Even with the world-class handling and amazing power of the 2008 Porsche GT2, a relatively mundane component stood out - the seats. Yeah, we didn't expect to come back from Daytona and do an entire post just on seating technology, but yet here it is. Then again, maybe it's OK to be so fascinated by these chairs, as they're they #1 interface between driver and vehicle.
Live Photos Copyright ©2007 Eric Bryant / Weblogs, Inc.
The GT2's sport bucket seats are quite striking in person, as they're incredibly thin and covered in high-quality leather and carbon fiber. In fact, they resemble a re-covered racing seat, but simply stating it as such doesn't do proper service to the engineering and ergonomics that have gone into the design.
Despite the presence of carbon fiber in the exterior shell, the main structure of the seat is actually constructed from fiberglass. Graphite is likely not what you want up against your body in a collision due to its tendency to splinter into razor-sharp shards, and to be honest, cost probably entered into the equation as well (these seats will soon be offered on other, lower-priced Porsche vehicles).
Porsche's sport bucket seats deviate from true racing seats in two major ways - the Porsche seats fold for access to the rear storage area, and thorax airbags are included for improved side-impact crash safety. Despite the folding seatbacks, the GT2's seats offer comparable support and stiffness to the non-folders used in the GT3 RS.
Porsche claims that the development and crash validation of these seats was the longest portion of the GT2's development.
Note the generous pass-throughs for racing harnesses. The GT2 comes from the factory with mounting points for a roll cage, and so it's only natural that a proper set of four-point belts would also be fitted.
The thickness - or, rather, lack thereof - is clearly evident in the above shot. The padding is indeed thin, but the shape of the seat is so perfect that they could be formed from concrete and still be comfortable. Behind the padding is some expanded polystyrene to provide energy absorption during impacts.
Not only do these seats increase the driver's performance and comfort, but they also save weight - a whopping 20lb each over the standard power-adjustable buckets. GT2 buyers can choose between either seat type without cost penalty, but this strikes us as a bit of a no-brainer.