Skip to main content

Tesla Model 3: What will the spaceship-like steering wheel of the Model 3 look like?

Model 3 prototype interior

The final design of the Tesla Model 3 is “pencil down” for over a month now and we all want to know what is different from the prototypes unveiled earlier this year. CEO Elon Musk mentioned some refining of the exterior design and a lot of reservation holders are anxious to know what is the “fix” for the trunk opening.

But what I’m personally most excited about is the interior. Tesla carefully made sure that any promotional picture or third-party photoshoot would not feature the interior of the prototypes, presumably because it will be nothing like the production version.

While everyone is focused on the horizontal center touchscreen and speculating about a potential heads-up display, which I admit is likely, I am most interested in the steering wheel.

The one on the prototype was unfinished-looking and Musk confirmed that it’s not “the real steering system“. He referred to it as a “system” and not a “wheel” on a few occasions, which is very interesting.

First off, there will be manual controls in the Model 3 even if it features an advanced or fully autonomous driving system. The “steering system” might not be a traditional “steering wheel”, but there’s just no way Tesla believes it can legally ship a product next year without it featuring actual manual controls.

Now what will this non-traditional steering wheel of the Model 3 look like?

Musk didn’t say what it will look like, but he did say what it will feel like:

That’s not a very helpful clue, but we will take it.

Now we also get a potential hint from the design sketches Tesla released:

model 3 interior drawing


It does look like a 3/4 steering-wheel, but that’s not really spaceship-like so why not take a look at some of the most “out there” steering system concepts that have recently come out and see if it can help us envision what the Model 3 interior will look like.

Nissan’s IDS concept

Nissan’s all-electric and autonomous concept was unveiled by the Japanese automaker last year and it features one of the coolest interior transition from manual to automatic steering I have ever seen.

LeEco’s LeSee concept

LeEco, the Chinese tech giant whose founder is backing Faraday Future, has its own electric vehicle effort which takes the form of the all-electric and autonomous LeSee unveiled earlier this year. It also features a pretty cool manual to automatic steering transition.

The company is actually moving ahead to manufacturing the car and recently announced an important factory to bring the vehicle to production in volumes.

BMW’s Vision NEXT100

Finally, the last concept is featured in BMW’s crazy-looking Vision NEXT100 concept unveiled earlier this year.

Let us know which one you prefer in the poll below and leave your thoughts about any similar features potentially ending up in the Tesla Model 3:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.



Avatar for Fred Lambert Fred Lambert

Fred is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at Electrek.

You can send tips on Twitter (DMs open) or via email:

Through, you can check out Fred’s portfolio and get monthly green stock investment ideas.