Tesla has quietly backflipped on its controversial yoke steering ‘wheel’ for the Model S and Model X, giving customers a more conventional option.
The round steering wheel retains the yoke steering wheel’s touch-sensitive buttons, which means there are no stalks for the indicators and column gear selector.
CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter in July 2021 there was no chance of a regular steering wheel option coming to the Model S and Model X. Obviously there has been a change since then.
This new steering wheel option for the Model S and Model X is reflected on the Australian Tesla website, but there hasn’t been an expected delivery date for either model since the beginning of 2022.
Orders are still open for the large sedan and SUV, but their list prices have been removed from the website too.
Instead of a price, prospective buyers get a message that says: “Pricing and options will be finalised as delivery approaches.”
“You will be notified to complete your order when final pricing and options are published. Until then, your order will be considered a pre-order that you may cancel with a full refund,” the Tesla Australia website says. It costs $350 to place a pre-order.
In August 2021, the Tesla Australia website said the Model S and Model X were meant to arrive Down Under in 2022. Recent reports suggest they’re now expected to arrive this year.
The Tesla Model S Long Range had a list price of $141,990 before on-road costs, and the Model S Plaid was priced at $186,990 before on-road costs when they hit the configurator in August 2021.
The Model X prices ranged from $161,990 before on-road costs for the Long Range to $174,990 before on-roads for the Performance.
It’s possible Tesla is unwilling to commit to firm a sticker for the Model S and Model X because it doesn’t want to continuously change the price as exchange rates, and parts and shipping costs, fluctuate in the lead-up to the car’s arrival Down Under.
Although it’s unusual for carmakers to remove pricing from a current production model, it’s not unheard of for people to pre-order a car before knowing how much it’s worth in Australia.
In some cases, people will pay a deposit for incoming vehicles that are expected to be in short supply, in others brands will accept pre-orders for electric vehicles that have been revealed years ahead of their expected production start.