Ultimate performance without compromise: That's what the RECARO Podium delivers. It is the world’s first performance shell to hold both a general operating permit (the German ABE) and an 8855-1999 homologation certificate from the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile), meaning it’s approved both for motorsports and for the retrofitting of sporty performance vehicles. At the Essen Motor Show, RECARO is introducing the new Podium GF with a shell made of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP). Meanwhile, its "big sister" Podium CF – with a shell made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) – is celebrating the start of volume production.
Essen, Germany – Dezember 02, 2022 – For many race-savvy drivers, the RECARO Podium is the Holy Grail of shell seats. And rightly so, because every millimeter of its breathtaking design radiates race technology. With the new Podium GF, RECARO now presents another high point of seat development in crossover between road and race track. There is also another reason for performance fans to rejoice: RECARO is starting volume production of its "big sister" Podium CF (with a shell made of carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, CFRP).
Peak Body Support. "In developing the Podium GF, we applied the ingenious principle of natural bone structure – a thin outer wall with maximum stability, a porous-flexible inner layer – to our shell architecture," explains Frank Beermann, Head of Design at RECARO Automotive. "We combine high-strength, ultra-light high-tech foam in the shell core with a front and rear shell made of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic (GFRP)." The result: the Podium GF fits the body like a glove and provides an unparalleled, dynamic driving experience with immediate feedback from the road. Even with high lateral forces, the body-hugging, supportive seat structure including side bolsters provide the body with first-class support.
Complete control and calculated thrills. Both the Podium GF and Podium CF were intensively tested on the world's toughest race tracks. That's how RECARO ensures that drivers are able to take corners even at the absolute limit. Another advantage in the hunt for personal bests: the Podium GF is one of the lightest seats in the world. In the M version (for medium-sized people) it weighs just 11 kg, while the L version (for taller people) weighs in at 10.9 kg thanks to thinner foams. The Podium CF weighs a sprightly 4.9 kg (without pads).
A perfect fit for road and track. The Podium is the only aftermarket shell in the world to have both an ABE (Allgemeine Betriebserlaubnis) and FIA homologation, which means its approved for both public roads and racetrack use. It achieves this balancing act through its innovative design and modular approach. Approved four-point harnesses can also be routed through the belt openings in the backrest for road use, and three-point harnesses can also be used in road-approved performance vehicles. In motorsports, such as GT, touring car and club competitions, the RECARO Podium is designed for the use of
four-, five- and six-point harnesses, as well as for the use of HANS (Head and Neck Support) systems. The upholstery concept with pads in two sizes (M and L) at the contact points between the body and the seat shell shapes the attractive look of the RECARO Podium and allows individual color and material combinations as well as customized ergonomics. Borrowed from motorsport, this solution not only brings material and weight savings, but also provides passive seat climate control: air can circulate in the ducts between the pads and through the shell openings.
Start of volume production for the Podium CF. Since it was presented to the public, the Podium CF has been at the top of the wish list of particularly race-savvy riders. "The market has been enthusiastic about the Podium from day 1. We saw this reflected in the high demand," said Ulrich J. Severin, Managing Director of RECARO Automotive and Vice President Europe. "That's why we didn't rest during the pandemic, but pushed ahead behind the scenes on volume production for the Podium CF." That production has already been running at full speed since November 2022, and existing orders are being successively processed. "We thank all our loyal fans for their patience - which we now want to honor with a delivery as soon as possible," Severin continues. New orders for the Podium CF will be accepted from mid-January 2023, with delivery of this batch planned from summer 2023.
The Podium GF can be ordered from authorized partners starting February 2023. Pricing for the Podium GF starts at 1,950 euros, while the Podium CF is available for an additional 1,500 euros compared to the GF. Both shells will also be followed in the summer by a variant with integrated side airbag (SAB) – a real world first, as this makes the Podium the first retrofit shell seat with airbag.
Both Podium models can be extensively trialled at the RECARO booth (Hall 3, Booth 3A25) during the Essen Motor Show. The K3R show car from Kremer Racing provides the perfect setting for the Podium – a road-legal racing machine, releasing adrenaline and endorphins even when parked.
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