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Bentley introduces “most advanced seat ever fitted to a car”. Image by Bentley.

Bentley introduces “most advanced seat ever fitted to a car”
Bentley’s new Airline seats feature 22-way adjustability and high-tech temperature and humidity control.
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What's all this about?

Bentley has introduced what it has called “the most advanced seats ever fitted to a car” in the form of the airline-style seats in the new extra-long Bentayga EWB. The new seats are set apart from lesser examples by their 22-way adjustability, highly precise temperature control and a postural adjustment system which subtly manipulates and adjusts the occupant’s posture to help prevent fatigue.

How does that work?

The postural adjustment system automatically makes tiny adjustments to the passenger’s seating position and pressure points, using an algorithm developed in collaboration with a chiropractor. The system can apply 177 individual pressure changes across six different pneumatic independent pressure zones over a three-hour period with the aim of improving comfort and minimising fatigue throughout a journey. By slightly changing the shape of the surfaces of the seat, no one area of the body endures pressure fatigue for an extended period.

Sounds complicated...

It’s definitely a bit more complex than the average car seat. The seats employ 12 electric motors for comfort and postural adjustments, while the postural adjustment system employs three pneumatic valve electronic control units, all overseen by a specific Seat & Motion Wellbeing ECU.

And the temperature control?

Again, there’s a lot more to it than the average set of heated or ventilated seats. The passenger chooses their preferred surface temperature target from seven settings. While the system is at work, sensors measure and produce live data to determine what seat heating, cooling and ventilation levels are required to achieve the most comfortable temperature for the passenger. Once the system reaches the correct temperature, it then maintains that throughout the journey. While Bentley says that a human can only notice a change in surface temperature between one and two degrees Celsius, it says that the temperature control system in the Airline seats constantly monitors the temperature to a much more detailed level (to an accuracy of 0.1 degrees), so the system knows what the passenger is going to need before they know themselves.

What's the range of settings?

The Auto Climate system has seven different settings which have been calibrated not in a linear fashion, but according to clinical trials and data. Position zero is a neutral point which provides “just right” levels of comfort and which Bentley estimates 75-80% of passengers will use. +1 or -1 aims for a slightly warmer or cooler temperature than average. +2 or -2 is for warmer or cooler temperatures again, for example if a passenger requires a warming sensation to alleviate back pain or to cool them down if they’re sick. +3 or -3 will generally only be used under extreme temperature conditions or where the passenger is quite ill (such as with a fever) and needs acute warming or cooling.

What else can they do?

There’s electric headrest height adjustment and a deployable footrest at the rear of the front passenger seat for use by the rear-seat occupant. There’s also a special setting, known as “VIP mode”, which electronically slides the front passenger seat all the way forward to give the rear-seat passenger more legroom.

How popular are these going to be?

You’re probably not going to see this kind of tech on a family hatchback anytime soon, but Bentley says that so far, demand is strong for the Airline Seat specification, with around 50% of Bentayga EWB customers choosing it as an option.

James Fossdyke - 8 Jul 2022

Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.

Bentley Airline Seats. Image by Bentley.     - Bentley road tests
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