M3 Steering Wheel

M3 Steering Wheel

Interesting analysis of another M3 release candidate sighting:

In the photo on that article, the steering wheel doesn't look dramatically different than what we saw in the reveal last year. In April of last year, Elon tweeted: "Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship." Maybe he's referring to autopilot/HMI of the display. The article assumes that big dark circle shown on the display is a digital rendering of an analog speedometer.

Can't wait to see what's announced in July :-)

Ehninger1212 | 28 april 2017

Just saw these photos! And the photo of the white release candidate from behind. The interior looks excellent, I love the single plain of wood across the dash.

But can anyone look at those photos of the rear glass and still say they don't think something special is happening back there?! The weird circles, as well as the defrost lines being in such a weird pattern!

mos6507 | 28 april 2017

The vent still sucks.

Ehninger1212 | 28 april 2017


No that vent blows.

Lol sorry couldn't resist

melinda.v | 28 april 2017

Ehninger1212 "The weird circles, as well as the defrost lines being in such a weird pattern!"
the circles are marks from a suction cup mounted something. andI thought the defrost lines were interesting in a different than straight horizontal line kinda way ;) but I don't think most people even could tell you accurately what pattern their car's defrost lines make or notice other car's defrost lines.

Ehninger1212 | 28 april 2017


Yeah after I zoomed in I noticed the circles are not on both sides, and that the look like suctions cup marks from equipment or something. Maybe I tools for doing panels gaps?

Most patterns are pretty much just horizontal lines, tesla might have chosen the pettern they have to defrost the entire roof? I am just really hopeful for a solar roof, i mean come on guys it's free power.. all the time!!

topher | 28 april 2017

It's really expensive power, for only the time you are in full sun...

Thank you kindly.

DTsea | 28 april 2017

Ehninger1212 there have been many threads on solar roof. Short version is that car roof is too small for a useful or cost effective solar array.

Red Sage ca us | 28 april 2017

Still looks like the same dash design from the unveiling on March 31, 2016.

There was wood in the same part of the Matte Black car, it was just darker -- possibly seemed that way because it was night.

Nothing new here beyond what we already knew, and too many people complained about.

jordanrichard | 28 april 2017

Ehninger1212, they won't need defroster lines on the roof, pre-heating the car will take care of any ice on the roof. Defroster lines are also used to defog the rear window to be able to see out the back. Hence them being positioned where driver's line of sight would be looking through the rear view mirror.

topher | 28 april 2017

" they won't need defroster lines on the roof, pre-heating the car will take care of any ice on the roof. "

Ha! Maybe where you live...

Thank you kindly.

JuJo0 | 28 april 2017

Going back to the subject:

I could be wrong, but looking very closely on the steering wheel, next to his left hand there may be reflections of controls of some sort (not the light line of chrome that frames the center, but there are 2 little reflective dots above that next to the base of the driver's thumb).

Geozeke | 28 april 2017

^ Good eye! I think you're right.

MarlonBrown | 28 april 2017

Hello Jujo0, yes I can see controls there, but it really seems the same type of 'cruise' control or sound etc we found on average cars? thanks.

Sparky | 28 april 2017

I strongly suspect that the steering wheel in the final reveal will look a lot like this:

Red Sage ca us | 28 april 2017

Sparky: Hmmm... Interesting. The 2017 Bentley EXP 12 Speed 6e Geneva 2017 10.

Geozeke | 29 april 2017

That's a look. Wonder what those buttons at your thumbs do. Deploy countermeasures?


tstolz | 29 april 2017

That's been what I was thinking too. But maybe with a few more controls of course.

Ehninger1212 | 29 april 2017

@ topher and DTsea

I understand all of that, fully. But maybe if some people were willing to spend the extra $$ it could become more efficient and cost effective for everyone in a few years. Just sayin, I would spend the extra cash for the option off how crazy it seems.

mos6507 | 29 april 2017

"Wait until you see the real steering controls and system for the 3. It feels like a spaceship."

He lied.

