Facelift Tesla Model S with round steering wheel spotted

The updated versions of the Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X caused quite a stir, especially because of their rather unorthodox interior. Whether the cars will be fitted with a ‘square’ steering wheel in all cases, is doubtful based on these photos.

The Tesla Model S and Tesla Model X get a front bumper with some Model 3 elements with their facelift, but that is certainly not the big news. The big news is the interior, which is completely overhauled. Apart from a sleeker design and a new, horizontally positioned screen, it is mainly the operating concept that stands out. For example, Tesla presented the cars with a steering wheel of which the top appears to have been cut off, while the bottom is more square than round.

Tesla Model S and Model X facelift

Tesla Model S.

Still round

That wheel has caused quite a stir since the first photos, but it seems that not every Model S and Model X will be equipped with the Knight Rider wheel. Reddit user cjh6793 spotted at a Tesla Service Center in Toledo, Ohio a renewed Model S with a round steering wheel, albeit a completely different copy than what Tesla now uses in its models. The steering wheel is tighter in shape than that of the Model 3 and Model Y, but does share the round controls with those models.

Tesla Model S steering wheel Reddit

According to the photographer, an employee of the relevant Service Center said that the cut-open handlebar is an option. However, that is not what the configurator shows so far. It does not necessarily have to apply to the whole world. For example, it was already clear that Tesla’s wacky steering wheel is legal in Europe, but for North America there is still a lot of talk about it.

No levers

The round steering wheel also seems to operate the direction indicators and windscreen wipers via touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel itself. The well-known operating levers are resolutely removed during the facelift of Tesla’s top models.

Tesla Model S steering wheel Reddit

Interesting is the row of labels on the center console of this white test specimen. They suggest that there is a row of buttons for selecting the direction of travel, even a function that has until now been operated with a lever on the steering column. The official reading is that a Model S or Model X can ‘guess’ from the facelift which side to choose, while the driver can influence that choice via the screen if desired. Now it seems, however, that at least part of the offer will have buttons available, which undoubtedly benefits the ease of use.

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