A Tesla Model S with the 2021 refresh was spotted with a somewhat “regular” steering wheel, as it is rumored to potentially be an option.
Last month, Tesla officially unveiled the new Model S and Model X refresh. The update includes a new powertrain and a brand-new interior. When it comes to interior refresh, the biggest change is the “yoke” steering wheel.
We did a deep dive on the steering wheel based on information that we obtained in a document Tesla shared with its staff.
At first glance, the biggest change is the butterfly shape of the steering wheel, but there are actually a lot of other changes, like the lack of stalk for drive modes and blinkers.
Tesla is replacing the stalks with force touch buttons on the steering wheel and center console.
Furthermore, the automaker plans to automatically activate the right drive mode (PRND) using its Autopilot sensors to detect whether the car should be in drive, reverse, or park.
As for the shape, some internet sleuths found a picture of the new Model S refresh with a regular steering wheel in the source code of Tesla’s website:
It started a rumor that Tesla could offer the regular steering wheel as an option, but it doesn’t appear on the Model S/X configurator.
Also, while it shows a steering wheel with a regular shape, it still doesn’t have the stalks.
Now a Tesla Model S with the 2021 refresh update has been spotted in Toledo, Ohio, and it was equipped with the round steering wheel (via Tom from the Tesla Owners Club Michigan Facebook group):
The vehicle appears to be a test prototype since we can see a “stop button” underneath the cup.
As Electrek previously reported, Tesla has added a force touch button to the base of the phone charger on the center console, which Tesla clearly labeled in the prototype here.
The local service center told the Tesla owner who took the pictures that the round steering wheel will indeed be an option, but that’s still unconfirmed so far.
Tesla is expected to start deliveries of the new Model S and Model X 2021 refresh in the coming weeks.
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