We call it a steering wheel for a reason — it is best appreciated as a circle. It is round. It steers, and you grip it on various points of the wheel to make a turn. It is not a steering T, or a steering bar, or a steering half-circle. Stop cutting steering wheels, your Subaru WRX isn’t a ‘90s Formula One car. Not to mention, this kind of modding is simply dangerous.
With the Tesla Plaid making the rounds, it seems like people are getting interested in the idea of a non-standard steering situation despite the fact that the car’s “yoke” has been universally panned by every credible professional who’s come in contact with it.
Idiotic steering devices that replace stocl wheels with some bizarre shape, or DIY folks cutting their wheels to look more like spaceship yokes, have really cropped up in the last few years. I can’t go more than a few hours of browsing on Instagram before seeing some generic JDM Speed brand to pop up and offer me a cut steering wheel for my GTI, at some absurd price. Some of these brands charge you upwards of $600 for the privilege of ruining your car.
Even worse, I can’t fathom why you would want to do such a thing to your car. The strongest argument I’ve seen cited is “I can’t see my gauges.” So… move the wheel? Or, move your seat. Here’s an idea: focus on the road. I even once stumbled across a gentleman who had an otherwise perfectly nice Honda Element, that cut the top of his steering wheel off, citing visibility.
Seeing your gauges is one thing, but I strongly suspect that this is simple aesthetics. It’s a few kids huffing too much fake water vapor, and figuring out the most tasteless modifications possible. The most base-level understanding of motorsport or racing results in wanting to cut a steering wheel. It completely ignores the fact that most cars have a steering rack and wheel hubs that require several full turns of the wheel to do simple stuff, like using your Cobb 2-step in the drive-thru.
Envision it with me: You install your gleaming monstrosity of a carbon fiber half-cut steering wheel into your car. Hop in, put it in first, left hand down (to steer left) out of your driveway, your right hand reaches for the bottom of the wheel and — boom, you smack your hand impotently on the horn pad and feel like an idiot. It kills all practicality. All for what? Racing-inspired design?
You want racing-inspired design? Buy a Momo Prototipo. Don’t do this garbage or buy anything like this. The first time you’re out on the road with a cut steering wheel and you need to make an emergency maneuver, you’re gonna reach for material that doesn’t exist, lose control, and crash. Worse, you’re posing a danger to your fellow motorists and pedestrians.
Cut these mods out. They’re dumb, and dangerous. They also look stupid. Keep your factory steering wheel. It’s strong and safe. Most importantly, it’s usually mostly round.