I want that X steering wheel!

I want that X steering wheel!

TikiMan | 16 februari 2012

I agree! Programable touch-pad buttons on the steering wheel would be very pratical on the S.

I for one, would prefer to have more easy access to various car functions, without taking my hands off the wheel. It would be nice to have a button on the wheel to access a Siri-type function, for all aspects of the car (nav, lights, phone, e-mail, text, news, traffic, radio, music, a/c, heat, sun-roof, etc), without ever having to fumble for your iPhone or take your hands off the wheel to push the 17" center touch-screen.

Jason S | 16 februari 2012

Everything else on the X looks like S tech, so I'd expect we'd get the same stuff. Even the mini-van console is same. =P

Kallisman | 16 februari 2012

Wouldn't surprise me if that will be the steering wheel in Model S too. Or something similar. The steering wheel in the beta was from MB.

Volker.Berlin | 17 februari 2012

I was already wondering when that topic would pop up... ;-) I noticed the steering wheel, too, and I think I like it (as far as can be told without touching it in person) -- with the exception of the touch pad controls.

At this point, I sincerely hope that they do not make it into production, at least not for my Model S vehicle. As much as I think Tesla can pull off a touch pad replacing physical controls on the center dash board, I can't see how replacing physical steering wheel controls with flat, non-tactile touch buttons would be practical.

There has been a lengthy discussion on this kind of issues and I don't want to repeat all the arguments:

Volker.Berlin | 17 februari 2012

For those who have not yet noticed the Model X steering wheel, you don't have to go through the video. It is also on display on the official Model X page:

Timo | 17 februari 2012

V.B, I agree fully. Steering wheel controls at least should be something you don't need to look at. Using those should go to instinct action based on touch and muscle memory. No thinking needed, nor looking away from the street ahead. It is safer and I bet more natural that way.

ManuVince | 17 februari 2012

+ 1 Timo and V.B.
I think a similar system that Audi has would good (click and roll buttons on each side of the steering wheel), you can do many things without having to look. Really not convinced by these touch buttons, looks fancy but don't want it on my S.

Volker.Berlin | 17 februari 2012

+1 ManuVince. I mentioned it in several other threads already, but yes, I think the Audi-style clickable thumb-rollers are definitely worth a closer look! I think the physical form factor is great, while the software part could still be improved (the response on the screen is not always accurately in sync with what you feel on the control). But software is a department where Tesla shines, so IMO that's the way to go.

olanmills | 17 februari 2012

I don't like thumb rollers. I prefer discreet buttons. I agree with the problems of touchscreens, but they could also be buttons, or they could add bumps and ridges in the glass or plastic.

I want the screen-buttons because they open up many possibilities, and plus, come on, they look really cool.

The reason I didn't just link to the Tesla image is because it's just a render and if you haven't seen the video before, it's not clear that those buttons are actually screens.

btw, this video shows the buttons at night, right at the very beginning:

mwu | 17 februari 2012

A little off topic, but it's interesting that he seems to indicate that the two motors are geared differently.

BYT | 17 februari 2012

I just today got a ticket for "holding" my iPhone while driving. I wasn't on a call, it wasn't anywhere near my ear but as I wasn't using it, "hands-free" (because I did a quick command to Siri) while 100% stopped at a red light that takes over a minute to change, I was handed a $150 ticket. He said, on the bright side, it isn't a moving violation. :(

olanmills | 17 februari 2012

Where was this?

TikiMan | 17 februari 2012


Sorry you got a ticket. This is exactly why the iPhone needs to be integrate into the Model S, via a programable steering wheel button. Or better yet, a Siri-like system built-into the software on the S.

Brian H | 17 februari 2012

>:( All voice and text communication from cars should be banned or blocked! ½-brained drivers are a menace.


flar | 18 februari 2012

@Brian - what about passengers? A driver whose passenger is texting or calling ahead to let the worried hosts know why they are late is going to drive better than the one trying to hurry because they can't send any word along. How do you block communication from the phone the driver is holding, but not the others?

And should we also ban having a conversation with the driver while you are a passenger?

David70 | 18 februari 2012

"And should we also ban having a conversation with the driver while you are a passenger?"

Yes, but it'll never happen.

brianman | 18 februari 2012

"In other news, David70's wife has confiscated his keys for his comments on the Tesla forums."

