The R18 Ultra prototype chair comprises three main components: a carbon composite seat, a carbon-rubber composite backrest, and aluminum alloy legs. During the Salone, Audi and the designers will set up the chair in a testing booth in the courtyard of the city’s Palazzo Clerici and invite visitors to sit on it. Each user’s unique physical impact on the seat will be registered in realtime via industrial sensors integrated into the chair; the results will be displayed via a multi-colored simulation on a wall inside the booth. At the end of the week, Kram and Weisshaar will study the gathered data and optimize the final product accordingly, shedding every excess gram of weight.
The experiment, claims Audi, will elucidate Ultra (the car’s) principles of “state-of-the-art lightweight construction, technology, and design…[beginning] with the raw materials sourced for production all the way through various manufacturing stages.” Fair enough, but it seems like an awfully esoteric way to show off the auto’s gee-wizz advances.