Automobile Magazine recently spent the better part of three days getting to know 28 of the latest and greatest cars on the market to pick its Automobile of the Year, and today it announced that the 2012 Tesla Model S was given this coveted award. As much as the all-electric Model S means to the automotive world, we’d be surprised if it doesn’t snag a lot more hardware in the next few months.

The Model S beat out cars like the 2013 Cadillac ATS, 2013 Ford Fusion, 2012 Porsche 911 Carrera S and 2013 BMW M5 with its sleek design, luxurious and tech-filled interior and, of course, its unique electric powertrain that offers both an incredible all-electric range and equally eye-popping performance.

To narrow down the top candidates for the award, Automobile took all the cars out for two days of road testing and then spent another day at Gingerman Raceway in Western Michigan, and the performance aspect of the Model S seemed to surprise and/or impress a lot of the magazine’s staff more than anything else. To prove how fast the car is, they did a drag race to 100 miles per hour with the Tesla and the new M5, and the Model S won. The 265-mile driving range and 17-inch touch-screen display won points for the car, too.

Scroll down for a quick video from Automobile that goes into detail why its staff chose the Model S, and shows some great driving shots of the car as well. We’ve also put together a gallery with the Model S and the nine other cars that made the short list for the award, so be sure to check them out below.

Related Gallery2012 Tesla Model S: First Drive

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By Jeffrey N. Ross