3D printing has been changing the way automakers develop new components for a long time, but Porsche’s latest innovation will allow its 911 and 718 customers to benefit from truly customized sport seats for the first time ever.
Like with most things Porsche, the new “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” will be honed on the racetrack. Starting in May 2020, Porsche Tequipment will make 40 six-point safety belt-equipped bodyform driver’s seat prototypes available to 911 and 718 customers for use only on tracks in Europe, and after receiving feedback to be incorporated into the seat’s development, will make them available to road car customers “in three different firmness levels [soft, medium, hard] and colours” via Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur from mid-2021.
Custom-fitted driver’s seats are nothing new in motor sports, but the new technology would allow the same level of personalization in Porsche road cars if enough customers expressed interest. Along with a seat designed around an “individual customer’s specific body contour,” Porsche says the new 3D seats would offer “an extended range of colours” to provide an interior capable of matching its new cars’ available “Special” colour palette, not to mention its customers’ varied “Custom Colour” requests.
Over and above the ergonomic fit for improved comfort, the new 3D-printed “bodyform” seat also allows for a completely unique look, plus less weight and even “passive climate control,” the latter thanks to its sandwich construction.
The base support, which is made from expanded polypropylene (EPP), is bonded to a “breathable comfort layer consisting of a mixture of polyurethane-based materials.” The outer skin, made from “Racetex,” incorporates a perforation pattern for climate control, while “window panels” expose the coloured components in the 3D-printed “lattice structure,” giving the seat a wholly unique appearance.
“The seat is the interface between the human and the vehicle, and is thus important for precise, sporty handling. That’s why personalized seat shells customized for the driver have been standard in race cars for a long time now,” said Michael Steiner, Member of the Executive Board for Research and Development at Porsche. “With the ‘3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat’, we’re once again giving series-production customers the opportunity to experience technology carried over from motor sports.”
To learn more about new Porsche 911 and 718 models that are capable of using the upcoming “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat,” make sure to contact Porsche Centre Vancouver at (604) 736-7911.
Story credits: Trevor Hofmann
Photo credits: Porsche
Date Posted: April 7, 2020