The most ironic thing about owning a Porsche is how little of the car you actually touch while driving it. Once inside, and the key is turned, the car running, you are intimately touching only the steering wheel, pedals, seats and shifter. The rest of the car cocoons you into a bliss of unrelenting unidea’d performance.
The driver is presented with a seat, a seat belt and legs fit in the space where the floor pan is below. The seats lock you in control, exactly at a position you need to be to nimbly navigate the beast. You feel one with the sheet of metal, buffering protection around you and everything, even at a high rate of speeds, is in thought-out and natural reach. The windshield acts like a lens, to frame information about shapes and forms flying by and curved to maximize an undistorted view of the road while angled to reduce wind resistance from front to back. The tint of the glass helps reduce glare and maximize focus to catch every detail of your surroundings. It is very surprising to the most veterans of Porsche owners and drivers that no matter the age or model of Porsche, you get this very similar attention to driver.
Your hand rides on the clutch placed at a height that makes your body go into a motion to complete a shift. Your mental decision to shift is based on sound, speed and feel. The eccentric torque then becomes a repetitive flow of movements… In some of the older cars it is nothing less than a workout. At the very tip of your toes are the gas, clutch and brake pedals and work in sync with your hand shift, and forward movement of the car.
The seats had been seeing significant improvement as the years moved forward. Headrests, better lateral support, better body support while allowing ways to better access rear seats were always a Porsche goal. The materials had to stand up to use, be soft, be easy to clean and be lightwight. The ways the seats attached to the floorboard was another major concern.
Driver comfort is the absolute key notion to driving a Porsche. Since many actions are pretty much automatic and maintained through a series of smooth and deliberate actions, its how well the body positioning then makes the driver. Angle of the seat helps you maintain a correct pressure on both steering and shifting. Some seats offered venting to increase air stream for the seated occupant. The airstream allows cooling and reduces back and rear leg tensioning. There was lots of thought on how the seat would be adjusted, height, tilted and scooted forward and back. Lateral support was found to be a strong asset for most Porsche drivers that like to take their cars on curvy back roads. Some similar seats could be found in competition sports cars and adapted to fit Porsche. You should understand that seats are not interchangeable from one car to another without seat bolting kits. Variations of material texture made seat attractive and allowed for even a more sporty advantage.
Some seats were more stiffer than others. Some don’t allow for adjustment, while others can have rail guides that will bring taller drivers inside the car better . The seats would be cut a certain way to allow tall or short drivers in relation to the steering wheel.
Steering wheels needed to be positioned to handle the control of the car. Gauges generally would centered beyond the spacings of the wheel with the horn button centered. Steel, wood and other composition materials would be used t0 develop better handling materials.
While Porsche had their own steering wheels that came with the car, many other companies came up with hundreds of aftermarket solutions. Grip, hand over hand and other turning techniques would prove that Porsche own wheels were quite nice. Some matched car interiors while others contrasted them.
Racing style steering wheels also made an attractive solution as well. Those kinds of wheels had grip, hand position and even diameter changes that would allow for gloves plus make the car more racer looking.
Ultimate race car electronic steering wheels would include all the controls on the steering wheel, not just the horn. Everything from Boost, lights, alarms and more would be adjusted from that single position.
Pedals also acted as also one of the very few places a driver touches the car. All his actions would coordinate foot, shifter, engine tech ratios to give his car control.