Opel/Vauxhall release details of 2012 Astra GTC OPC Recaro lightweight seats

Published by Andrew Christian @andrew4wheels Google+ | Saturday January 28, 2012

Opel/Vauxhall release details of 2012 Astra GTC OPC Recaro lightweight seats

When Vauxhall’s most powerful Astra VXR ever is displayed at the Geneva Motor Show, it will have noticeably lighter front seats with the use of the latest in technology. It also now has a lower seating position and improved side support to manage the increased cornering loads. The new front seats of the Astra VXR are formed using an injection moulded sheet in the seat shells.

This decreases the weight by 45% compared to a conventional shell. The sheet uses a composite material built from polyamide and fiberglass. Because it is strong and agile, it only has to be 2-3 mm deep. This makes it considerably lighter.

The driver and front passenger are brought lower to the Astra VXR’s centre of gravity, which means that the new seats are mounted 17 millimetres lower than in the Astra GTC.

They’re also 40 millimetres lower when compared to the Astra Hatch. It has been equipped with pneumatically adjustable cushions located in the seats’ flanks. Pushing a button easily adjusts them too.

They offer ‘tailor-made’ seating comfort and security that’s typically reserved for competition drivers. The Astra VXR’s seats are the first in its class to get a certification from AGR (Action for Healthy Backs), which is an independent German organization composed of the best doctors and therapists.

Before the seats could be approved, they had to meet 10 criteria, including checks for lordosis support. The seatback contours would also have to adapt correctly to the spine’s natural curvature.

The new Astra VXR has 280PS, 400Nm of torque and is capable of reaching a top speed of 155mph. It will be introduced on March 6 at the Geneva Motor Show.

The bespoke chassis, with its mechanical limited slip differential and Brembo brakes, was approved after it was subjected to a 10,000km test program at the challenging Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring, comparable to 180,000kms of normal road driving.