The steering wheel is a very important element in a vehicle. However, at first, when the first vehicles were produced, the steering wheel did not have the shape and comfort with which we know it today.
Evolution of the Steering wheel
It has been the love of modern manufacturers to play with the shape of the wheel.
Ferrari improved and made LaFerrari’s “wheel” almost geometrically hexagonal.
Aston Martin Uno-77
Aston’s old supersport made use of a curved wheel with flat sides for fastening.
Audi R8 MkI
Crushing a steering wheel to give the driver more legroom was an idea that was born in the cauldron of racing. Audi used it as a fashion accessory on the 2007 R8, and now it’s in everything from Polos to S-Classes.
Citroën C4 Picasso
“Keeping the steering-wheel hub static (so the buttons stayed still) while the rim rotated was a genuinely fun idea… that totally failed to catch on.”
The Toronado had the first airbag integrated in the steering wheel.
The Enzo had gearbox lights, indicators, and mode buttons on the steering wheel, which at the time was seen as the futuristic steering wheel.
Mercedes E-Class (2016)
Today’s E-Class has touch-sensitive pads on the steering wheel to control its endless menus.
“A single radio held the hoop to the boss, giving an almost unlimited view of the dials and supposedly improving safety in a crash, at a time before the airbags.”
Thanks to technology, automotive steering wheels are no longer mere elements that transmit to the wheels the direction in which we want to go, many have even become authentic computers where their pilots control almost all the elements of the vehicle.