DrJ | 7 maart 2012

I just noticed something going through someone's Mobile Me Model S gallery. The steering wheel is different as it progresses. The thumb/wheel control differ in each one - not big deal IMO as we've seen that. What is interesting is that the wheel in 2 of the cars has the flattened bottom, just like the Model X. I haven't sen that in any photos until now. Could this be an indicator that wheel get the Model X wheel on our Model S?

DrJ | 7 maart 2012

Wow, sorry, need to proofread my submissions before I hit send. A apologize about the misspellings in previous post.....

DrJ | 7 maart 2012

Argh, did it again....

BYT | 7 maart 2012

Thanks Tiki and yes, I would love to see that!

gagliardilou | 7 maart 2012

I feel like the next gen model s will have many things we will probably want. Some items may be downloadable as far as software but hardware items will be tougher if not at least expensive to change out.

Is it worth waiting? Not in my opinion.

Brian H | 7 maart 2012

Speaking of GenIII, here's a new entrant into the city hybrid category, with some nice features:
Tata Mexapixel
4 in-wheel motors; all wheels "steer", so 9.3' turning circle; sliding doors; inductive charging. Just 53 mi battery range, tho'.

Think they stole some shape/aero hints from the Merc Bio-Car "boxfish" design from 2005 I linked elsewhere.

Brian H | 7 maart 2012

Oh, and all 4 seats are "cantilevered" off the central (battery) tunnel, so the floor is open under them.

Brian H | 7 maart 2012

Merc Bionic Car article from '05:

Timo | 7 maart 2012

Oh, and all 4 seats are "cantilevered" off the central (battery) tunnel, so the floor is open under them.

That can be dangerous. Someone in back seat drops a bottle or similar to the floor, bottle rolls under the pedals in front, not able to brake.

Cool, but not practical.

Brian H | 8 maart 2012

a corollary of the adage, "If you drink, don't drive; you might spill some!"? Heh. Get the designers to work devising a Sub-Seat Bottle Barrier (SSBB), stat!

dborn | 8 maart 2012

Specs for s state a 3 spoke wheel which is what the x is. I guess that it is the one we will be getting in the s.

DrJ | 8 maart 2012

Personal preference, I hope we get the X wheel. I am tall and like the wheel sitting low, so that flattened bottom helps me from cranking my legs awkwardly getting in/out. Also, I think the icons on steering wheel will be better for un-distracted driving - I wont be looking at the big screen to see if I'm scrolling correctly through menus

Volker.Berlin | 12 maart 2012

I was at the Geneva Motor Show last weekend (a detailed report will follow asap) and one thing Stephen Davies (Tesla Motors EU Inside Sales) was very confident about was that the configuration of steering wheel controls will be as in the Beta model they had on display -- i.e., tactile, physical controls: An Audi-style thumb wheel/roller on each side, plus a button above and below each roller.

The actual design will change, and the steering wheel may end up flattened or not, but the configuration of steering wheel controls seems to be already decided.

The same is apparently true for the arrangement of stalks, i.e., stalks will follow the "Mercedes stalk layout" including the small one dedicated for cruise control. Again, the design will change a little for the production version, but the configuration seems to be decided. This isn't to say that the R-N-D switch will definitely be integrated in the stalks, but from my overall impression of the interior (which was positive) I don't have any idea where else that switch could go (I wouldn't want to have it on the touch screen for sure).

Peter Spirgel | 12 maart 2012

Thanks Volker! Looking forward to your full report - much appreciated.

Timo | 12 maart 2012

@Volker.Berlin tactile, physical controls

Sounds good. As cool as touchpads would be, I want to feel the controls. That way I never need to look at them and after just short period of driving using them becomes muscle memory and you don't need to think using them. (a bit like walking: you don't need to look at your legs to walk).

Teoatawki | 12 maart 2012

I love having tactile controls on the steering wheel. I never have to look away from the road to tweak the volume or cruise control functions.

However, I'd be disappointed if the R-N-D selector stayed on the stalk. It just seems like a missed opportunity to do something cool for the shift selector. It doesn't need to be attached to the wheel, because once you're backed out of your drive or parking slot and are on your way, you don't use it again until you're done. That's not a vote for moving it to the touch screen, though.

Robert.Boston | 13 maart 2012

Very happy about this news re thumb-wheels and a few buttons. The thumb-wheels on my Audi are far simpler to use than the separate up/down buttons on my BMW. The addition of a couple of buttons on either side provides good flexibility.