There are a great many manufacturers that have tried their hand at revolutionizing the steering wheel. From uniquely styled spokes, the very latest touch-sensitive buttons, wheel designs with shift lights, and flat-bottomed varieties. Some have succeeded in creating truly innovative designs, while others have created some rather bizarre shapes that look rather uncomfortable to operate. We’ve all seen our fair share of varying wheel designs, but let's delve into the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The Good: Pagani Zonda R
Now this is a proper bit of kit. How often do you see a rev counter right in the middle of the wheel? Aside from massively tuned JDM or German sports coupes with digital readouts, the steering wheel in the Zonda R is deliciously analogue.
Decked out with all manner of carbon fibre and Alcantara goodness, colourful buttons and massive carbon fibre paddle shifters, we’re getting itchy fingers just looking at it.
The Bad: Tesla Model S
This is it, the latest iteration of the reigning EV sedan. Now complete with a completely reworked interior that features a wider, larger infotainment screen, and a brand-new steering wheel option, styled after an airplane yoke.
To be fair, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the new Model S' wheel design looks bad. It actually looks rather cool, a blend of futuristic design with motorsport influences. But by definition, a steering wheel should be a round or circular object. This isn’t it. Plus, you’d probably struggle to make a three-point turn in a narrow bit of road with this peculiar design.
The Ugly: Citroen C4 Picasso
Multi-function steering wheels are the norm in this day and age. While Citroen has done rather well in recent years, the wheel in the C4 Picasso just looks uninspired. Dated. And downright dreary. Squint, and you’d be forgiven if you thought the middle section of this wheel was styled to look like a fossilised beetle from the Jurassic ages. The buttons for the infotainment are oversized, and the spokes themselves are too strangely proportioned. But there's no denying its functionality because it works, and I doubt most drivers of the C4 would have nary a complaint.