A smartphone app can control the next-generation EZ Entry’s power movements. (Magna)

New Magna seat puts connectivity in the second row

New automated seating system improves passenger ingress and egress.

With one tap of a smartphone app, second-row vehicle seats can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate fold-flat cargo or provide an easier entry and exit route to third-row seating. Magna’s next-generation EZ Entry seat automates the functionality of the company’s current-gen EZ Entry seat, while providing the looks and feel of “a first-row experience,” the company’s seating engineering director Joe Meyer told SAE International.. The new seating feature is expected to enter production for the 2023 model year.

Magna’s current-generation EZ Entry seat, which launched on the Chevrolet Traverse in 2016, has manual-only adjustments. Control of the new seat’s movements comes not just by smartphone app, but also via a cluster of in-vehicle buttons or the vehicle’s interactive digital screen, Meyer explained.

A potential foot-snagging point related to the second-row seat striker (part of the latching mechanism on the incumbent EZ Entry design) has been eliminated. “You need a place to land your feet and the striker was something that could be simplified, improved, and relocated,” Meyer said, noting the now-enclosed mechanism’s under-seat placement.

The new seat design features a simplified bill of material (BoM); it uses five linkages versus nine on the previous seat. Fewer components contribute to a mass savings of up to 3 kg (6.6 lb) per seat. The new design offers up to 75 mm (2.95-in) of additional seat cushion area. The demonstrator has two under-seat motors: one controls fore-and-aft track movement and one motor controls the pitching arc of the seat base. A separate motor within the seatback controls the upright support.

For cargo loading, the next-generation version folds flat to a 3-degree angle, same as the current EZ Entry. The folding method differs from the current seat, however. “There’s still a diving motion. But the kinematic motion of the optimized linkage is rearward and down, rather than the current linkage pushing the seat cushion forward and down,” Meyer said. The pitch-and-slide movements also permit an attached child car seat to stay in place during power-recline adjustments.

The seat demonstrator being shown to industry customers and media also showcases Magna’s FreeForm sculpted, seamless seat surface. Unlike a traditional cut-and-sew seat trim cover, FreeForm eliminates the small crevices that can harbor debris. FreeForm launched in third-quarter 2020 for a GM-model seatback panel. Magna is “working with multiple OEMs for an A surface,” Meyer said. A second-row single seat and a 60/40-split bench seat also are under development. The bench seat has been fully tested, he said.

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