Tesla releases video of new Model S Plaid winter testing, shows round steering wheel


Tesla has released a short video of a new Model S Plaid winter testing, and it is equipped with a normal round steering wheel.

Last month, Tesla officially unveiled the new Model S and Model X refresh.

The unveiling of the new vehicle was somewhat strangely on the sidelines of the release of its Q4 and full-year 2020 earnings.

Tesla didn’t do an official release of the updated vehicles.

CEO Elon Musk said that Tesla will hold a separate call for the new Model S and Model X in the following week, but it never happened.

Aside from updating its website, Tesla is now showing the new Model S for the first time in a short video of the vehicle going through winter testing:

The short video doesn’t show much of the updated Model S other than the new tri-motor performance electric sedan accelerating very quickly on snow from a standstill.

But it does show what appears to be a standard round steering wheel:

The update to the Model S and Model X includes a new powertrain and a brand-new interior, but one of the biggest changes is the new “yoke” steering wheel.

We did a deep dive on the steering wheel based on information that we obtained in a document Tesla shared with its staff.

At first glance, the biggest change is the butterfly shape of the steering wheel, but there are actually a lot of other changes, like the lack of stalk for drive modes and blinkers.

Tesla is replacing the stalks with force touch buttons on the steering wheel and center console.

Furthermore, the automaker plans to automatically activate the right drive mode (PRND) using its Autopilot sensors to detect whether the car should be in drive, reverse, or park.

As for the shape, some internet sleuths found a picture of the new Model S refresh with a regular steering wheel in the source code of Tesla’s website:

It started a rumor that Tesla could offer the regular steering wheel as an option, but it doesn’t appear on the Model S/X configurator.

A new Tesla Model S prototype was spotted earlier this week in Ohio, and it had a round steering wheel.

Now, Tesla has released a video of a new Model S also with a round steering wheel – leading us to believe that it’s likely to at least be an option.

What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

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