The thick steering wheel pattern has gotten out of hand



I hope we’ve reached the height of the ultra-thick steering wheel fad. I’ve come to anticipate it when hopping into a brand new BMW M automobile, Mercedes-AMG mannequin or Dodge efficiency product (to call however a couple of), and I’ve additionally come to deeply dislike it.

At this level, an extra-thick steering wheel rim is synonymous with a sports activities automobile/supercar or sporty model of a automobile. The pattern absolutely began with good intentions. One desires a chunky wheel that’s straightforward to grip and feels good in your palms on observe or when driving on the street, and the skinny, picket rims of the Seventies simply don’t do the job. It helps differentiate an ordinary mannequin to a excessive efficiency one, and a little bit little bit of heft to a steering wheel rim isn’t essentially a foul factor. When it does turn out to be dangerous, although, is once you grip it, and the rim is so massive that it’s uncomfortable and a web unfavorable on the driving expertise.

To not decide on BMW particularly — many OEMs have a equally thick steering wheel design — however its M Sport steering wheels are just so massive as to be annoying and detrimental to the driving expertise. My palms (very average-size palms for a person) are merely no match for the dimensions of the wheel rim. Strive gripping the wheel on the 9 and three place, and my fingers barely make it across the rim to a traditional hand place. Slide as much as the ten and a couple of spots, and the rim measurement expands even additional. It’s awkward at greatest, and as an alternative of feeling like a exact instrument, it feels extra like I’m wheeling a few blunt software. That’s the alternative of what I would like in a sports activities automobile.

So, who does it proper? Porsche’s steering wheels in all its automobiles are nonetheless shockingly skinny and formed to accommodate a traditional human’s hand. Mazda too retains its steering wheel measurement in verify, because the Miata’s wheel remains to be a delightfully small and thin-rimmed software. I might say the identical for any of Mazda’s fashions, although. 

I’d argue that these thinner wheel rims truly enhance upon the driving expertise, as they assist intensify a automobile’s nimbleness and provides me a larger sense of management. I’ve discovered that my fingers/palms turn out to be much less fatigued over lengthy intervals of intense exercise (like on a racetrack) after I’m piloting a automobile with a thinner rim, as my fingers are capable of extra simply and flippantly grip the wheel to retain snug management of the automobile. An enormous, chunky rim additionally places me within the pickup truck mindset, which is the alternative of what I need to really feel in one thing like a BMW M5.

There’s no must dial steering wheels again to the Nineteen Sixties, however the pattern of ever-thicker wheel rims is unquestionably due for some backtracking. Even when the adjustments are marginal, that will be an enchancment for the business. And apologies to these with huge palms who may very well like big steering wheel rims — simply know that there are many of us with smaller palms who’re maybe extra pissed off than you’re joyful.

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