What’s the first company that comes to mind when you think of car seats? If it’s Grayco or Britax you really need to get out more. In the realm of performance automotive seating Recaro is a leader in the industry, whether it’s at the OEM or aftermarket level.
The German firm was founded back in 1906 but really came into its own building bodies for the iconic Porsche 356. Recaro didn’t start focusing specifically on seats until the 1960s.
The world of automotive seating has changed dramatically over the last five decades, morphing from benches to buckets, but that’s not all. Modern cars feature integrated safety belts, airbags, lumbar support and even adjustable bolsters – more gadgets and circuitry than a Radio Shack.
One example of how far they’ve come is the Recaro P 1300. This chair features a rigid yet lightweight carbon fiber shell, is designed to accommodate four-, five- and even six-point safety belts, and is upholstered in flame-resistant materials, but that’s not all.
The P 1300 is the first adjustable competition seat that’s FIA certified; it slides fore and aft just like a regular passenger-car bucket. It’s specially designed for GT and touring road racing, just don’t go looking for one in the lawn-chair section of your local K-Mart. Lisa Caleca, Marketing Manager for Recaro North America said “It’s a little bit pricey,” estimating the cost at around $10,000. Speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?
When it comes to competition all Recaro racing shells are FIA certified. Additionally every single one of the company’s seats are crash tested. That’s a claim their competition can’t necessarily make.
Beyond racing and the aftermarket Recaro works directly with automakers. OEMs ranging from Aston Martin and Lotus to Subaru and Renault are a few of their customers, but that’s not all. They also build child safety-seats and seats for commercial airliners.