Opel tells us the new Astra, arriving in Ireland this October, is set to benefit from the option of a range of advanced seating technology features which will ensure every journey in the Astra is relaxing.
So good are these seats, according to Opel Ireland, that the AGR, (Campaign for Healthier Backs, Germany ) an independent association of doctors and experts dedicated to preventing back problems, has certified the new Astra’s ergonomic seats provide excellent long-distance travel seating comfort.
Beyond the 18-way adjustable positions, including side bolster adjustment, the Astra will offer an optional massage and memory function along with ventilation – a unique combination in the Astra’s segment. Rear passengers can also look forward to more legroom and heated outer rear seats. The base version of the optional ergonomic seats will come with four-way electropneumatically (surprisingly easy to say for a word made up of 20 letters ) adjustable lumbar support (forwards, backwards, up and down ), variable seat cushion tilt, cushion length adjustment and a seat form with contours that adapt to the natural curvature of the spine.
"Seating is certainly among the most important elements in a vehicle as it delivers safety and comfort and we place a high priority on their development - with the support of our partners,” says Charlie Klein, vice president vehicle engineering at Opel. “The new Opel Astra seats are a reflection of the commitment of our engineers and designers to provide beneficial technologies which are normally found only in the premium class.”
Development of the seating in the new Astra began nearly five years ago with more than 100 employees in the team of experts. “Integration of the relatively bulky seats must be considered from the very beginning. This means the seats have to fit into the car accurately to the last millimetre – in every direction,” says Andrew Leuchtmann, senior manager GME Interiors.
Seat production alone accounts for around 10 per cent of the total production costs of a new car model.
Apparently, Opel is the leading volume manufacturer of ergonomic seats with the AGR seal of approval. The first ergonomic Opel seat was introduced with the Signum in 2003. Today, in addition to the new Astra, the certified and popular seats can be ordered for many Opel models including the Insignia, Meriva, Zafira Tourer, Mokka and Cascada. “We want to really speed up the democratisation of good seats – more Opel models with AGR seats will follow,” promises Andrew Leuchtmann.