Audi returned to Design Miami/ with another exhibit showcasing the brand’s connection to the broader world of design. This year they featured the R18 Ultra Chair by designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram which got previewed in Milan and we posted about here.
The exhibit showed the stages of development from inspiration through to the production models of the chair. The links to the automotive world start at the beginning which Audi showed with their diesel-powered R18 Ultra which competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Key materials in the car’s lightweight construction, composites and aluminum are the same used in the chair. The lighter weight translated to better fuel economy which meant the car could be on track longer and not lose time in the pits refueling.
Several of the chair prototypes including the model wired with sensors to record pressure points were displayed. There was an industrial welding robot shown that fabricates the aluminum legs. Sadly, it was switched off for the show.
Visitors could test out one of a half dozen examples of the production version of the R18 Ultra Chair. It is very light, it feels less than the weight of a MacBook Pro. There is some flex in the legs and back when you sit. Overall the chair is comfortable for looking very angular in shape.