More comfort, lighter weight, and better driving agility wrapped in a spider web.
With all of the buzz in the automotive world concerning self-driving cars and low-emissions drivetrains, it’s easy to think that automakers have forgotten about the fundamentals of what makes a car good. After all, auto companies have had time to figure out how to refine the seats, steering wheel, and more. Still, competition means that no company will relent in its search for perfection. Especially not Lexus, the singular second rate luxury brand that has managed to climb into the same sales territory as the German luxury trifecta.
To keep its spot at the top, Toyota’s luxury off shoot isn’t on a mission to reinvent the wheel. Instead, it wants to reconceive the seat and it’s doing so by introducing the Kinetic Seat Concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Like Lexus’ recent design language, the Kinetic Seat looks extreme, as if built by spider web. If that’s what you were guessing, then you’re close because the fibers attached to the frame in this example are made of a synthetic material called QMONOS that’s meant to mimic spider silk. The result of the hammock-like seat structure is that weight gets distributed evenly to prolong comfort and keep occupants from becoming fatigued. The net also has the ability to conform to an occupant’s body no matter the size.
This makes it so that people smaller or larger than the average are more comfortable. However, the seat isn’t only geared to contain a human body in the most comfortable position, it’s also designed to help people stay comfortable when the car is going around a corner or through a bumpy road. This is tasked to the seat cushion and rest, both which can rotate while keeping the head straight, much like a jogger’s shoulders and hips pivot while the head stays still. One unintended benefit of the seat is that it saves weight compared to normal leather chairs, giving cars like the RC-F and LC500 more of a sporting edge. However, the question remains: is a luxury car still luxurious when it uses a hammock in place of leather seats?