This paper presents the design and operational analysis of a high-performance squirrel-cage induction machine intended for wide load range applications, including electric traction and highly dynamic industrial loads. High performance operation and high torque density are achieved through a combination of four strategies: (1) An inverter-dedicated design in which stator and rotor configurations are based on low slip; (2) High-performance materials including high flux cobalt alloy and copper rotor bars; (3) Optimized pole counts with relatively high frequency stator operation to avoid field weakening in most load ranges; (4) Adaptive flux control to maintain high efficiency over a 10:1 or more load range. Based on the high cost of rare-earth permanent magnets, the cost tradeoffs for cobalt alloys become plausible and feasibility is studied. The design and operation of the induction machine's broad motor behavior are discussed, and simulation results are used to validate its application in electric vehicles. It is verified that the design achieves 4x higher torque density than conventional machines of the same size. At the same time, nominal efficiency of the design is greater than 96% over a wide load range, and the machine is capable of peak efficiency as high as 98%.