They’re the first thing you notice upon approaching Cadillac’s racing-inspired V-Series line. But there is more of the track-ready seats made by German manufacturer Recaro to be discovered.
Available for the first time this year on both the sedan and coupe versions of the ATS model, as well as the CTS super sedan, the Recaro seats seamlessly blend form and function, ultra luxury and high performance. That was the “journey” from the start says Cadillac’s V-Series interior design manager Phil Kucero. “We wanted what racecar drivers call ‘seat of the pants’ feel,” Kucero says. “But there also needed to be comfort. We didn’t want a sofa in there, but it couldn’t be rock hard either. So it’s Jekyll and Hyde, Beauty and the Beast.”
The front seats for the ATS-V and CTS-V feature sporty racecar seatbelt pass-throughs above hard-shell backs that are heated and adjustable in 16 ways, including adjustable bolsters for thighs and backs. The adjustments niftily show up as graphics on the standard 8-inch CUE interface, which also controls the Bose sound system, with the area being adjusted highlighted in red on detailed diagrams of the seats.
“There was a lot of science input for the contact points, especially the aggressive bolstering, with dense foam, for lateral support,” adds Kucera, a graduate of the industrial design program at the Cleveland Institute of Art. “We used 1-to-1 clay models from our studio sculptors, laser scanned them, then CAD. It began very early in the overall design process and ended very late. It was almost like the shoe industry, we calibrated, tuned, then went back out there.”
Recaro Automotive Seating was founded in 1906 by master saddler Wilhelm Reutter in Stuttgart, Germany, as a coachbuilding company. In 1935, Ferdinand Porsche contracted Reutter for the prototypes of the Volkswagen Beetle. In 1949, Recaro created the bodies for the legendary Porsche 356, and later on, the BMW 328.