Inside Story on Seats: New Designs, New Tech
C8 Seats: The new Corvette offers three seat options. There is the GT1, which features Mulan leather trim, optional two-way lumbar support and wing adjustment. It is described as being engineered for comfort and good support in performance driving situations. The GT2 is a new trim level, with a “race-inspired look,” which means things like carbon fiber trim, a Napa leather insert, Mulan leather bolsters, and a jet black-painted seatback. There is two-way lumbar support and wing adjustment. To provide comfort, there is heating and ventilation. And Competition Sport, designed for the track-focused driver. There are full Napa seating surfaces and carbon fiber trim on the headrest, heating and ventilation, and a new durable performance textile “inspired by Kevlar vests.” The bolsters on these seats are described as being “aggressive.” An additional touch: seat belts are available in six colors: black, blue, natural, torch red, yellow and orange. (Image: Chevrolet)
Suburban Space: A key aspect of the new architecture that the 2021 Suburban rides on is more space for occupants and cargo. And to the point of the occupants, for the second-row passengers, who now have 42 inches of legroom, which is up 2.3 inches from the previous generation Suburban, there is the ability to slide the seat fore or aft by 5.5 inches, which is the first time the Suburban has had this feature. (Image: Chevrolet)
Pacifica Pinnacle: “Pinnacle” is the name of the trim level that FCA engineers have developed for the 2021 Pacifica minivan, and the height of the execution is found on the interior of the vehicle. There are Caramel Nappa leather seats for all three rows that feature quilted side bolsters and perforated seat inserts and seat backs. The seats are accented by “Light Tungsten” piping and stitching. The second row captain’s chairs feature lumbar support pillows featuring an embossed Chrysler logo on one side and a suede backing on the other. (Image: FCA)
GT-R Support: The front seats developed by Recaro for the GT-R NISMO are, unfortunately, not available in the U.S. and Canada. That said, they have an interesting structure, that consists of three layers: carbon fiber sandwiches a manner inner section that improves upper body support. The core frame structure added to the carbon shell increases the torsional rigidity of the seats by about 20%, with the benefit being that there is better occupant support during hard cornering and braking. The seats for the Pure and Premium models, which are available in the U.S. and Canada, have reconfigured support wires in the seatback frame, which improves seating comfort while reducing mass. The leather used for the seats is stitched by a master craftsman. (Image: Nissan)
Lexus Conceptual Seats: The LF-30 Electrified Concept that Lexus revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show features a front passenger seat modeled after the first-class seat on an airliner. However, the rear seats are even more interesting, as “artificial muscle technology” is used in order to mold to the occupant. The headrests throughout the cabin feature speakers and noise-cancellation technology so each person is able to listen to their own Mark Levinson audio. (Image: Lexus)
Polestar Enviro: The Polestar brand has a high level of environmental consciousness. According to Thomas Ingenlath, Polestar CEO, “It’s clear that to be truly sustainable we have to evaluate every element that goes into our cars.” And that includes the seats. The company has developed a 3D-knit material used in the fashion and footwear industries that is based on 100% recycled yarn derived from PET bottles. A single threat is used to create a 3D component. The materials are specifically tailored to the precise dimensions of the seat so that there is no material waste. (Image: Polestar)
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