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Live large, spend wisely; here are the 11 Best Luxury Cars for 2016

6. Tesla Model S – Getting amped up

Base price range $70,000 – $115,000 (estimated)

Already the darling of the auto industry, this technologically advanced all-electric luxury sedan from Silicon Valley startup Tesla Motors goes over the top with its latest performance upgrade called “Ludicrous.” It’s not a cheap option, at around $10,000, but it allows the sleekly cast Model S to make the run from zero to 60 mph in a mere 2.8 seconds, which is solidly in Ferrari/Lamborghini territory. Tesla is also offering an upgraded 90-kWh battery pack for $3,000 (the largest pack was previously 85 kWh), and while final numbers were not available as of this writing, the company expects the larger cells to warrant a five-to-six percent increase in range that otherwise tops out at 270 miles on a charge.

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Also, a lower-cost Model S 70 RWD is added to the line that comes powered by only a single electric motor (the rest of the line features two motors) for $70,000. As before, the Model S is stunner inside and out, with sleek sports car-like exterior styling and a handsome interior that features a large tablet-like touchscreen display for its high-tech infotainment array. It affords a lively driving experience even in its base model, with peppy acceleration and adept handling, with the latter further benefitting from an optional air suspension that self-adjusts to maximize its ride and handling over changing road conditions, and to lower the vehicle at higher speeds for improved aerodynamics/operating range. While 2016 fuel economy figures were not available as of this writing, for 2015 the EPA estimated it would obtain the electric equivalent of 94/97/95 mpg city/highway/combined with the standard 60 kW-hr battery pack, 88/90/89 with the available 85 kW-hr pack. The car can be charged overnight via a standard 110-volt receptacle, but it’s a lot quicker via a dedicated 240-volt circuit. An optional high-powered charger, like any of the so-called superchargers the company is installing across the U.S., can replenish the batteries up to a half-charge in as little as 20 minutes. As befits a top-shelf model of any kind, the Tesla sedan can be fitted with a wide range of posh amenities.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at [email protected]