When Tesla first showed the world the second-generation Roadster prototype in 2017 many people didn’t believe the butterfly steering wheel would make it to production.
After all, this type of steering wheel is not street legal in most markets as it’s more common on track-exclusive supercars and racers than on production models. However, a Tesla engineer said at the launch that the company aimed to release the butterfly steering wheel in the production car.
As it turns out, Tesla was pretty serious about that because it did not replace the racing-style steering wheel on its latest Roadster prototypes. Tesla would have probably fitted a conventional steering wheel by now if it wasn’t serious about the butterfly wheel. Participants at Tesla’s Annual Shareholder Meeting yesterday were able to see a Tesla Roadster prototype rocking the same steering wheel as in 2017.
In the footage posted by Electrek, a Tesla employee is seen maneuvering a red Roadster around in a parking lot, allowing us to see the special steering wheel in action. There’s very little grip space on it and even the Tesla guy is heard on camera saying that it takes “some getting used to.”
While it certainly looks cool and futuristic, chances are it won’t be to everyone’s liking. We can definitely see some safety concerns being raised as well. It remains to be seen whether or not the production version of the Tesla Roadster will feature a butterfly steering wheel and we could be waiting longer than expected to find out if that is the case.
The second-generation Tesla Roadster was originally expected to reach the market in 2020 but Elon Musk recently said the Model Y launch is more important than the Roadster’s, hinting at a delay for the electric hypercar. Furthermore, the executive didn’t even include the Roadster in Tesla’s product roadmap shown at the shareholders’ meeting yesterday.