Porsche presents concept study “3D print bodyform full bucket seat” Porsche presents concept study “3D print bodyform full bucket seat”

With the introduction of the SPACER (click here for the SPACER website), soft trim has taken up the cause of individual seat customisation in professional motorsport. A topic that is now also gaining relevance for sportive driving on the road.

“The seat is the interface between the driver and car and is correspondingly important for precise, dynamic handling. For this reason, individual seat shells designed for the respective driver have been common in racing cars for a long time,” explains Michael Steiner, Board Member for research and development at Porsche. 

Olaf Hofmann, technical director at soft trim, adds: “Our experience in motorsport has shown that the seat position can have a significant impact on performance. If the seat is too big, for example, you are carried to the outside when driving through a corner. This results in loss of concentration and makes the driver more susceptible to making mistakes.”

Increasing driver performance is also an effect Porsche is achieving with its concept car. The alternative to conventional seat shell upholstery is based on Porsche's lightweight full-shell seat and is created using a sandwich construction. The particularly light and resistant base carrier is made of expanded polypropylene (EPP), just like the SPACER. A printed, breathable comfort layer made of a polyurethane-based material mix is applied to this. This grid structure from the 3D printer defines the mechanical properties of the seat comfort in everyday use. A cover made of “Racetex” forms the outer skin of the study. This material has a particularly good grip and is also perforated to support air conditioning.

All the features of the easily replaceable seat centre panel transport the parameters developed in motorsport into a series seat to support the driver's performance. The design of the study is rounded off by generous, partially removable viewing windows that provide a view of the printed structures and also offer sufficient space to put on the optional 6-point harness on the racetrack.

The “3D printed bodyform full bucket seat" will be available as a driver's seat for the 911 and 718 model series from Porsche Tequipment as early as 2020. For the time being, the offer is limited to 40 seat prototypes for European racetrack use in conjunction with a 6-point seatbelt in order to enter into a targeted direct exchange with customers and to include them in the final developments. In a next step, road-legal “3D printed bodyform full bucket seats" in three different degrees of compression hardness and colours will be available emitted from the PorscheExclusive Manufaktur from mid-2021.

In the long term, the technology will also enable completely personalised solutions if the response is positive. In addition to an extended range of colours, seats adapted to the individual body contour of the individual customer will then even be developed and offered. SPACER in the racing car, 3D-printed body form seat in the road racer. From the racetrack to the road – typically Porsche. We're looking forward to it!