2013 Tesla Model S Battery-powered. 265-mile range. Starts at around $52,000. 89 mpg equivalent.
Courtesy: Tesla Motors, Inc.
By David Z. Morris
May 8, 2016

In 2013, the Tesla Model S was given the best NHTSA safety rating of any car, ever. Today, five teenagers are really, really happy about that.

On May 4, Germany’s Merkur reports, an 18-year-old woman took her father’s Model 700 PS out for a drive in Germany’s Icking region, with four friends on board. The car was traveling at excessive speeds when the driver lost control in a left-hand turn, veering off the right side of the road and hitting a ramp formed by an embankment.

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The car executed a full barrel roll, landing back on four wheels in a nearby field. According to the website Electrek, it traveled more than 80 feet through the air.

Amazingly, the five passengers were able to exit the vehicle under their own power, though they had sustained injuries that were, according to Merkur, “serious but not life-threatening.” At least two of the passengers were flown to Munich by helicopter for treatment.

As Elon Musk has explained, one of the major advantages of a Model S in a crash is the lack of a front-mounted gasoline engine, which leaves the front of the car as a huge crumple zone. Photos of the Icking crash, viewable at Merkur, show the front of the vehicle almost totally crushed, suggesting that the nose hit the ground first, and had that nose been full of engine, the outcome for the passengers could have been much worse.

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The Model 3, Tesla’s upcoming, hugely anticipated mid-budget sedan, will have the same so-called “frunk”—front trunk—design.


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