Like other automakers around the world, Lexus is gearing up for the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Along with a world-premiere crossover concept, Lexus will reveal a very different kind of concept: a web-like driver's seat crafted from synthetic spider silk. The orange and black seat looks like a Halloween prop, but Lexus says its Kinetic Seat increases comfort while stabilizing the field of vision for more alert driving.
The concave net structure of the individual seat and backrest cushions is designed to contour the human body better than the typical stuffed cushion. The flexible material helps disperse the individual's weight, which should prevent pressure points and keep the driver comfortable for longer periods, something that would be particularly beneficial for road trips and other extended stints behind the wheel.
The backrest material is tough, eco-friendly QMONOS synthetic spider silk, developed by Spiber. We last saw this innovative material put to use on The North Face's burly Moon Parka. Beyond just tying in ever-so-nicely with the web look of the seat, the material provides for enhanced shock absorption, according to Lexus, and replaces petroleum-based alternatives.
The main innovation in this seat, though, is its kinetic design, hence the name. Using the human body as inspiration, Lexus has built seat and backrest structures that move with external forces, accommodating more natural movement of the upper body and pelvis while keeping the head stable. So instead of the entire body thrashing about during fast corners and other vehicular maneuvers, the seat moves more naturally with the body, keeping the driver comfortable and focused on the road – or at least that's what Lexus says is supposed to happen.
We don't anticipate seeing a Kinetic Seat option on the 2017 IS, but maybe the seat will show up inside a flashy concept car down the line. The standalone Kinetic Seat Concept display will most definitely be joined by one such concept in Paris, the all-new UX, the latest concept crossover promising bold, urban-influenced styling and high-tech design. That's about all Lexus has released about that one so far, save for the picture below.
New Atlas will be heading to the Paris Motor Show in two weeks. Lexus holds its press conference on the first day of the show, September 29, and we plan to stop by to check these concepts out and hopefully rest our weary legs in Lexus' spidery seat. Looks like a web we wouldn't mind getting caught in for a few minutes.