We all knew this was coming. Having dominated much of the discussion surrounding Tesla’s 2021 update of the Model S and Model Y, the controversial yoke-style steering wheel has been ‘fixed’ by the aftermarket.
This particular solution (the first of many, no doubt) comes from T Sportline, which bills itself as the ‘world’s first Tesla tuner’. It seems quite an involved process, which involves taking a stock Model S/X Yoke and adding a new top section made from “the finest 3M metal structure and baltic birch plywood for extensive layers, density and strength,” T Sportline says.
renders vs photo real. much thicker and proportioned in person. pic.twitter.com/3OY1VOsWVB
— T Sportline (@TSportline) December 31, 2021
The CNC-machined wheel is upholstered in European leather by hand, and bonded with a polyurethane adhesive “to prevent moisture, cracking and deformation as well as long term high heat resistance”. Doesn’t sound cheap, does it? Sure enough, it isn’t – you’re looking at $2299 for the least expensive version.
If you want to customise the upholstery, the price increases to $2499, and if you want a carbon fibre wheel, it’s $3499. Buyers are also expected to send their original unmodified yokes into T Sportline to have a $500 “core exchange fee” refunded after they’ve transferred over the airbag.
T Sportline first announced it was developing the new roundified yoke in September 2021. Around the same time, Consumer Reports published an in-depth piece about the yoke based on the experiences of 10 experience road testers, concluding the part offered few benefits but several potential safety issues. Plenty of other publications were less than complimentary about the yoke, and even some videos from Tesla fans extolling the yoke’s virtues couldn’t hide how awkward it looks to use at times.
We’re yet to try it here at CT, as the refreshed Model X and Model S is still some way off reaching the UK, and it still isn’t clear if the yoke will be fitting to versions sold here. The last time we asked Tesla’s UK press department, we never received an answer.