60 Years RECARO
With roots stretching back to 1906, RECARO has a long and remarkable automotive pedigree. Today, the brand RECARO has a strong presence not only in the automotive world, but also in aviation, gaming and child seats and strollers. Each business area and therefore each RECARO seat can trace their legacy to Stuttgart Body and Wheel Factory, which was founded in Stuttgart 117 years ago.
After being renamed "Stuttgarter Karosseriewerk Reutter & Co." the trained saddler Wilhelm Reutter and his brother Albert manufactured car bodies for nearly all well-known car manufacturers of the time including projects that involved the engineer Ferdinand Porsche. This longstanding collaboration with Porsche resulted in the production of the body and interior including seats of the Porsche 356.
In 1963, Reutter sold its body production plant to Porsche and focused on seats. REutter CAROsserie became the seating specialist RECARO. In 2023, that is already 60 years ago. A good reason to take a look at some of the RECARO seats that have shaped our brand during this time.
RECARO Automotive “Sportsitz”
RECARO Aircraft Seating “9777”
RECARO Automotive “Idealsitz C”
RECARO Kids “start”
RECARO Aircraft Seating “BL3520”
RECARO Gaming “Exo”
RECARO Aircraft Seating “CL6720”
RECARO Automotive “Sportsitz” (1965)
In 1965, RECARO Automotive launched the "Sportsitz", which fundamentally revolutionized automotive seating from the very beginning: in place of the earlier soft-cushioned, barely contoured seats with a core of metal springs, the RECARO “Sportsitz” stood apart with its lightweight construction, ergonomic backrest, lateral support and foam cushioning. The “Sportsitz” was the first seat that could be installed in practically any car, regardless of the manufacturer. Also it later came standard in the new Porsche 911 S for all drivers wanting to combine sportiness and comfort, and was available as a factory-installed option in all other 911 models of the time.
RECARO Aircraft Seating “9777” (1972)
Mere months after RECARO Aircraft Seating was formed in 1972, the “9777” rolled off the RECARO production line. In order to apply the experience from automotive seating to aviation, the first-ever RECARO aircraft seat was initially based on a licensed product by Hardman Aerospace. The seat structure maximized living space with its sophisticated main beam design and prioritized a low weight. The seat design for the growing aviation business was geared towards functionality and quality as well as meeting ergonomic and safety requirements and was first selected by Lufthansa and Korean Air. The "9777" benefited from the know-how of the automotive industry and laid the foundation for the strong presence of RECARO in the aviation industry.
RECARO Automotive “Idealsitz C” (1981)
The "Idealsitz C”, which was launched in 1981, was a real revolution because it offered various adjustment options previously unknown in car seats via a futuristic-looking control panel. This innovative feature helped to further improve the ergonomic seating position and adapt it to individual needs. The design was also innovative: for the first time, the seat was built from completely new, computer-calculated structures made of high-strength steel. The firm upholstery prevented fatigue even on long drives and was in line with the latest findings of ergonomics research to increase the comfort and performance of the driver. The "Idealsitz C", later also called “Classic C”, was developed for demanding drivers and represented the absolute top model among the RECARO Automotive seats of the time. As with the first sports seat in 1965, the company was also far ahead of its time with the "Idealsitz C”.
RECARO Kids “start” (1998)
In 1998, the RECARO “start” was unveiled - the first child seat made by RECARO. It was also the first child seat ever that was designed to grow along with the child providing perfect ergonomy and safety for children by adapting to their size. RECARO once again used its experience from the automotive and aviation sectors to transfer knowledge to a new area: Child seats that offer ergonomics and safety for the youngest. Today, the company's range of child seats and strollers covers all age groups and develops innovative solutions for the next generation.
RECARO Aircraft Seating “BL3520” (2010)
First unveiled in 2010, the “BL3520” was the result of a bid from Lufthansa for a seat that could increase the number of pax onboard their fleet without sacrificing legroom for passengers. Behind the concept was a focus on the central aspects of simplification, weight reduction, more space, and appealing design. The “BL3520” made use of a lightweight, single-component shell that, thanks to its ergonomically designed contours, provides optimal comfort for short trips at the same time. A simple but quintessential innovation was the patented high literature pocket which freed up valuable legroom. The bestselling “BL3520” earned five design awards, including a Crystal Cabin Award, Gold Focus Open Award and Red Dot Design Award. With half-a-million pax sold, the “BL3520” solidified RECARO as a global leader in the economy class market.
RECARO Gaming “Exo” (2018)
In 2018, RECARO Gaming introduced its first gaming seat, the RECARO “Exo”. Another milestone in the history of RECARO, which was constructed based on a detailed needs analysis and close cooperation with gamers combined with decades of seating experience in other areas like automotive, aviation and child seats. The unique shell construction, in tandem with the extensive gamer feedback, were key in seat development. With its ergonomic shape it promotes focus on the game and performance – thus ergonomics, aesthetics, and functionality are in perfect harmony. Other features include its innovative adjustment mechanism with four basic positions tailored to gamers. The RECARO “Exo” is a true RECARO original for a new market and opens another exciting chapter in the company’s history and its iconic design.
RECARO Aircraft Seating “CL6720” (2021)
The RECARO “CL6720” business class seat was initially introduced to the market in 2021. A successor to the first-ever full-flat business class seat in the RECARO portfolio that is currently flying on aircraft on almost every continent, the “CL6720” represents a strong step towards expanding into the business class seating segment. The seat’s lightweight structure, in tandem with an optimized seat layout, can save airlines thousands in fuel costs while helping them minimize their carbon footprint. In addition, the compact staggered seat’s countless privacy features and ample living space earned it a Special Mention Focus Open Award. Launch customer Air China collaborated closely with RECARO to develop an exclusive “CL6720” to uniquely enhance the passenger journey.