The Evolution of the Driver’s Seat

Sean C. RiceAutomotive and Driver

From the September 2022 challenge of Automotive and Driver.

We have pushed a automobile whereas sitting on a milk crate, however that does not imply we prefer it, particularly when trendy driver’s seats supply luxuries akin to heating and air flow, lively help in corners, and far better crash safety than the crate. Mercedes-Benz has a protracted historical past of consolation, as even the Benz Patent-Motorwagen had a bench effectively cushioned sufficient for Bertha Benz to make a 65-mile highway journey in 1888. It was roomy, too—her two teenage boys went with.

Contemplating that the Patent-Motorwagen marked the start of the trendy car, Mercedes can lay declare to having the primary automotive seat. Inventing the automobile is all effectively and good, however the German model was one of many first to place massaging components inside automobile seats (the S-class in 2000). Now that is brilliance. Additionally good: bun warming by way of in-seat heaters, a function Cadillac first provided within the 1966 DeVille. It was Saab that had the cool thought of ventilated seats in 1997.

1979 mercedes benz 450sel

Mercedes-Benz

1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

The official begin of the S-class got here in 1972 with the W116 line, which emphasised each luxurious and security. Again in 1979, driving off in a brand new 450SEL would depart your financial institution steadiness $31,000 lighter (about $124,800 in at the moment’s bucks). Collector costs are going up, however you’ll be able to nonetheless park your self in a seat like this for round $20,000.

1979 450SEL Seat

Size: 24.1 in
Peak:
38.3 in
Width:
28.5 in
Weight:
65 lb
Options:
Blue pleated leather-based, metallic body, horsehair inside, headrest, armrest
Price:
$300–$500 on eBay

2022 mercedes benz s500

Mercedes-Benz

2022 Mercedes-Benz S500

The present W223 S-class continues to spotlight security whereas providing a snug journey. Nowadays even essentially the most luxurious machines goal to have a sporty facet, and the S500’s supercharged and turbocharged six sends it to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. All of that quick class prices a bit extra at the moment—attempt $127,330 to get into this tech-packed seat.

2022 S500 4Matic Seat

Size: 23.3 in
Peak:
39.5 in
Width:
20.9 in
Weight:
80 lb
Options:
Diamond-pleated nappa leather-based over foam and air bladders, facet airbag, as much as 19 motors, pyrotechnic pretensioner, 4-way lumbar help, headrest with cushion, seat reminiscence, heating aspect, 6 followers, 10 therapeutic massage features, non-obligatory speaker and fireplace extinguisher
Price:
$5356


Have a Seat

We in contrast a 2022 S500 driver’s seat with the one in a 1979 450SEL, a part of the primary Benz era to be referred to as the S-class. Excessive-end leather-based and thickly padded consolation are frequent to each. However the brand new seat’s deep-scooped form and air-filled lateral help point out this S500 can maintain the motive force at 0.92 g, a quantity the traditional automobile may solely dream of. The fashionable seat additionally displays crash-safety developments, akin to pretensioning seatbelts and airbags.

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