Ferrari has filed a trademark that could allow the driver’s seat to be easily adjusted between left-hand drive, right-hand drive, and central driving configurations. Is this what the future of supercars could look like?
The intriguing set-up was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in July last year and includes detailed drawings of how it could work. In simple terms, the driver’s seat, steering wheel/steering column, and pedals would all be mounted together in a single unit, similar to what you can find in a racing simulator. This unit would then sit on a set of rails running horizontally across the cabin, allowing the driving position to be altered.
To make such a design feasible, both steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire systems would have to be used, meaning there would be no physical connection between the brake pedal and the brakes nor the steering wheel and the wheels. Such a setup also wouldn’t work with a passenger seat present so any vehicle to use a configurable cabin like this would need to have a passenger seat that can be easily removed or sold without a second seat.
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Ferrari’s patent, first picked up by CarBuzz, adds that individual adjustments will still be possible for the seat, steering wheel, and pedal, allowing drivers to get into the most ideal position. The Italian marque notes in the application that such a configuration could be ideal for a racing vehicle with a central driving position as the seat could be brought alongside the door to help the driver get in, before being pushed into the center and locked into position.
As is so often the case with trademark applications like this, there is no guarantee that Ferrari will actually look to make this a reality but if it does, first doing so in a track-only car would probably make the most sense.