering award was given to an automaker by a unanimous vote.
The car is sold in with three driving ranges with the top end model capable of driving 300 miles on one charge. It can hold seven passengers and plenty of cargo, as it has no motor and can use the trunk in the back and the engine space in the front as storage space, CNNMoney reported Tuesday.
The price ranges from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the driving range.
But editor-at-large Angus MacKenzie said, "At its core, the Tesla Model S is simply a damned good car you happen to plug in to refuel."
The magazine said the car was "as smoothly effortless as a Rolls-Royce." On top of that performance, it is sold as a luxury car with the carrying capacity of an SUV.
To compete for the award, a car has to be either new or substantially redesigned. The competition this year included Ford Fusion, Porsche Boxster, BMW 3-series, Lexus GS, and Subaru BRZ.
Aside from making history as the first car to earn unanimous approval from the judges, it is also the first all-electric car to win the award automakers covet.
Aside from bragging rights, the niche automaker, which expects to sell about 3,200 Model S cars by the end of the year, also has something to prove, said Elon Musk, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer.
"Our aspiration with the Model S was to show that an electric car truly can be better than any gasoline car, which is a critical step towards the widespread adoption of sustainable transport," Musk said.