It was only a matter of time really. Although, a traditional round steering wheel would do.
No single piece of equipment in the automotive industry better sums up the Tesla experience than the controversial ‘Yoke’ steering wheel. Because why would you want to pilot your 820KW Telsa Model S Plaid+ to 100km/h in less than 2.1-seconds with the control and accuracy of a full-sized steering wheel? Drawing the line between function and form if just for the sake of it has always been the brand’s MO (for better or worse) but there’s a reason steering wheels have always been round – they’re easier to grip no matter the steering angle.
The first (of many we’re sure) Tesla ‘Yoke’ steering wheel fixes is finally here courtesy of T Sportline. What reads as quite an intricate process is both expensive and involved, but ultimately gives you that safety net of a full-size steering wheel in case of any sudden and very necessary movements when avoiding, say, children crossing the road unexpectedly. We like how Twitter user @dennieredwards puts it.
Creating a solution for a problem created by a solution for something that wasn’t a problem.
— Dennie Edwards (@dennieredwards) January 8, 2022
The manufacturing process involves removing the factory Tesla Model S/ X ‘Yoke’ steering wheel and adding a new top section to the wheel made from “the finest 3M metal structure and baltic birch plywood for extensive layers, density and strength,” according to the brand’s website. The metal structure itself is CNC machines and upholstered in European leather by hand and bonded with polyurethane adhesive. Thus, pricing isn’t cheap.
- Starting at $2299 USD for the least expensive version.
- Custom upholstery $2499 USD.
- Carbon fibre wheel $3499 USD.
We’re yet to try the Yoke steering wheel for ourselves Downunder, however, the user experience seems excruciating as demonstrated by Motor Trend editor, Christian Seabaugh below. The issue is further compounded overseas as Consumer Reports outlines the safety and technical issues present in the radical steering wheel design in their in-depth piece focused on the experience of 10 road users, concluding few benefits to offset the several potential safety issues. While this might not be the best looking ‘fix’ for the Yoke steering wheel, at least it gets the ball rolling – even if it’s a little Trapezoidal.