Recaro Pole Position Seats
Picking a set of thrones for your car isn't as easy as thumbing through a catalog and picking something for the living room. Your seats may not add any extra horsepower but they can have a huge impact on how confident you feel behind the wheel. Even more importantly, some seats won't get past tech inspection at your local track, and that's something we don't want to mess around with. To ensure our E36 M3 was fit for duty no matter the circumstance, we opted for a set of Recaro Pole Position buckets in black suede and vinyl. The seats are FIA-approved, which means they'll get the OK at any tech inspection we can throw at the M3.
One of the biggest benefits of swapping your factory seats for aftermarket pieces is in weight savings. Modern car seats are loaded with cables, sensors, and controls that all add pounds to the bottom line-we weighed the stock seats at 63 pounds a pop-and they're manually adjusted! The new Pole Positions weigh in at a scant 15.4 pounds each, thanks largely to the fact that they don't recline. Of course, Recaro builds the seats with lightweight fiberglass-reinforced plastics that help keep the weight down, too.
While not as sexy as carbon fiber, the plastic is plenty strong and offers zero flex even under serious abuse from well-fed auto journalists like us. Recaro has obviously done its homework with the Pole Position, and not just when it comes to the materials used. The bolsters are high enough to provide plenty of support for our favorite on-ramp flings, though they're easy to get in and out of, and they don't interfere with shifting. Ingress and egress isn't any more difficult than when the stock seats were in place and anyone with a 34-inch waist or less will be plenty comfortable behind the wheel.
With the seats inside the car, it's nearly impossible to tell the difference between vinyl and leather, and frankly we don't care if you can. Vinyl is also much longer wearing than leather, so when your bolsters are long gone, ours will still be a spit-polish away from new.
Any time you swap aftermarket bits for parts that came from the factory, you run the risk of having to sacrifice comfort for performance. Despite the obvious race-oriented look of the Recaros, these seats are the perfect aggressive compromise. There's no questioning their usefulness on the track, but we've also had zero problems with long distance drives. The sliders are easy to reach and make it easy to get into a comfortable seating position. Forinformation on the Pole Position seats and the full line of Recaro products, check out the website. -James Tate
Recaro North America