An innovative new seat aims to make you a better driver.
The late Niki Lauda famously said that God gave him an okay mind but a really good ass that can feel everything in a car, and now Ferrari wants to bless you with the same talent. CarBuzz discovered a patent filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office relating to a seat that will let the driver know when the car is about to understeer or oversteer.
It's a reasonably basic system based on highly advanced technology. The driver's seat is equipped with signaling devices (called "shakers or "exciters") that can generate mechanical vibrations of variable frequency and intensity. When it's activated, the driver will feel a vibration in their buttocks, and the potency of said trembling will increase the closer you get to the limit.
Ferrari notes that touch is an integral part of the driving experience. The epidermis has a large and dense network of receptors, which can pick up a change in pressure and tactile feedback. That's precisely what Lauda was referring to when discussing his venerated buttocks. Unfortunately, 99.9% of us are born with normal cheeks, so Ferrari has to fake the experience to enhance your driving ability.
The exciters can be programmed to vibrate on the left if the oversteer or understeer is coming from the left side, and the same is true for the opposite side. Ferrari also mentions that the feature can be dialed back or switched off entirely once the driver feels comfortable with the car. This should help the typical Ferrari owner, who has several supercars and hypercars, to adapt to the chariot of the day with ease.
Ferrari arguably has the best driver assistance systems in the world. Any new Ferrari will make you look like a hero if you put it in the right mode. Some may call this faux fun, but these are the kind of people who have never driven a modern Ferrari like the 296 GTB. Whether you turn all the nannies off and slide the car by yourself or use Side Slip Control to bring the car back under control, the result remains the same. You grin so widely that your jaw might dislocate.
Earlier this year, CarBuzz discovered a patent for a system that will coach you on how to get a faster lap, and it included a vibrating seat or steering wheel as potential aids in improving driving skills.
Let's be honest: most drivers are ill-prepared for several hundred horsepower and RWD. If you get into one of these beauties for the first time and immediately switch the nannies off, you're a muppet on the way to the scene of an extremely gnarly accident.