Tesla’s refreshed Model S should start reaching customers this month. We have yet to see any real photos of it besides the ones Tesla provides. Out of the many neat upgrades gained by the refresh that was announced last month, none is talked more about than the yoke steering wheel. Is it real? Is a regular steering wheel optional? It seems those questions have been answered. 

2021 Tesla Model S Plaid

A member of the Tesla Owners Club of Michigan Facebook group named Tom spotted the Tesla Model S refresh sitting in the parking lot of a Tesla service center in Toledo, OH and took some photos. He was able to snap a few pictures (uploaded on Reddit) of the new Tesla, including its interior. Well, what do you know! There’s a traditional round steering wheel. Of course there is, if the yoke steering wheel ever happens, it would take some time to be approved by the NHTSA—who plan to reach out to Tesla. But, it seems that the yoke steering wheel is fine in most of Europe

Spy shot of refreshed Tesla Model S exterior front three quarter

If you go to the Tesla Model S or Model X order page right now, there is no sign of a round steering wheel in any of the interior pictures. Although, at one time it did have a picture of a round steering wheel hidden from view. Tom managed to ask a service member there if the yoke steering wheel is optional, and he got confirmation that it is, or will be, once approved.  

Refreshed Tesla Model S center console close up

And there’s something else the interior shot of the Model S revealed. If you zoom in on the center console, there are labels for the drive buttons (PRND). There aren’t any stalks on the refreshed Model S/X, and Autopilot is supposed to know what direction you need to go based on sensors and your location. Well, either that’s not the case or these buttons are the manual override. What about activating the blinkers? Well, it’s pretty obvious from all the finger print smudges to the left of the left steering wheel scroll ball. 


If you’re wondering about what that upside down cup is hiding, it’s likely the red emergency shut off button of this preproduction tester. 

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