The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is nothing short of impressive – but you must know this by now. If you don’t, welcome to the party. Since its release, focus has mostly been on the Stingray as a whole, but we are now able to take a closer look and start to really appreciate the details. For instance, let’s say the spot you park your butt behind the wheel of the beautiful C7. We’re talking about the seats, which come in a Standard GT version as well as a Competition Sport seat.
“Better seats topped our list for interior improvements, and we knew offering just one style would not cut it,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “Some Corvette drivers use the car for commutes, others as a grand tourer, and some drive it competitively. With two supportive seat options to choose from, drivers can pick the style that best suits their driving habits.”
Gone are the days of seats that simply existed as metal and foam bolted into the floorboards of cars. No, that wouldn’t do for the new Corvette. It’s 2013, remember? These seats were created using a process similar to something out of a sci-fi movie. Basically, they utilized digital pressure-mapping, which is a type of technology used to scan people’s backsides when seated. They even brought this technology to the test track to more accurately measure pressure points during high-velocity driving. The result is Corvette’s new Competition Sport seat, which will be available as an option in December. The last time Chevrolet offered different seating for the Corvette was in the days of the fourth-generation (C4) from 1984 to 1996.
So basically the way it works is that a digital snapshot of a person’s back and rear-end pressure distribution over the seat surface was taken from which a map is created, complete with more than 4,600 data points per second. A computer used the information to generate graphics illustrating how occupants were supported by the seat. The new Stingray is the first Chevy to use this process which judged performance and comfort using various test drivers: everyone from large males to petite females.
The new seats are based on an all-new lightweight cast magnesium frame for greater strength. When you sit in one, you’ll notice that the frame’s rigidity and the seat’s hard back panel work in conjunction to bring the driver noticeable support during spirited driving. This is the result of the development team’s experimentation with hand-modeled extreme bolsters, made out of duct tape and foam.
Said back bolsters are 35mm deeper than those one might find in the 997 generation Porsche Carrera S, and are approximately 35 percent deeper for more lateral support especially beneficial in hairpin turns. Thanks to the relocation of a re-engineered side airbag, the seat could be made slimmer, stiffer, and more supportive. Dual-heating and cooling ventilation exists within the seats to provide even more creature comfort.
“While most Corvette drivers will find the GT seat perfectly comfortable and supportive, those who go to a track will appreciate the extra support offered by the Sport seat,” said Ryan Vaughan, design manager, performance car interiors. “They’re both a testament to the enormous amount of work that went into them. These are the best seats Corvette has ever had.”