Astra VXR’s Clever Seat


This is the Opel (and Vauxhall) Astra VXR. It will be officially introduced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6. It is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct injection engine. The engine produces 280 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. With a top speed of 155 mph, it is going to be the fastest production Astra ever.

This is the inside of the Astra VXR. The flat-bottomed steering wheel and instrumentation are unique to this model. So are those seats.

This is the inside of the Astra VXR front seat. It is significantly lighter than a seat found in an ordinary Astra. This is because it uses an injection molded composite sheet—fiberglass-reinforced polyamide—for the seat back. And you’ll notice the foamed support, as well as the bladder on the bolster, which is pneumatically adjusted as desired.

Another feature of the seat—which is said to be the first in its class certified by an independent German organization named Aktion Gesunder Rücken (“Action for Healthy Backs”)—is that it can be adjusted up to 18 ways, which sort of seems like a stretch: entire seat back and forth (2), entire seat up and down (2), seat backrest back and forth (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).

Somehow, the 155 mph (the car ran a 10,000-km test program at the Nürburgring Nordschleife) is more interesting than the 18 ways to set the seat.