Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S

Whiplash-quick, door handles that motor out of the bodywork as your hand approaches, seating for up to seven: The Tesla Model S would be fascinating even if it had a V-8 under the hood. But the fact that it's an electric car with a range of up to 265 miles, a price that stacks up against the internal-combustion incumbents, and a muscular, torquey ride you can feel in your gut makes this a big-picture achievement. It's a reason to be optimistic about the future of the car industry. [from $49,900; teslamotors.com]