Sit tight! Vauxhall’s most powerful Astra VXR ever will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012. It’ll feature front seats that are substantially lighter, have a lower seating position and enhanced side support to cater for increased cornering loads.
The Astra VXR’s new front seats are formed using an injection moulded sheet in the seat shells. This cutting-edge technology reduces their weight by 45 per cent compared with a conventional shell. The sheet is filled with a composite material made from polyamide and fibreglass. And its strength and agility means that it only needs to be two to three millimetres deep and therefore a lot lighter.
The new seats bring driver and front passenger lower to the Astra VXR’s centre of gravity. They are mounted 17 millimetres lower than in the Astra GTC, and 40 millimetres lower than in the Astra Hatch. In addition, the new seats can be adjusted up to 18 ways, depending upon specification:
Cushions in the seats’ flanks can be adjusted at the push of a button. They provide ‘tailor-made’ seating comfort and security normally reserved for competition drivers.
The Astra VXR’s seats are the first in their class to be certified by AGR (‘Action for Healthy Backs’), an independent German organisation comprising leading doctors and therapists. Before they gained approval, the seats had to meet a list of ten criteria. These included checks for upper-back support, and that the seatback contours adapt precisely to the natural curvature of the spine.
With 280PS, 400Nm of torque and a top speed of 155mph, the new Astra VXR will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show on March 6. Its bespoke chassis, with mechanical limited slip differential and Brembo brakes, was signed off after a 10,000km test programme at the Nordschleife (North Loop) of the Nürburgring, equivalent to 180,000kms of normal road driving.
Images and colours shown are for illustrative purposes only and may show optional equipment.