Last year Porsche delivered a working concept of something called a “3D-printed bodyform full-bucket seat” which more or less looks pretty similar to the carbon fiber buckets already found in some of the higher-performance versions of 911 and 718 models. The bucket seat’s padding is typically quite minimal, but Porsche is working on a new body-contoured 3D-printed lattice to help more people find a seat that fits them.
There are three layers to this new seat tech. The bottom layer is a polypropylene foam already used in seats, pretty standard stuff. The middle layer, what Porsche calls the “comfort layer” is made of additive-manufactured polyurethane-based material which can be made either soft, medium, or hard depending on your desires. The top layer is Porsche’s Racetex (basically Alcantara) with holes cut into it for seat venting and to show off the texture of the comfort layer.
There are four main advantages to these seats. The first is the modularity mentioned above. You can swap out hard and soft seat foams depending on the activity you’re using your car for that day. If you want to take a nice long road trip, load up the soft. If you’re doing a track day, tack in the hard foam for better feel and grip. The second advantage is that these seats are as much as 8 percent lighter than a standard Porsche road car bucket. And third, because these seats don’t use adhesives to hold the material together, they’re more environmentally friendly. With perforated racetex, and a barrier layer of air underneath, these seats also provide better air movement under your bum, keeping you more comfortable for longer.
These seats are available from the Porsche Tequipment catalog right now in Europe and will be migrating to the U.S. shortly. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but they cost €2,677.50 in Germany, which is just over three grand each. You can fit two of these seats in your 981-generation Boxster or Cayman, or your 991-generation 911, as well as 718-generation Boxster and Cayman built before November 22 of 2020. 718s built since last November and all 992s can still accept the “Bodyform” seat design, but only on the driver’s side.
The comfort layer can be ordered in one of three colors; black, guards red, or speed yellow. Next February Prosche will offer arctic grey, shark blue, and ultramarine. At the same time, Porsche will begin offering these seats in the process of buying a new 992 or 718. If the popularity of the modular seat continues to increase, Porsche says it may look into scanning the bodies of new buyers and having the bodyform seat foam shaped to the contours of the driver.