Sandy’s 3 | 29 april 2017

Not if he meant the steering controls and system of the enhanced autopilot. Feels like a spaceship doesn't mean it has to look like one.

Sparky | 29 april 2017

Take a look at this original sketch of the model 3. About half way down the page you'll see the pencil drawing of the steering wheel and dashboard:

The Bentley EXP 12 steering wheel looks very similar.

Frank99 | 29 april 2017

I like that Bentley steering wheel; what a hoot that would be! Of course, those who drive with one hand on the top of the wheel would have to adjust a bit...

Sparky | 29 april 2017

Yeah, there are some race car steering wheel setups with an open top end. You'd really only have to adjust in a parking lot or parallel parking (which would be done for you anyway). But it would be a little "spaceship like", no?

Geozeke | 29 april 2017

Sparky: That's definitely a cool, futuristic look, and the sketch definitely shows that. I'm not sure how that would feel in practice, though. Unless hard left/right is only a 1/4 turn from centerline, making a complete revolution of the wheel with that split seems a bit awkward to me. A Formula-1 car might go centerline to edge in a 1/4 turn, but that seems a little "sporty" for a passenger sedan.

Sandy’s 3 | 29 april 2017

I agree. If the lock to lock is 2 1/2 to 3 full turns of the wheel having a gap in it would be akward. Airplane yolks that are open at the top have a range of about 180 degrees or 90 degrees left and right. No 'hand over hand' required.

Frank99 | 29 april 2017

Who "hand over hands" a car with power steering anyway? I put the palm of my hand on the wheel, and spin the wheel around. Open top wouldn't cause a problem.

One place it might is parking garages with corkscrew ramps - at the local airport, I drive the ramp with the wheel turned about 3/4 of a turn. At 9 and 3, that puts my hands on a non-existent part of the wheel. I'd have to hold at 12 and 6 for the 30 seconds it takes to go down 8 levels (yes, I park on the upper level because I like going around and around with tires complaining just a little bit on the way down).

jamilworm | 29 april 2017

I can't remember if I turn hand over hand for a u-turn or not, but I know that when coming out of a tight turn I keep my hand on the outer edge of the steering wheel and let the wheel slide through my hand until it straightens out. That would be impossible if the wheel is not continuous, so I think I would be annoyed by that open top steering wheel, even though it looks cool.

greg | 29 april 2017

I know the sketches of the 3 some of us got from Tesla showed an open top steering wheel.

But I don't think that has survived the safety police to be allowed to be put in a production vehicle.

Also, the airbag has to be in the middle of the wheel, which means the "centre" region of the wheel has to be quite large to hold it. So skinny airplane style yoke controls won't be allowed.

So, I really don't know now what "feels like a spaceship" comment from Musk means in the context of what we have seen so far of the 3 interior. [Or how that relates to the "you won't care" comment about not having a speedometer behind the steering wheel].

The only thing left I can think of is a retractable steering wheel [option?] - certainly all the SciFi movies and TV I recall watching years ago had spaceships with steering controls that retracted into the console/"dashboard" when not needed.

Can't see that happening here though given its not an option on the S or X either and will add more cost to do so.

Still, shortly prior to the reveal I expect there will be a refresh of the S and X, which will introduce some new tech to those models, and downstream they might make it over to the 3 as options subsequently [given that there is no new tech on the 3 not in the S or X models].

But when or if that might happen I have no idea.

Sparky | 29 april 2017

I don't think the open wheel would be a big problem because hand over hand only happens at about 10kph or less. And the airbag could be fitted in the centre hub. An alcantara wheel a bit thicker than an aircraft yoke would be very cool and similar to some F1 cars.

And I'm sure that Bentley has already figured this out.

Red Sage ca us | 10 mei 2017

I'm not certain, but since the car has electric steering, I wouldn't be surprised if the number of turns lock-to-lock can be adjusted via software settings. So, COMFORT, NORMAL, and SPORT settings might be different from one to the next. You never know, some might prefer the more nautical steering of ancient Cadillacs and Lincolns, while others would be perfectly at home with the instant response of a KART racer.

"Moves like a comet, steers like a cow." -- 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe'