I’ll admit, seating configurations in most cars are quite dull really. Two seats in the front, two or three in the back and that is about it. Whilst its probably for good reason, I cant help but wonder what other layouts have been done? Luckily for me, I’m not the only one and there have been loads of attempts to do something different. Lets get right into the video.
Introduced in 1992, the McLaren F1 made history in so many ways, and even today, it’s one of the coolest supercars out there. Despite its coolness, I’m still not sure quite how they seem to fetch tens of millions of pounds when they go on sale, but still, they’re pretty awesome… Arguably the best feature on that premiered on the F1 was the unusual but rather sensible, three-seat configuration, with the middle seat being the drivers one. The F1 has, in fact, a central driving position and passengers sit on each side of the driver. This was highly controversial in the early `90s, and it still is, but it makes perfect sense. The seating position was a large part as to why the McLaren F1 was never officially sold in the USA. Since then, there have been just 7 federalised examples, with modifications to be legal in the USA.
The Subaru BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter) was a light pickup truck with all-wheel-drive sold from 1978 till 1994. It was a practical and capable workhorse, but its main claim to fame was a unique seating configuration with two seats in the cabin and two seats called “jumpseats” in the back, facing the rear of the vehicle.
Subaru didn’t initially have the intention of installing rear seats, but due to the infamous “Chicken Tax” which affected imported cars from Japan, two extra seats were added. This transformed the vehicle just enough from an ordinary pickup truck into ‘passenger’ vehicle, at least in Uncle Sam`s eyes. This meant that the 25% import tax was no longer imposed on the BRAT and Subaru paid only 2.5%, which kept the price of the vehicle down and ensured its popularity on the American market.
Apart from being one of the ugliest cars ever produced and the constant butt of jokes in the automotive world, the Multipla is, in fact, a rather practical car. It has tons of room inside thanks to its boxy shape, a solid boot space, low running costs and these days can be purchased for as little as a couple of hundred pounds.
More interestingly however, is its clever six-person seating configuration. The Multipla has two rows of seats, and each one of them can hold three people. There is a smaller but still usable middle seat in the front, which makes this a practical minivan proposition for bigger families or for a kid who wants to see out the front. All seats are adjustable and you can even remove the entire rear bench or middle seat. This means you can transform the car from a six-seater people carrier to two or three seat van, ideal for mountain bikes, tools or any other bulky items.
Popular in the `70s, French boutique manufacturer Matra was always a very innovative and forward thinking company. In 1973, they released the Bagheera, small but very modern-looking sports coupe with a twist – a three-seat configuration. Even though Bagheera was a tiny car, designers managed to install three seats, which could accommodate three adults.
The driver`s seat was a bit bigger, but the two passenger seats were still very usable. The car surprised the automotive public, and it didn’t take long before it was known the sports car in which you can take your wife and your mistress on a weekend trip!
A step above the 50cc scooter sits the innovative Renault Twizy. The Twizy has two seats, like you might expect from a car of this size but unlike almost any other car on the market, the seats are positioned like in the fighter jet, driver in the front and passenger in the back. Of course, there isn’t a lot of space in the back, and it’s a little dark, but still, its way better than walking and a great way to transport 2 people over short distances.
If you’re not familiar with the Geely GE, I dont blame you, unless you live in China. This car was only sold to the domestic Chinese market and it’s kind of their version of a Rolls Royce Phantom. It is big, opulent, luxurious, and reserved only for the elites. Interestingly, the GE so luxurious that it is sold as a three-seater vehicle, which is unheard of in this class.
In the front there are two seats like in most cars, however, in the back, there is one single-seat, essentially what is a big leather armchair for the passenger to sit in. Despite being an undoubtedly luxurious experience, we reckon it might get a bit lonely in the back, but if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t like to share, it might be the car for you!
Probably the most intense sports car experience you can get in a car is behind the wheel of BAC Mono. With over 300 HP at your disposal, a sequential racing transmission, perfectly tuned suspension and just over 500 kilograms of weight, the BAC Mono is pretty out of this world. So is its pricetag sadly, at more than £165,000 brand new! Its single seat driving configuration is pure racecar though, and people who’ve had the privilege to take it on track say that the experience is incredible. Still, that’s a lot of money for a single seat track toy. For the rest of us, this it would be cool if Caterham or a similar brand could do something with this seating configuration for less money.
What cars did I miss? Do you know of any other cars with even weirder seating configurations? Let me know in the comments.