Last month, Tesla presented a new restyling for its Model S and Model X lineup. Among the big news is the interior. The Californian firm still seems satisfied with the bodywork of its sedans and SUVs and preferred to emphasize the interior. Starting with the steering wheel.
Closer to that of an airplane than that of a car, it mainly participated in the “wow” aspect of Tesla’s presentation. But as with the much-publicized broken glass on the Cybertruck in November 2019, the unusual steering wheel featured in the 2021 Tesla news would seem like just a (bad) joke.
Everything seems to converge towards this observation. In recent days, as Tesla prided itself on having taken a lead on delivery of its new models, illustrations and photos of prototypes have given us strong clues about the final model.
Indeed, an illustration discovered on the source code of the Tesla site, as well as a restyled Model S prototype seen by a Facebook group, show a completely normal steering wheel on board the future model. Forget the steering wheel without its upper part, and make way for a most classic accessory.
Of course, these two pieces of evidence do not contradict the possibility that Tesla may offer its “aeronautical” style steering wheel as an option. On the other hand, the legal constraints and the discomfort in maneuver that this touch of fantasy should bring do not help us to keep hope as to the veracity of the project.
Among specialist media, however, opinions remain divided. Electrek wants to continue to believe in it and can imagine that the alternative is still offered for purchase. If Tesla doesn’t, we could be talking about misleading advertising in view of the current artwork displayed on the site.
For the journalists of InsideEVs, another site specializing in electric mobility, we believe in a joke. “The cool aspect would quickly wear off in many everyday driving situations”, commented the journalist Michael Cantu, for whom the legal difficulties would not lead the exotic idea of the Tesla team towards commercialization.
Either way, Tesla will make the rest of the cabin changes, such as the center screen in a horizontal position. This should bring a significant gain in graphics power to expand the range of possibilities of Tesla Arcade.
If it were ultimately left out, the steering wheel of future Model S and Model X would still retain a small change. The photos presented above show that Tesla would have indeed removed the control switch placed behind the steering wheel, replaced, obviously, by tactile buttons on the steering wheel and the infotainment screen.
Tesla still cultivates the mystery on its models, and keeps one step ahead of the press. Be careful not to find yourself one day only being able to pick up frustrations.
Last week, Audi presented its new e-Tron GT, the next competitor of the Model S. Far from announcing such unusual equipment, the car should however undermine certain manufacturing qualities at Tesla.