Lexus is really proud of their seats in the new ES; the company has spent three years designing the perfect seats for their new executive model.
Their goal was to offer the ideal support and comfort for people of all shapes and sizes, which indeed sounds like a massive task.
“The moment you sit in the new ES, you’ll notice that your posture feels just right,” Kawano said. “There’s no need to squirm around until you find the right position. This is the ‘clear’ part. Then, once you’re seated, your lower back is fully supported. You’ll feel at ease and, no matter the G-forces acting on the car from any direction, your posture never wavers. This is the ‘deep’ part.”
The new Lexus ES’s seats adopt a simple structure, featuring polyurethane foam wrapped around an iron frame. The cushion of the seat is flat but comes with elevated sides to provide good hip support and keep the body stable. The trick was however to create a seat cushion that will support all body sizes.
“To develop a seat cushion that could cancel out physical differences, we incorporated very subtle depressions in the surface so that even smaller body types can sink firmly into the seat,” Kawano explained. “We also added a laminated layer to the top of each seat. This layer is thin and soft, which allows the head to sink into the cushion for better stability.”
The same attention was given to the ES F Sport seats, which provide even greater body holding. Kawano and his team took inspiration from the seats in the Lexus LC Coupe, increasing the resilience of the side support and designed them in such way that the hips, back and shoulders are better stabilized against a single surface.
“It’s because the ES F Sport is such a sporty car that I felt we needed to stabilize the driver’s body so that they wouldn’t move at all, even when driving on a racing circuit at full speed,” Kawano added. “We’ve tested the seats, and we can tell you that even when going around a corner at high speeds, the driver’s position barely changes.”