In a recent update observed on Tesla’s online configurator for the Model S sedan and Model X SUV, a change has emerged that directly impacts enthusiasts of the brand’s unique steering yoke. Specifically, in order to acquire the aforementioned steering wheel, Tesla owners will now be required to allocate additional funds.
The cost increase for the steering yoke option varies depending on the region. In the United States, customers will experience a $1,000 price increase, while European buyers will encounter an additional €1,000 expense, and Chinese customers will face an RMB 8,000 charge. To provide context, this represents a significant four-fold increase compared to the previous $250 “upgrade” price.
Starting in 2021, the latest-generation Model S and Model X vehicles were exclusively equipped with a steering yoke. However, earlier this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk addressed criticism by reintroducing conventional round steering wheels for these flagship models.
For those who purchased their new Teslas during the period when the steering yoke was mandatory, a dealer-offered retrofit to a round wheel became available in January 2023, priced at $700, and it quickly sold out. The current steering yoke has generated mixed opinions among Tesla enthusiasts.
Opinions on Tesla’s unique steering yoke vary, but its impact on racing drivers is evident. At the 2021 Pikes Peak Hill Climb, a Model S Plaid with conventional round wheels excelled in its category, while another with the unconventional steering yoke set a record lap time at Germany’s Nurburgring track for production all-electric vehicles.