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Tesla has re-invented the steering wheel, MKBHD’s Model S Plaid first impressions review

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Tech YouTuber and influencer Marques Brownlee (aka MKBHD) finally bought a Tesla Model S Plaid after being reluctant for some time. His 0-60 mph Plaid test drive at the Model S delivery event must have had an influence on his buying decision.

The first thing MKBHD did after getting his Model S Plaid was to take it for a 300-mile road trip to Boston, MA for a game event. Since the event got canceled, he drove back his Model S another 300 miles. So, he was able to give a first impressions review of a brand new Plaid Model S (video below).

Aside from this 600-mile trip, Marques has done a good amount of city driving, highway driving, and also added miles using the Autopilot.

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Exterior

Side profile view of the Tesla Model S Plaid in black color. Credits: Marques Brownlee / YouTube.

Since MKBHD is a big fan of the matte black color, he has bought a black Model S Plaid. He had wrapped his previous Model S Performance in matte black as well. It is unclear at this point if he’s going to wrap this one in matte black as well.

The first thing he has noticed is the extruded fender flares to accommodate the wider tires on the Plaid S. Tesla has used the 21″ Michelin Pilot Sport 4S size 285/30 ZR21 in the front and 295/30 ZR21 summer performance tires in the back on the Plaid Model S.

The wider fender flares also give the car a wider look compared to the pre-refresh Model S despite no significant design changes to the exterior.

The limited-edition Plaid visual badge on MKBHD’s Tesla Model S Plaid.
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The visual Plaid tunnel graphic badge installed on the back of MKBHD’s Model S (pic above) is a limited-edition 1 of 25 badges that Tesla installed on the Model S Plaid cars handed over to owners at the delivery event. Other production Model S Plaid cars just have the simple text badge saying PLAID.

However, some owners have bought the same visual badge available from aftermarket accessories providers.

Other changes on the exterior of the new Model S are chrome delete on window trims and door handles except for the front and rear Tesla logos. Tesla has updated the design of the front bumper as well with a bigger splitter and Model Y type fog lamps.

Interior

Although the interior of the new Tesla Model S refresh is discussed in many videos, Marques Brownlee thinks that there has been less and less talk about the fit and finish of the new Model S. And I think he is right, whenever there is a fault in Tesla’s build quality, the entire media and an army of Tesla critics on social media starts pointing it out.

This time, Tesla has done an excellent job in terms of the fit and finish of the new production of Model S Long Range and Plaid.

Model S Plaid: Papers and thin objects can slide down this narrow space between the center console top and under the wireless charging dock. Credits: MKBHD / YouTube.

One important thing that MKBHD points out in the new Model S interior is that you should refrain from putting your papers, visiting cards, or even credit cards on top of the center console lid (see pic above). Thin objects just slide back between the center console and the wireless charging dock, Marques almost lost his Model S Plaid temporary registration paper there.

Out of the 3 screens in the new Model S, Marques found out that the rear screen is not all that useful. It’s good for using the AC controls on the back but not that practical for infotainment and playing video games.

Yoke steering

Tesla Model S Plaid white interior. Credits: MKBHD / YouTube.
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Marques Brownlee with his 800+ miles of driving on the highway, suburbs, parking lots, and Supercharger spots, thinks that there’s a huge amount of re-learning that needs to be done while using Tesla’s Yoke steering wheel. This is not just because of the Yoke steering wheel’s half circle and a wider rectangular design, he thinks, it’s the button controls on the steering wheel that replace the stalks.

In getting used to this new steering wheel design, drivers might accidentally brush the touch buttons and turn on blinkers, windshield wipers, or trigger the horn. Also, the position of the horn button should be the large center area of the steering wheel to reach it in case of an emergency but a small button like this is not much practical, Marques thinks.

“Good review & fair critique. In general with interfaces, all input is error. With each software update, the car’s intuition will get better. You will need to press buttons less & less & it will know when to ignore accidental button presses,” Musk tweeted about Marques Brownlee’s review video.

According to Marques, Tesla needs to re-think this design and improve upon it or offer a regular steering wheel for the ones who want it. But Tesla CEO Elon Musk has categorically denied any chance of a regular steering wheel for Model S/X.

Marques thinks Tesla has re-invented the wheel here, actually, the steering wheel.

“The yoke enables an unobstructed view of the screen,” Musk responded to Marques’s review of the Yoke steering in a tweet.

Stay tuned for more on Plaid, follow us on: Google News | Flipboard | RSS (Feedly).

By Iqtidar Ali

Iqtidar has been writing about Tesla, Elon Musk, and EVs for more than 3 years on XAutoWorld.com, many of his articles have been republished on CleanTechnica and InsideEVs, maintains a healthy relationship with the Tesla community across the Social Media sphere. You can reach him on Twitter @IqtidarAlii