There is no denying that the 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X are already some of the most innovative vehicles available. In a surprise major refresh, the Model S and Model X got some major styling, tech, and range improvements.
However, the object that has seemingly stunned the internet is the steering wheel. The wheel itself looks more like the yoke you’d find in an airplane. Thanks to a tweet by Elon Musk, we now know why it features such a strange design.
How do you steer the 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X?
Despite its funky steering wheel, you steer the 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X like any other vehicle. In the current-generation models, the round steering wheel features both the gear selector and the indicator stalk. You’ll notice from the image above that both of those vital components are missing. If we had to guess, this is likely due to the development of the company’s “Full-Self Driving” feature. If a vehicle could drive itself, a smaller and less intrusive vehicle would actually make sense. However, that technology is far from being available to the masses.
Additionally, maneuvering your 2021 Tesla Model S or Model X could be significantly challenging in everyday driving scenarios. As Roadshow points out, even the most basic maneuvers require you to spin your wheel several times. When you account for the lack of grip in the Model S, these could quickly become a nightmare.
On top of the physical flaws, there is also the issue of safety. As far as crash safety goes, the 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X should offer excellent protection. However, according to Roadshow, this new steering yoke could cause some serious damage to your hands and legs. This is because, during a crash, the wheel tends to spin uncontrollably.
The wheel will guess when you want to shift or indicate
If you thought this 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X steering wheel couldn’t get any crazier, you’d be wrong. In a new tweet published by Elon Musk, he replied to someone pointing out the lack of shifters or stalks with a shocking update. According to Musk, the car will guess when you want to shift or indicate based on obstacles it senses and the navigation map. Thankfully, Musk indicates that this system can be overridden utilizing the central touchscreen.
In a separate tweet, Elon Musk stated, “After you drive without using a PRND stalk/stick for a few days, it gets very annoying to go back & use a shifter!” While this technology seems to be in its infancy, this second tweet indicates that the company has been beta testing it for quite some time now. For now, we will have to wait and see how it performs when large groups of people begin to use it. The new 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X are set to arrive quite soon.
What else is new with the updated Model S and Model X?
Because of the controversy surrounding this 2021 Tesla Model S and Model X steering wheel, it is easy to overlook some other major interior improvements. For starters, the central screen forgoes its previous vertical orientation.
According to Motor1, the new unit measures 17 inches across and looks quite similar to that of the Model Y and Model 3. However, the Model S and X will reportedly retain their 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to see how these new improvements work in real life.