Fifty years ago, the Lincoln Continental featured power seats that were more or less a pair of mattresses connected to a tilting hydraulic motor. And if we take stock of humanity’s accomplishments that followed, I hope it’s not just moon landings or miles of internet we consider, but also that the new Lincoln Continental will feature a Venetian leather seat with 30 different motorized adjustments–including rolling massage and pieces that articulate for each of your butt cheeks.
No, it’s not a deleted scene from Idiocracy or The Simpsons. The chair could spawn 50 or more new patents for Ford. And, while butt articulation may sound like a snicker-worthy extravagance–even for a luxury car–the head of Lincoln’s seat department, Dan Ferretti, told CNET that it was inspired by practical ergonomics:
“There was a recognition early on that each of your legs is doing something different. One is, for the most part, continuously connected to the accelerator or brake pedal. The other leg is free to move about, sometimes you tuck it up under you, or stretch it out … you want to have different functionality and different support.”
In defense of the Lincoln brand, I’ve noticed–especially as I drive less–that half of my lower back will often tighten up during a long trip. The automotive industry has dealt with this ergonomic asymmetry in the past by introducing cruise control, and allowing the driver to take their foot off of the accelerator for brief stints. There’s no reason that the luxury car market shouldn’t continue to refine their seats to promote comfort and circulation–especially if they’re aiming at the traditionally older demographics known to buy luxury cars. But given that most of the luxury market is trying to woo younger buyers, I’m curious if patent-pending, cheek-articulating butt adjustments are the right tact. Actually, scratch that. It’s the perfect tact.