One of the reasons why we’re seeing so many positive review of the C7 Corvette’s seats is because the C6 seats are pretty awful. Now, I’m not jumping on the “Dissing the C6 because of Crappy Seats” bandwagon, which I believe already left the station a few years back. No, our opinion of the C7s new seats comes after spending nearly four hours in the new Stingray at the Media ride-n-drive last month in Monterey.
GM’s interior designers tell us the seats are made by the same supplier that makes the seats for Porsche. But guess what? That same supplier, Lear, also made the C6 Corvette seats too. What really makes the seats different is how they are were redesigned from the ground up. But to see the major differences, you’ll need a cutting tool.
Car and Driver’s Eric Tingwall shows in this video how radically different the seats are between the C6 and C7 Corvette. With half the seat cut open to show its internal design and functions, we get a thorough look and understanding of why the C7 seats outperform those from the previous generation.
Tingwall goes through each of the seats components and you can see first hand out why the C7 seats are firmer. The bottoms of the C6 are suspended on wires which cause the seats to sag. The C6 has a composite shell and the bolsters are actually part of the lumbar system which uses a plastic air bladder inside. With the bolsters cutaway, you can see how easily they move with just a little pressure.
The C7 seats have a rigid steel base while the backs have a magnesium frame. The side bolsters are mounted directly to the frame which keep you in place while driving. There’s a mesh backing on the premium leather seat covers which allow both the heating and cooling vents to work.
One of the obvious annoyances with the C6 seat was just how much play it had. Just put your hand on the top of the seat and giving it a wiggle and you can see how much it moves around. Eric demonstrates how the C6 seats can easily move around while the C7 seat is rock solid and unyielding.
During our “seat time” in the C7 Corvette Stingray, we found the new GT seats to be quite comfortable while keeping us firmly planted between the bolsters. As the day heated up, we turned on the ventilation fans which helped keep us cool during some of the more spirited driving we did through the hills in Monterey.
To say that GM achieved their goals with developing the new seats is an understatement. Not only did they address the major criticisms in the GT seat, but there is still the Competition Seat coming which has even larger bolsters, firmer foam and space to pass through a racing harness. Just the ticket for those owners inclined to track or autocross their Corvettes. The new Competition Sport seats run $2,495 and are expected this fall.
Head over to Car and Driver to watch the video of Eric Tingwall dissecting the C6 and C7 Corvette seats.
Car and Driver
[PICS] A Closer Look at the Interior of the 2014 Corvette Stingray
[PICS] Another Look at the 2014 Corvette Stingray’s License Plate Holder
[VIDEO] Interview with Craig Sass – Interior Design Manager of the C7 Corvette