Troy, Michigan-based Grammer AG has developed adjustable, configurable automotive armrests for both front and rear seat positions which can be adjusted to move horizontally, vertically or tilt for proper support.

Through intensive testing, the company has determined that the optimum range of adjustment for an armrest for most drivers should be 11 inches (275mm) in an horizontal direction and about six inches (150mm) vertically.

Designed for a seat-integrated centre console or freestanding armrests, the new, adjustable armrests can slide forward or backward and tilt to a comfortable angle. Some versions also have overload protection. Under a heavy load, the armrest retreats into the console. When the load is lightened, the armrest automatically returns to its original position.

Horizontal adjustment in most models is done by hand. Height can be adjusted mechanically, electrically or hydraulically.

The seat-attached armrests move with the seat and come with tilt adjustment. In addition, they can be folded back completely and models can offer a small, integrated storage compartment. Adjustable armrest-console compartments also can be designed to include storage for mobile phones or a CD changer.

For the BMW 5 series, Grammer has developed an armrest covered with a polyurethane skin for an enhanced surface feel that is said to be highly durable yet soft to the touch, providing the pleasant feel required for a luxury vehicle.

The firm has also designed functional rear armrests for the Mercedes-Benz S-class, BMW 5 and 7 series, Audi A8 and Volkswagen Phaeton.