Are you sitting comfortably?

Are you sitting comfortably?


MADAM Wheels' review of the 2019 Porsche Macan S tells us that it now has 14-way powered seats. Fourteen. Someone is showing off. Let’s see if we can guess what each of those 14 options is.

1. Forwards.

2. Backwards.

So far, so obvious. And I’m assuming that forwards and backwards are counted as two separate directions, rather than as a single plane of adjustment. After all, what use is a seat that only moves forwards? Let us press on.

3. Tilt (forwards – or whatever it’s called when the front edge of the seat tips towards the pedals).

'I’d go back in time about five years to tell Porsche’s designers and engineers that we do not need 14 different seat adjustment options, powered or not.'

4. Tilt (backwards – or whatever it’s called when the front edge of the seat tips towards the roof)

5. Seat back (recline).

6. Seat back (the opposite of recline).

7. Seat height (up - vertically).

8. Seat height (down – also vertically).

That’s eight, I’ve run out of ideas, and there’s still six different directions Porsche has dreamed up for a single seat to move. So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt here:

10. Lumbar support (in).

Clutching at straws a bit, but anyway.

11. Headrest (up).

12. Headrest (down).

I think the manufacturer is really trying a bit too hard, unless the two remaining options are:

13. Forwards (in time).

14. Backwards (in time).

But I bet they’re not.

If they are, then I’d use the backwards (in time) option to go back about five years to tell Porsche’s designers and engineers that we do not need 14 different seat adjustment options, powered or not.

But in one of those delicious time-travel paradoxes, if I were to go back in time to tell them that, and they eliminated the more esoteric options including time-travel, then by definition I’d be unable to use the time-travel option to go back in time to tell them that we do not need 14 different seat adjustment options.

So we’d end up with 14 different seat adjustment options, including time-travel, and I could go back in time … you see what I’m getting at. All time-travel scenarios seem to involve the same sort of internal contradictions.

Time traveling in a car would be a curious phenomenon. You could drive to where you want to go and then travel back in time the exact duration of your journey, so you’d arrive the same time you left – or earlier, if you’d prefer. You could do a road-trip around Australia in literally no time. You’d never be late arriving anywhere. And with at least 12 other seat adjustment options at your fingertips, you’d arrive anywhere, anytime, presumably relaxed and in comfort.

Thinking about time travel reminds me of two things I’ve read about it. The first, the demonstrators demanding that time travel be invented: “What do we want? Time travel! When do we want it? That’s irrelevant!”.And the second: How do we know time travel will never be invented? Because when The Beatles played their first gig at The Cavern in Liverpool, the venue, though tiny, wasn’t even full. Think about that one.

I bet the real 13th and 14th adjustments on the Macan’s seats are to the bits that slide out under your legs behind your knees – squabs, I think they’re called. It’s a lot less interesting than travelling in time, but probably more within Porsche’s current engineering capabilities.