Having a car fit me properly is very important: I always feel like I'm trying to run in wrong-size shoes if it doesn't. Project 325 was never quite right. The factory power seats didn't offer much lateral support for the track driving I plan to do. Furthermore, the driver's-side seat had broken switches, resulting in a driving position that could allow the rearview mirror to conceal an entire Hyundai Accent two lanes over. I tried to remove the switches for replacement, but couldn't free them. At the same time, the seat weighed a hefty 67 lb-offering a superb opportunity to reduce the 325is' battleship-like curb weight. My goal for new seats was to save weight, lower the driving position for proper visibility and greater helmet clearance, and gain support and comfort. I found a solution at Sub Sports.
The Cobra Daytona is a great seat for a daily driver that will also see track duty. It should reduce weight in most modern cars, especially those with power-adjustable seats. It combines excellent lateral support with the flexibility needed for everyday comfort for a variety of body shapes and sizes. It provides slots for a competition or DOT-legal harness but also works properly with factory seatbelts.
The Daytona features a double-locking Keiper/Recaro tilt mechanism, in which a knob on the side provides infinitely fine tilt adjustment, and a bar across the bottom of the seat back allows the back to tilt forward for rear passenger access. Sub Sports offered the Daytonas in fabric or leather for Project 325. I like the idea of keeping the BMW's leather interior all leather but, in the end, applied the "go fast or suck" criteria and chose comfortable, breathable and ultra-grippy black rock fabric with reinforcements in high-wear areas on the bolsters.
Most aftermarket seats have a universal mounting interface and require a vehicle-specific bracket for installation. However, while the mounting bolt pattern is standard on most seats, there is no standard for the rest of the seat; the width of bolsters, reclining mechanisms, shoulder "wings" and other parts are entirely up to each manufacturer's designers. That makes it tricky for anyone attempting to design a bracket that will mount every seat in a car. Wedge Engineering is among the most experienced and widely used seat-bracket manufacturers and was recommended by Sub Sports.
My first attempt at installing the passenger-side bracket resulted in the inboard seatbelt mechanism running into the carpet. Danny Paisano at Wedge stayed late one evening to show me how the bracket fit. It was designed with a wider seat in a 325is that came with a smaller seatbelt tensioner assembly. Danny and his technician also were invaluable in removing the seatbelt latch sensor wire from the stock driver's seat so it could be transferred intact, a delicate and difficult task.
After several trial installations to assess various configurations, I realized that the bracket put the seat in just the right position if I mounted it directly, with no sliders and the upper, U-shaped brackets set evenly. It gave the lowest seating position for the lowest center of mass in the vehicle as well as being the lightest possible installation. The only downside is that only small people can be comfortable in the back seat, but the few who will ride there are likely to complain. The brackets offset the seats slightly outboard. I got used to the change easily enough but may decide to do something about it down the road. A Cobra Daytona by itself weighs just 29 lb, but with the brackets and belt tensioner, it weighs 45 lb-still a savings of 22 lb per side.