For the first time, two seats are being offered in the 2014 Corvette Stingray. The standard GT seat is already available and will soon be complemented by the race ready Competition Sport seat.
The new seats found in the C7 Corvette Stingray are most likely one of the biggest turnarounds the team can boast of when it comes to taking a weaknesses on the C6 Corvette and turning it into a strength on the C7. In this video from Chevrolet, Seat Engineer Ken Taylor talks about how digital pressure-mapping and dynamic testing resulted in the much better seats now being offered on the C7.
Digital pressure mapping is technology that scans the drivers back and rear when seated. A sheet containing the sensors are installed over the seats and they can measure thousands of data points per second to show how the body interacts with the seat. Engineers can then use this information to craft a better seat based on that data. But it gets better.
Most seat development programs only use digital pressure-mapping with a driver in a static environment. Chevy engineers installed the pressure mapping technology into a prototype Corvette and then went to the track. Engineers created a map with more than 4,600 data points per second to show how the seat and bolsters were supporting drivers during high speed maneuvers.
Here’s the video from Chevrolet showing the seat development for the C7 Corvette Stingray:
In designing the new seats, Chevy engineers used advanced materials such as the cast magnesium frame which provides greater strength. The hardback shell on the seats also provide support by increasing the feeling of rigidity. Chevy also moved the side airbag to a pod along side the seat so that the seats could be slimmer, stiffer and more supportive.
“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.”
“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.”