Do you hate Telsa’s yoke? Difficult: Elon Musk rushes to the regular option
Of all the changes Tesla has made over the past few years, the shift from steering wheel to caliper may prove to be the most controversial. Elon Musk, however, doesn’t repent of the unusual controls found in the later S and X models, and that means if you were hoping for an option to swap out a “normal” steering wheel, you’re out of luck.
Tesla unveiled the redesigned Model S and Model X earlier this year, giving its more expensive cars an arguably overdue upgrade. While the exterior design has been put away in the process, it’s the interior that has seen the biggest changes.
The dashboard has gained a custom processor giving it 5 PlayStation power levels, while the rear seats have their own special touchscreen for gaming. However, it was the driver’s controls that aroused the most surprise. No more regular circular steering wheel, and besides the driving selector. In their place there was a “wheel” more like something you would expect to find in Knight rider‘s KITT, and the EV promise of predicting whether you wanted to drive, reverse, or park.
Reviews were instantly shared. Some loved the futuristic yoke and the clear view it gave to the digital instruments in cars. Others, meanwhile, weren’t impressed with the idea of removing much of the controls, especially when it came to low-speed maneuvering. Even safety regulators weighed in, revealing they would contact Tesla for more information on the practicality of the yoke.
With the first Model S Plaid cars featuring the new wheel design arriving with owners, opinions remain divided. Elon Musk, however, doesn’t seem willing to consider an alternative. When asked on Twitter if there would be an option to swap the yoke for a more traditional wheel, his response was laconic “No“.
This isn’t, to be fair, the first time that Tesla’s CEO has been stubborn about a change, and often, over time, buyers of the company’s EVs have shown satisfaction with his decisions. . Musk has also been frank that the yoke is part of the big autopilot transition: a smaller wheel, he points out, will be less intrusive in the cabin when – as Tesla has long promised on the roadmap – cars will support full range. drive and be able to drive without driver intervention.
It remains to be seen where that leaves the next Tesla vehicles. The Tesla Roadster was shown with a yoke style wheel, as was the Tesla Cybertruck. By the time the electric pickup was unveiled, many believed the atypical controls would end up being replaced with something more old school by the time production kicked off.
Now, with Tesla gung-ho on the Model S Plaid yoke, it looks like that won’t necessarily be the case. After all, Musk has already said that he doesn’t really care if the Cybertruck is a sell flop – and he has a strategy if it is.