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Pobst Requests Normal Wheel Instead of Yoke After 3 Laps in the Model S Plaid

If Tesla's main reasoning behind its decision to put a yoke instead of a steering wheel on the new Model S Plaid was to get the media talking (and we suspect it was because why else would you fix something that isn't broken with something that is?), then mission accomplished.
Jonny Lieberman holding the Tesla Model S yoke after Randy Pobst requested to have it removed 29 photos
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We've already seen new owners struggling with getting to grips with the damn thing, whereas watching someone trying it for the first time (see the video below) can be downright cringy. They just don't know what to do with their hands, and we can't blame them.

Everybody assumed Tesla's yoke would also come with a tighter steering ratio, reducing the yoke's travel from the current ~540 degrees each way to something like 360 degrees in total. That would mean you'd only have to take your hands off the yoke to scratch your nose, especially since the Plaid also has the turning indicators mounted on the steering device.

Everybody was wrong, and even though owners will eventually get used to using it, the question of whether this was really necessary will never go away. Well, perhaps those who spend $130k on the car will have no other option than to learn to live with it but racing driver Randy Pobst who only had to drive the Model S Plaid (an Unplugged Performance prototype with undisclosed mods) for a day or two at the Laguna Seca, wasn't going to subject himself to the ordeal.

Instead of quietly enduring the learning process, he reportedly demanded that the yoke would be exchanged with an actual wheel after only three laps. Why? They don't specify, but you can probably guess yourself. It might be because not everything Tesla and Elon Musk come up with is necessarily better than how the rest of the industry does things. And because you don't need to reinvent the wheel, quite literally, just for the sake of it.

However, the most important thing to take away from this is that if the yoke doesn't work on the track, where you rarely need to turn the wheel more than 180 degrees each way, it'll be an even bigger pain to use it on the street. A three-point turn will become a nightmare, not to mention trying to signal your way out of a roundabout when the yoke is upside-down. Tesla apologists might have a hard time defending this choice, though we're pretty sure they'll come up with something eventually, and it will probably involve Autopilot.



 
 
 
 
 

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