When Tesla decided to swap out the round steering wheel on its refreshed flagship Model S sedan and Model X SUV, some people weren't thrilled, and they made that very clear. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a huge fan of the Yoke, and simply wasn't listening to the complaints. A lot has changed since then, but why a new and improved Yoke?
As the story goes, Elon Musk basically told people since he loved the Yoke and had no issue driving with it, they should deal with it. Tesla wasn't going to offer a round steering wheel as an option, so people had to either deal with it or get an aftermarket product.
Later on down the road, it appeared Tesla would offer a round steering wheel as an option. The company and CEO have made a reputation of listening to fans, customers, and investors over the years, but the whole Yoke situation arguably went on longer than it should have.
Tesla not only ended up offering a round steering wheel, but making it the default option, though it appears the default isn't always the same. At any rate, when configuring your Model S or Model X, you have to choose round or Yoke, and the price stays the same.
For people who already took delivery of a Tesla with the Yoke, the company is now offering a retrofit kit for $700 to swap to the round steering wheel.
Perhaps it saddened Musk to offer the round wheel, especially when he realized that many people were going with the round option over the Yoke. Now, it seems Tesla has plans to introduce a new Yoke with improved materials this July 2023. A Tesla Service Center advisor reportedly shared with Reddit user u/Global_Chaos:
“A new yoke with improved materials will be available to service in July 2023. We do not recommend replacing the Yoke until improved parts are available.”
As pointed out by Teslarati, the new and improved Yoke is expected to come to market right around the same time as the Tesla Cybertruck. It would make sense that Tesla designed a better Yoke for the electric truck, which can also be installed on other vehicles in its lineup.
Tesla showed a Cybertruck with a Yoke during its Investor Day event. In fact, Tesla's design chief Franz von Holzhausen said the Yoke offers a great driving experience combined with Autopilot, along with making the cockpit "simpler and cleaner."
However, the Yoke in the truck at the event wasn't the same as we've seen in the Model S and Model X. Instead, it's a bit more round, like a mix of a Yoke and a round steering wheel. Perhaps we've already seen the upcoming Yoke ...
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