The Evolution of the Driver’s Seat


1979 mercedesbenz 450sel and 2022 mercedesbenz s500 seats

Sean C. RiceAutomobile and Driver

From the September 2022 subject of Automobile and Driver.

We have pushed a automobile whereas sitting on a milk crate, however that does not imply we prefer it, particularly when trendy driver’s seats supply luxuries similar to heating and air flow, lively assist in corners, and far higher crash safety than the crate. Mercedes-Benz has an extended historical past of consolation, as even the Benz Patent-Motorwagen had a bench nicely cushioned sufficient for Bertha Benz to make a 65-mile street journey in 1888. It was roomy, too—her two teenage boys went with.

Contemplating that the Patent-Motorwagen marked the beginning of the trendy car, Mercedes can lay declare to having the primary automotive seat. Inventing the automobile is all nicely and good, however the German model was one of many first to place massaging parts inside automobile seats (the S-class in 2000). Now that is brilliance. Additionally good: bun warming by way of in-seat heaters, a characteristic Cadillac first supplied within the 1966 DeVille. It was Saab that had the cool thought of ventilated seats in 1997.

1979 mercedes benz 450sel


1979 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

The official begin of the S-class got here in 1972 with the W116 line, which emphasised each luxurious and security. Again in 1979, driving off in a brand new 450SEL would go away your financial institution steadiness $31,000 lighter (about $124,800 in at this time’s bucks). Collector costs are going up, however you may nonetheless park your self in a seat like this for round $20,000.

1979 450SEL Seat

Size: 24.1 in
38.3 in
28.5 in
65 lb
Blue pleated leather-based, metallic body, horsehair inside, headrest, armrest
$300–$500 on eBay

2022 mercedes benz s500


2022 Mercedes-Benz S500

The present W223 S-class continues to focus on security whereas providing a snug trip. As of late even essentially the most luxurious machines purpose to have a sporty aspect, and the S500’s supercharged and turbocharged six sends it to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. All of that quick class prices a bit extra at this time—attempt $127,330 to get into this tech-packed seat.

2022 S500 4Matic Seat

Size: 23.3 in
39.5 in
20.9 in
80 lb
Diamond-pleated nappa leather-based over foam and air bladders, aspect airbag, as much as 19 motors, pyrotechnic pretensioner, 4-way lumbar assist, headrest with cushion, seat reminiscence, heating component, 6 followers, 10 therapeutic massage features, elective speaker and fireplace extinguisher

Have a Seat

We in contrast a 2022 S500 driver’s seat with the one in a 1979 450SEL, a part of the primary Benz era to be referred to as the S-class. Excessive-end leather-based and thickly padded consolation are widespread to each. However the brand new seat’s deep-scooped form and air-filled lateral assist point out this S500 can maintain the motive force at 0.92 g, a quantity the basic automobile may solely dream of. The trendy seat additionally displays crash-safety developments, similar to pretensioning seatbelts and airbags.


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