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In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

The new seats gracing the floor pans in the 2014 Corvette Stingray C7 answer perhaps the largest complaint lodged against the outgoing C6 Corvette. Those seats were nearly flat, lacking anything that remotely looked like side bolsters and were constructed of a flimsy plastic backing that did little to support the occupants during hard cornering. Adding to the problem, the old C6 seats would flop forward under heavy braking whether it was occupied or not.

Chevrolet stepped to the plate with not one, but two seat options in the new Vette. Both seats are tailored for different driving styles and owner preferences.

The Standard GT seat is geared towards the everyday driver; the guy who carves more canyon roads than hairpin corners at the racetrack each weekend. The Competition Sport seat, on the other hand, is more suited for what its name implies. Engineers started from scratch with both seats and used extensive testing to create two industry standard seats fitting of the C7’s new performance levels.

Click below for more info and a video on the Stingray’s new seats

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

For the Competition Sport seat, the Corvette team used pressure-mapping technology to precisely map where and how the driver’s body contacted the seat during high-velocity movements. The pressure pads gathered more than 4,600 data points per second as the Vette sped along, sending that information to computers that generated graphic illustrations of how occupants were supported by the seat – both on their bottoms and backs.

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

Holding all those meticulously crafted foam pads and bolsters in place is an entirely new architecture constructed from cast magnesium. The rigid structure ensures little flexing and no more flopping seat back under heavy braking. Further contributing is the seat’s rigidity is a hardback shell molded from stiff plastic. That plastic backing also adds some fantastic styling details around the headrest in the form of harness strap ports either side of a center C7 Corvette Flag logo.

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

Though the Standard GT seats are less purpose-built than the Competition Sport seats doesn’t mean less time went into creating them. Still miles ahead of the outgoing C6 seat, the new GT seat gets the same cast magnesium treatment as the Competition seats, although the bolstering is less aggressive the padding is designed for more long-distance comfort. The seat bottom rests directly atop the molded magnesium frame with padding, heating elements, and air passages for the cooling system sandwiched in between.

Our friends at Car & Driver produced a great segment detailing the differences between the outgoing C6 seat and the new Standard GT seats on their YouTube channel. Check out their findings in the video below.

All told, both new seats in the 2014 Stingray are light years ahead of what they replaced. We’re glad General Motors listened to the innumerable amount of complaints the C6 seats received and decided to rectify the problem. Now, along with the other upscale interior adornments, the Corvette can truly compete with its across-the-pond rivals in any head to head challenge not based solely on bang-for-the-buck. America’s sports car is finally world-class.

Press Release

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

DETROIT – The differences in the Standard GT seat and the Competition Sport seat offered in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette are similar to the everyday comfort of a well-tailored suit vs. the support offered by compression apparel athletes wear.

“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.”

Digital pressure-mapping, technology used to scan people’s backsides when seated, played a pivotal role in the development of the Corvette’s new Competition Sport seat, available as an option in December. Different seats last were offered in Corvette’s fourth generation – 1984-1996.

For the Competition Sport seat, the Corvette team took pressure-mapping technology to the test track to accurately measure driver bottom and back pressures during high velocity maneuvers. On most vehicle development programs pressure-mapping is only used for static impressions.

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats

The technology involves taking a digital snapshot of a person’s back and rear-end pressure distribution over the seat surface, creating a map with more than 4,600 data points per second. The information is transferred to a computer that generates graphics illustrating how occupants are supported by the seat.

The new Corvette also was the first Chevrolet to use a new process for judging seat performance in addition to comfort, based on the subjective evaluations of test drivers of varying sizes, from large males to petite females.

For the new seats, the Corvette team used the advanced materials, including an all-new lightweight cast magnesium frame for greater strength. The frame’s rigidity and the seat’s hard back panel contribute to an enhanced feeling of support during performance driving.

The Sport seat was track tested and modified to provide the kind of bolster support needed for high-velocity maneuvers. The development team hand-modeled extreme bolsters out of duct tape and foam until they were satisfied with the seat’s track performance.

Back bolsters 35-mm deeper than those in the 997 generation Porsche Carrera S are approximately 35 percent deeper for more lateral support when making hairpin turns. The Corvette team also re-engineered the seat’s side airbag, moving it outside of the seat bolster to an attached but separate pod so that the seat could be slimmer, stiffer and more supportive.

While improving seat performance was a paramount concern, the team also boosted seat comfort by introducing Stingray’s first dual heating and cooling ventilation system for seats, overcoming packaging challenges in the process.

“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.”

In Detail: 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Seats




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