The 2022 Tesla Model S is expected to be available with a choice of two steering wheels: the controversial aircraft-style design shown last week, and this conventional example shown above.
The images show a conventional, circular steering wheel, as opposed to the controversial rectangular aircraft-style 'yoke' design unveiled in the US last week.
The revised conventional steering wheel has a similar design to that of the smaller Model 3 and Model Y, though it benefits from the same stalk-less layout as the 'yoke', with controls for indicators, wipers and lights integrated into touch-based buttons on either side of the wheel's central hub.
In fact, the circular wheel's trio of spokes and central hub are shared directly with the unconventional aircraft-style design.
However, despite the presence of the steering wheel images on Tesla's servers, their purpose and relevance to the updated Model S remains unclear.
Many online have speculated the traditional wheel has been developed for markets where the rectangular shaped wheel may not be road-legal – including Australia, given our strict regulations.
This appears to be the most probable theory, given all images of the updated Model S's interior officially revealed officially so far have shown US-market models, with European- and Australian-market cars still yet to be showcased – leaving room for the inclusion of a traditional circular steering wheel design.
Alternatively, others have suggested the yoke shown during the Tesla investor call and on its website this week have merely been fitted as a 'concept' for show, with the production, road-legal car to use the more conventional circular unit – an unusual move, given first US deliveries are slated for March.
CarAdvice has reached out to Tesla Australia for comment on the images – this story will be updated with its response.
The images pictured throughout this story were uncovered by tweaking the 'option codes' listed in the URL of the interior images shown publicly on the configurator, changing one particular parameter from '$ST0Y' (which displays the yoke, as indicated by the letter Y) to '$ST03' (displaying the circular wheel, its three-spoke design corresponding to the number '3').
Since the initial discovery – and CarAdvice subsequently confirming the images' existence – all of the relevant screenshots have been taken down by Tesla.