Elon Musk Says the Tesla Yoke Wheel Is Mandatory on the Model S Plaid

It seems the Tesla yoke wheel is here to stay. At least, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Twitter. Whether that is a good or bad thing, however, remains to be seen. Models have not yet made it into the hands of consumers, so feedback on the item is somewhat limited at the moment. However, initial reviews of the most controversial aspect of the Model S Plaid have not been kind.

Elon Musk isn’t Yoking around

Tesla CEO Elon Musk at a press event
Tesla CEO Elon Musk | Britta Pedersen via Getty Images

Clearly, Musk thinks this is the way forward, at least in regards to the Tesla yoke wheel. The discussion regarding it started on Twitter, in the comments of a Marques Brownlee review. The automotive personality and journalist posted the review on his Twitter account, where a user, @fredsterrrr, asked Musk “Any chance of a normal steering wheel option?” Musk’s reply was simple and to the point. “No,” he said.

Now that reply raises a question. Will the yoke be mandatory in only the Tesla Model S Plaid, or will it eventually make its way into the base Model S? Moreover, will it stay exclusive to the Model S if that is the case? Right now, there simply aren’t a lot of answers to that. Frankly, given the critiques the Telsa yoke wheel has received, and Musk’s views on its utility, it’s hard to say if the thing will be sticking around.

The Tesla Yoke wheel has stirried up much controversy

A rendering of the interior of the new Tesla Model S Plaid, complete with yoke wheel
The Plaid’s not-so-plaid interior | Tesla

As we said above, the Tesla yoke wheel has caused some stir once the hardware reached reviewers. For example, this video shows just how awkward the thing can be for maneuvering about day-to-day. Notice how the driver reaches for a wheel that isn’t there several times. Additionally, it looks to be somewhat difficult to make multi-point turns with. Usually, cars with this type of wheel are special-built racecars with a much tighter steering rack than a road car. That negates the need for multiple rotations of the wheel.

That need to rotate the Tesla yoke wheel is key to the controversy. Think about how many times your hands have to leave the 9-and-3 position on a day-to-day basis. Pretty much constantly, right? A racing driver doesn’t often have to do that during a race, where big rotations of the steering wheel can upset the car and cause a crash, again due to that tighter steering rack.

Clearly, the wheel is here to stay

The Tesla Model S Plaid sits in a photo box with the Plaid logo surrounding it
2021 Telsa Model S Plaid | Tesla

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As for safety, well, it’s hard to imagine that people reaching for a wheel that isn’t there in an emergency is very safe. Weaknesses of the Tesla yoke wheel aside, it’s clear the thing is here to stay. At least, it’s here to stay in the Plaid model. If it’s not, expect to see those changes made on the next model year refresh, unless Musk is told to change it by some higher power, which is always a possibility.