This past weekend, the nation?s paper of record declared the Tesla 2012 Model S a transportation game changer on par with Ford?s Model T. So naturally we were excited to test-drive one of these sexy electric sedans for ourselves. 

At Tesla?s 3rd Street Promenade dealership, we learned that the California-made auto, which runs entirely on electricity, is awfully different from your standard gas-powered car--beginning with the fact that it emits no greenhouse gases. 

It has unique details (retractable door handles) as well as splashier elements (huge sunroof, large interior touch-screen). Overall, the car looks like a curvier Jaguar--and at a base price of about $50,000, it?s comparably affordable.

As we zipped through Santa Monica, the fast acceleration (zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds) let us slip between cars with ease. Plus, while we didn?t borrow it for hours, we could have driven 300 miles in the HOV lane on a single charge. And if we did want to get to San Francisco, we could have stopped at a just-opened supercharging station to pick up an extra 150 miles? range in 30 minutes (a lot faster than the overnight charging requirements for many electric cars).

Due to the Model S?s popularity, the company is a month behind on its deliveries. Still, for the eco-minded, tech-savvy consumer, it?s definitely worth the wait. 

Tesla, 1227 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica; 310-395-8333 or teslamotors.com

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