Vehicle Research

90% of Ford Vehicles Share Front Seat Architecture

November 16, 2015

Photo of 2016 Explorer cabin courtesy of Ford.
Photo of 2016 Explorer cabin courtesy of Ford.

Nearly 90% of Ford vehicles sold in North America share a common front seat architecture that allows Ford to more easily implement features such as mutli-adjusting, massage, and heating/cooling that enhance vehicle comfort, according to a release.

Ford introduced its seat architecture in the 2013 model year on the Escape compact SUV and Fusion mid-size car. These two vehicles were among the top five most added to fleets in the 2013 calendar year, according to Automotive Fleet data. The seat design was later migrated throughout Ford's lineup.

The seats employ a design that makes them multi-adjustable with features such as thigh extensions and lumbar support. The seats can help reduce muscle fatigue and promote blood flow on longer journeys, and can provide a subtle massage for thighs and lower back, according to Ford.

During the design and engineering phase, the seat team focused on items such as H-points and hip-to-heel dimensions. These ratios represent the science that goes into creating in-vehicle comfort. Seats are designed to better cradle passengers at the hip and to prevent sliding while driving. Side bolsters and seat cushions allow more freedom of movement so drivers feel less confined.

The Ford seat team refers to the surfaces passengers touch and feel as "top hats" — leather or cloth seat covers atop foam padding. Beneath each top hat is a seat skeleton that serves as the basis for Ford's steadily climbing rankings for comfort.

Taking cues from the office furniture and first-class air travel industries, the Ford front seat architecture is ergonomically designed to ensure each seat cradles an occupant comfortably, snug in certain places with freedom to move in others, according to Dan Ferretti, Ford's global seats senior technical leader.

The seats have been added to Ford's 2016 Explorer mid-size SUV. The Platinum edition features 10-way adjustable seats.

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