RECLINING ROAD SEATS
Most standard production road car seats are a reclining/adjustable design. This gives the driver the ability to move the seat back into a position which is more comfortable for long journeys, and in two and three-door cars allows the seats to be folded forward to gain access to the rear of the car.
However, the design of most standard seats isn’t very supportive when it comes to increased cornering speeds and hard braking associated with enthusiastic and track driving. Therefore, performance seats offer much more lateral support than standard seats. They also give the user the option to fit stronger harnesses too.
Reclining seats tend to be made from steel tubular frames and obviously use a reclining mechanism to allow the two halves of the seat to move independently of each other. This is what allows the adjustment which makes these seats so comfortable for road use, but the compromise is the seat is weaker in terms of overall strength than a fixed back design.
This is because the weakest point is where the two halves of the seat join together. In road applications this is a calculated risk worth taking, mainly because the speeds involved are generally a lot less than on track, the likelihood of having an accident is less, and the car (especially without a roll cage) is a lot ‘softer’ with crumple zones and engineered weak spots to help absorb some of the impact and lessen the loads exerted on the seat. The bottom line is that reclining seats from respected manufacturers are more than strong enough for road use and will almost always be a huge improvement over the standard seats, but for regular track use and motorsport a fixed back seat is a better option.
Reclining seats are made from two pieces hinged together to allow them to move independently of one another