Vauxhall reveals ultimate hot seat for 2012
it tight! Vauxhall’s most powerful Astra VXR ever will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show with front seats that are substantially lighter thanks to cutting-edge technology, have a lower seating position and enhanced side support to cater for increased cornering loads.
The Astra VXR’s new front seats are formed using an injection moulded sheet in the seat shells, which reduces their weight by 45 per cent compared with a conventional shell. The sheet is filled with a composite material made from polyamide and fibreglass, and its strength and agility means that it only needs to be two to three millimetres deep, and therefore a lot lighter.
Bringing driver and front passenger lower to the Astra VXR’s centre of gravity, the new seats are mounted 17 millimetres lower than in the Astra GTC, and 40 millimetres lower than in the Astra Hatch. In addition, the new seats can be adjusted up to 18 ways, depending upon specification:
Entire seat backwards and forwards (2)
Entire seat upwards and downwards (2)
Seat backrest forwards and backwards (2)
Seat cushion angle adjustment (2)
Seat cushion length adjustment (2)
Four-way lumbar support adjustment (4)
Adjustable side bolster support in back (2)
Adjustable side bolster support in seat cushion (2)
Pneumatically adjustable cushions, found in the seats’ flanks, add further levels of adjustability at the push of a button, and provide ‘tailor-made’ seating comfort and security normally reserved for competition drivers.
The Astra VXR’s seats are the first in its class to be certified by AGR (Action for Healthy Backs), an independent German organisation comprising leading doctors and therapists. Before they gained approval, the seats had to meet a list of ten criteria, including checks for lordosis support, and that the seatback contours adapt precisely to the natural curvature of the spine.
With 280PS, 400Nm of torque and a top speed of 155mph, the new Astra VXR will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6. Its bespoke chassis, with mechanical limited slip differential and Brembo brakes, was signed off after a 10,000km test programme at the notorious Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring, equivalent to 180,000kms of normal road driving.