Tesla Might Not Even Be Allowed to Have That Weird Model S Steering Wheel

Most people love chic, luxurious, spacious, and stylish car interiors. Besides improving the electric range, redesigning the liftback, and bolstering acceleration, Tesla has sensationally equipped Tesla Model S interior with one of the most fascinating features. The all-electric Tesla Model S was the first car from Tesla to break into the mainstream car market because of its intriguing speed, usability, comfort, and overall performance. 

While the Tesla Model S’s performance is simply amazing, its new interior, which features a weird steering wheel is the real deal. The original vertical screen orientation in the previous models is no more. An entertainment display for rear passengers has been added and a myriad of new features makes this model’s interior truly enthralling. 

Fascinating changes to the new Model S interior

The new interior for the Tesla Model S is nothing short of posh and futuristic. Tesla has been making small changes to the interior of this model since its grand launch in 2012. However, the 2021 redesign unveils an all-new version of the interior. 

Tesla is ditching the portrait-style touchscreen in favor of one that resembles that of Model Y and Model 3. According to MotorTrend, the touchscreen has smaller bezels much like that on the Cybertruck prototype. The front screen is now a 17-inch widescreen display instead of a 17-inch portrait display with a much higher resolution of 2200×1300.  The resolution is massively enhanced with exemplary responsiveness and brighter colors. 

Contrary to the newer Tesla cars, the automaker is retaining the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster in Model S. Business Insider reports that the interior refresh on this model also includes a built-in gaming system with 10 teraflops of power, which rivals new consoles like PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Splashed with 8-inch display screens, the refreshed rear of the Model S is amazingly stunning and entertaining. 

Well, there is no doubt that the new Tesla S featuring sleek lines, a minimalist dashboard, U-Shaped steering, and multiple screens has set the bar high for all-electric automakers. The Plaid and Plaid Plus versions will have top speeds of 200 mph. With the new powertrain, the Plaid versions will do many miles as compared to the previous Model S. 

The stalkless weird steering wheel

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As Tesla continues to style interiors with great infotainment features and hi-tech autonomous systems, the new stalkless steering is already igniting legal and safety debates. While the new steering adds aesthetics, some believe that it risks losing its functionality. 

The steering yoke is quite conspicuous and seemingly the most controversial addition to the Model S. Without stalks, it means that there is no gear-selector or turn-signal stalks as witnessed with prior models. Stylish touch buttons have replaced the stalks raising concerns over confusion and overall safety of a yoke steering. 

According to CNET, Tesla claims that the car would automatically change driving modes depending on the actions of the driver and the context. It’s clear that the unique steering design is a sign of Elon Musk the Tesla’s CEO commitment to building autonomous sedans. As it seems, Tesla’s futuristic designs of a button-driven car are on the way. The Model S yoke steering wheel disappears into the dashboard when fully retracted. 

What the NHTSA says about Model S steering wheel design

According to Teslarati, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at this time cannot determine whether the new steering design meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. In the report, NHTSA said that it will work with Tesla to examine if the steering system meets the baseline safety requirements. 

What’s next for Tesla?

Well, Tesla is known for using money to fund research programs to meet regulatory requirements. If NHTSA recommends that Tesla needs to redesign its yoke steering in a particular way to meet the safety standards, Musk will not hesitate to make the design changes. According to MotorTrend, Tesla also has a standard steering wheel for Model S. So, in case the NHTSA fails to approve the new design, Tesla will comfortably revert to the standard steering wheel design. 

As seen, the desire for a minimalistic style is not just for looks, but also for people who want more space. As we wait for NHTSA’s decision, let’s embrace the fun and futuristic style of Model S.