Recaro to introduce new composites-intensive automotive seat

The new modular seat design uses a carbon fiber sandwich construction and is expected to begin series production in 2016.

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Recaro Automotive Seating's (Auburn Hills, MI, US) Sport Seat Platform is making its North American market debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, MI, US, this week. This is the first time this new modular seat design and carbon fiber and foam materials application is being shown in the market. Series production of the new seat concept is expected to begin in 2016.

The Recaro Sport Seat Platform will be on display in the Johnson Controls technology showroom during Preview Week of the NAIAS, Jan. 12-14, 2015. The display will highlight its many benefits, including separating the load-bearing structural "core" of carbon fiber sandwich construction with integrated high-quality adjustment components from the outer seat shell and its back and front covers, trim and foam elements. This approach makes it possible to have one standardized interior seat structure with completely individual exterior designs for OEM customers.

"The new Recaro Sport Seat Platform presents OEM customers with a solution that implements a completely new idea of using a novel combination of lightweight materials and proven technologies," says Christian Debus, vice president Recaro Automotive Seating, responsible for Recaro's worldwide passenger car business. "Like many of the truly award-winning innovations, our concept follows the approach that simplification is key to any art."

Recaro is using the platform to appeal to manufacturers of vehicle segments ranging from purebred sports cars to sporty derivatives of high-volume production vehicles to sporty and dynamic premium-class vehicles. The concept of separating the safety and design aspects, specifically on the backrest, is the primary innovation of the Recaro Sport Seat Platform. The unique backrest structure can be considered the innovative backbone of the new product generation.

Additionally, the Recaro Sport Seat Platform meets the strictest safety requirements and uses a combination of carbon fiber and foam in a sandwich-like construction for the structure, which is responsible for the stability of seat in and out of crash situations.

Starting with a manually adjusted basic version, these seats can be equipped with common features according to the OEM customer's specifications, allowing all additional functions to be available off the shelf. Additionally, the new platform's visible design shell and upholstery selection can be developed with specific customer segments in mind.

The secret, says Recaro, is in the backrest structure – a codevelopment with Johnson Controls' technology and advanced development group – which is enclosed by a second lightweight slim design shell inside the seat. This design enables the seat's exterior skin to vary in its surface structure, texture, color and contour accents. It also ensures the Recaro Sport Seat Platform remains light and compact to give vehicle interior designers more working room.

Recaro Automotive Seating is a product group of Johnson Controls. At eight locations in Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Japan, Mexico and the US, it designs, manufactures and markets complete seats.