The steering wheel resembles Tesla's flight controls, not all customers flew on it (photo: manufacturer's website)
When Tesla launched the renewed Model S and X two years ago and equipped them with the YOKE steering wheel similar to the control wheel on airplanes, the world, as usual in Tesla cases, was divided into two - those who were enthusiastic about it and those who found it very difficult to use on a daily basis.
Two months ago, Tesla took a final step.
First, it added an option of a regular steering wheel to both models, and the customer has to choose between the two models when ordering.
Second, for customers who have already received the vehicle with a steering wheel that they don't like, Tesla offered a deal: pay $700 and we will install a normal, round steering wheel for you.
The price should be noted to be very decent in the terms of luxury car enthusiasts whose cost can easily exceed $1,000.
Pre-orders for the replacement steering wheel opened on March 15th, but in less than 10 days these steering wheels sold out, evidence that quite a few people really didn't like the idea of controlling a car with a steering wheel missing critical parts.
And although the steering wheel itself appears on Tesla's website as a free option on a new vehicle, buyers who own a car are directed to purchase it on the app, where they are informed that it is out of stock (at least that's what is being reported in the US), without an update on when it will be back. As mentioned, as of now, these models are still Comes with the steering wheel that looks like the airplane controls as standard.
The purchase is not available on the website and customers are directed to the application (photo: screenshot, screenshot, Tesla)
The company recently updated that an improved version of it will also appear in the Cybertruck, its future van, but it is not clear whether in its case it will be a steering wheel identical in operation to the one that exists in its models today, or one without a physical connection and with a variable ratio, like the one found in the new Lexus RZ.
Lexus is the only manufacturer so far that has started offering a similar, but not identical, steering wheel.
The shape of both is similar, but the mechanism is different.
In Tesla the airplane steering wheel functions as a normal steering wheel, only without the top and bottom, which makes tight maneuvers with it less convenient for everyday use.
The Lexus, on the other hand, has a variable added to it.
At low speeds, the steering wheel in the Japanese car turns more sharply, to help with parking maneuvers and urban maneuvers, which will always be sharper than those on the highway.
Lexus did introduce the steering wheel at the launch of the RZ, but it will not start selling it to the public until 2025, after receiving the regulatory approvals for it.