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3 Advantages of Upgrading Your Project Car’s Seats

Charlie Mayne  January 22 2020

If you have a project car or want to start making some upgrades to your vehicle, consider switching to a performance seat such as the Sparco R100. While some people get new seats primarily to achieve a track aesthetic, there are several functional benefits of using a racing seat. Getting new seats is one of the more impactful interior changes you can make to your car.

Superior Support and Control

Performance seats are designed to contour to your body. They frequently have firm shells including bolsters next to the legs and back. These features hold you in place more firmly compared to regular seats.

They cradle the driver and front passenger to hold them in place when taking fast corners. On the track, this is practically essential. You don’t want to be sliding in your seat when you make an aggressive turn.

Some seats are grippier than others. The Sparco racing seat, for example, is popular for drivers who want the support of a racing seat while still having enough comfort for driving on the street. Some other options have higher sides and more prominent bolsters. This means you will be more firmly rooted in place but could be less comfortable.

Option for Using a Multi-Point Seatbelt

One of the major reasons people choose racing seats is because they support multi-point harnesses. These are significantly safer on the racetrack because they offer more comprehensive support and security compared to a regular seatbelt. If you lose control and roll, a multi-point harness will help you stay safe. They also feature a quick-release button in the center for easy exiting.

As you may know, it is illegal for car manufacturers to sell vehicles with multi-point harnesses already installed. However, there is nothing stopping you from installing them yourself.

If, for example, you get a new Recaro seat for your car, it will have two holes above the shoulder for the harness to pass through. Make sure you carefully follow the instructions for installing your harness. It must be firmly anchored to the frame.

Reduced Weight

In a track car or project car, weight is everything. The main factors that make up an enjoyable ride are acceleration, speed, braking and handling. Reducing weight benefits all four. So, many people making modifications to their cars want to find new ways to shed a few pounds.

Switching your front seats to racing seats is a great way to shed some significant weight. For example, the Sparco R100 is around 10 pounds. This may be a huge difference from your existing seats, especially if they are power-operated.

The Sparco seat is made of lighter materials and is less complex than most OEM car seats. Of course, racing seats are less adjustable than regular seats. Most are not power-operated, and some can’t adjust the back angle. Some people bolt their seats in place instead of mounting them on rails. Not everyone wants to get that intense to save a few pounds, however. Many people find that the Sparco R100 offers the perfect balance of weight and comfort.

Considerations When Buying a Racing Seat

Before you rush out to buy a racing seat, there are a few factors to consider. These will help you decide whether that Recaro racing seat you are eyeing is a good choice or not.

  • Comfort: Many racing seats are intentionally designed to be spartan. Dedicated track cars don’t need the plush cushioning that people expect in streetcars. If you are planning to daily drive your car, you may want to look for a performance seat that still offers comfortable cushioning.
  • Adjustability: Some sports seats bolt in place to match the height of the driver. Most performance seats don’t have power controls and likely have very few degrees of adjustability. In fact, some seats don’t even have tilting backs. Giving up adjustability is completely fine on the track. It may not be such a great idea if you want to drive your car on the street, however.
  • Fit: Many performance seats are intended to be relatively universal. However, not all seats will fit in all cars. Make sure you find one that will work for your vehicle. Measure before you buy to avoid future headaches.
  • Looks: Let’s not pretend that racing seats are purely functional. They offer a lot of practical benefits, but they are also really cool. Make sure you find something that works for your car. One of the nice benefits of upgrading seats is that you can choose whatever color scheme you like. Consider adding a new colored accent to your interior.

Upgrading to racing seats is a great way to improve your ride and get more of the track-car feel you are looking for. Despite some of the sacrifices that may be needed for certain seats, many performance seat options offer a great balance of performance and practicality. MAPerformance has all the racing seat solutions you need to find the perfect seat for your car.

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