The new Tesla Model S is getting its first third-party yoke steering wheel replacement, but there are caveats – starting with the price.
When Tesla unveiled the new Model S with the “yoke” butterfly steering wheel, it was controversial. Some were worried about the actual shape of the wheel being problematic, while others were concerned about the lack of drive stalk to choose the drive mode.
As for the former, we thought that the automaker wouldn’t risk bringing the controversial yoke steering wheel to market without a nonlinear steering curve enabled by a steer-by-wire system – especially knowing that Tesla has been developing a steer-by-wire system.
However, as Tesla started deliveries of the new Model S Plaid last year, we were surprised to see that the wheel had a normal 14.0:1 steering ratio, and it is proving to be impractical at lower speeds.
CEO Elon Musk later confirmed that Tesla is indeed working on progressive steering, but it’s still years away.
In the meantime, Musk confirmed that Tesla doesn’t plan to offer a regular steering wheel as an option with or without stalks.
This is creating an aftermarket for yoke steering wheel replacements.
We previously reported on a Model S Plaid owner successfully performing his own replacement using a Model 3 steering wheel, but he didn’t have a plan to offer the product.
Now we see the first company offering a yoke replacement as a product.
Tsportline is a longtime Tesla tuner and accessory maker, and it is now offering Tesla yoke steering wheel replacements:
The company is working off of a regular yoke wheel and adding “the finest 3M metal structure and baltic birch plywood” to create the new shape.
Now, this obviously only “fixes” one of the major complaints about the steering wheel – its shape – and not the lack of stalk.
It still uses force touch buttons to replace the functions of the stalks, including the turn signals.
It has some other caveats, like the lack of airbags and the loss of a heated steering wheel if you choose the cold weather package.
Update: Tsportline says that it actually uses the airbag in the original steering wheel assembly.
Finally, there’s also the price. Starting at $2,299, it’s far from cheap.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.
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