ALCANTARA VS LEATHER

101Baller

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Hey Everyone,

I got an allocation for a i4 FE next year. Dealer told me that sometime near the end of december 2022 i will be able to finalize my build. The configuration that i wanted to go with (and sent to the dealership) is:

Seneca Blue Black Pack(i plan on doing a unique wrap as soon as i get the keys 😄)
Touring
Diamond Cut
Yellow Brake Calipers
Alcantara with Yellow Stictching for both steering and seats.

I am having second thoughts on the Alcantara interior. I plan on using this as my daily but from my experience Alcantara wears down rather quickly... i currently drive a cls 63 AMGS and the alcantara on the steering wheel is practically buttery smooth now (after a couple years). Im not sure if there is a difference in quality of the material with other manufacturers but i think i might regret this interior later down the line. On the other hand, Alcantara is unmatched when it comes to grip and overall feel (especially the steering wheel).

Tough choice. Interested to hear some opinions.
 

VL3X

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Hey Everyone,

I got an allocation for a i4 FE next year. Dealer told me that sometime near the end of december 2022 i will be able to finalize my build. The configuration that i wanted to go with (and sent to the dealership) is:

Seneca Blue Black Pack(i plan on doing a unique wrap as soon as i get the keys 😄)
Touring
Diamond Cut
Yellow Brake Calipers
Alcantara with Yellow Stictching for both steering and seats.

I am having second thoughts on the Alcantara interior. I plan on using this as my daily but from my experience Alcantara wears down rather quickly... i currently drive a cls 63 AMGS and the alcantara on the steering wheel is practically buttery smooth now (after a couple years). Im not sure if there is a difference in quality of the material with other manufacturers but i think i might regret this interior later down the line. On the other hand, Alcantara is unmatched when it comes to grip and overall feel (especially the steering wheel).

Tough choice. Interested to hear some opinions.

Congrats on the allocation. Here's a long thread discussing Alcantara vs leather in the Emira.

FWIW I went with Alcantara. I love it on seats ever since my 04 STi's blue Alcantara interior. I had zero issues with it wearing prematurely, but I tend to take very good care of my vehicles.

I did go with a full leather wheel through. Those do tend to wear quickly due to the natural oils and sweat on your hands. Unless you're wearing driving gloves, I'd spec leather wheel for longevity and comfort.
 

CarGuy07

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People’s opinions will differ. I have done research on this and you will find some for and some against alcantara. Personally, I would go with leather. Alcantara is something I’ve always thought of as cool and perhaps try out some day. Seeing how it can look dirty and does wear out quite quick like microfiber/suede jackets, I wouldn’t go for it. Leather is durable. I’ve had it in all previous cars and it’s always held up well.
 

motorpool

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Hey Everyone,

I got an allocation for a i4 FE next year. Dealer told me that sometime near the end of december 2022 i will be able to finalize my build. The configuration that i wanted to go with (and sent to the dealership) is:

Seneca Blue Black Pack(i plan on doing a unique wrap as soon as i get the keys 😄)
Touring
Diamond Cut
Yellow Brake Calipers
Alcantara with Yellow Stictching for both steering and seats.

I am having second thoughts on the Alcantara interior. I plan on using this as my daily but from my experience Alcantara wears down rather quickly... i currently drive a cls 63 AMGS and the alcantara on the steering wheel is practically buttery smooth now (after a couple years). Im not sure if there is a difference in quality of the material with other manufacturers but i think i might regret this interior later down the line. On the other hand, Alcantara is unmatched when it comes to grip and overall feel (especially the steering wheel).

Tough choice. Interested to hear some opinions.
just clean the steering wheel with a top quality alcantara cleaner and will look 'refreshed' again. colourlock is a brand I use but there are others out there
 

FederGigant

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First of all there are no quality differences with Alcantara, because Alcantara is the manufacturer of this specific microfiber material. It's name is often used synonymously for those kind of fabrics. Mercedes for example is not using the real deal, but rather a cheaper copy of it. They call it microfiber dynamica.
Real Alcantara is very durable and has a good longevity, but it might start looking a bit oily and smooth out especially on the steering wheel. If that happens, you just have to know how to clean it. Most of the times you can completely recover it.
 

Tonyshepp

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First of all there are no quality differences with Alcantara, because Alcantara is the manufacturer of this specific microfiber material. It's name is often used synonymously for those kind of fabrics. Mercedes for example is not using the real deal, but rather a cheaper copy of it. They call it microfiber dynamica.
Real Alcantara is very durable and has a good longevity, but it might start looking a bit oily and smooth out especially on the steering wheel. If that happens, you just have to know how to clean it. Most of the times you can completely recover it.
Doesn’t the pile of Alcantara wear away as well, we’ve had Alcantara half seats in a Landrover and it wears the “fluffy” pile down over a number of years.
 

FederGigant

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Doesn’t the pile of Alcantara wear away as well, we’ve had Alcantara half seats in a Landrover and it wears the “fluffy” pile down over a number of years.
Everything wears, but the real Alcantara is very sturdy.
 

TomE

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Alcantara needs more care and maintenance to preserve the appearance. On a weekend fun car that’s less of an issue but personally I wouldn’t want the extra hassle on a daily driver.

Love the Alcantara on my Exige and it adds to the race car vibe, had leather on my Evora and will be leather for the Emira.
 

Leonard

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Everything wears, but the real Alcantara is very sturdy.
You won't need to worry, never seen a cared-for car with Alcantara suffer from any premature wear. In my experience, it wears at the same level as the leather equivalent (bar on wheels and knobs..... that ca be cleaned)
Still going strong on model year 2000 Evo 6 etc
 

Evotion

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I had Alcantara on the wonderful seats in my integrale - I am so looking forward to feeling it again and evoking memories of my time with the Lancia.

When I sold the car, when it was 8 years old, there was not a single hint of wear, well, not that I noticed but I was usually so excited to get into the car, I wouldn't have cared anyway

I have leather in the C63 and Bentley - lovely though it is, and smells, Alcantara has more magic and I know it will lift the car's interior appeal..

DL1_8007-tiny-600x0-0.5x0.jpg
 

Magicman

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Hey Everyone,

I got an allocation for a i4 FE next year. Dealer told me that sometime near the end of december 2022 i will be able to finalize my build. The configuration that i wanted to go with (and sent to the dealership) is:

Seneca Blue Black Pack(i plan on doing a unique wrap as soon as i get the keys 😄)
Touring
Diamond Cut
Yellow Brake Calipers
Alcantara with Yellow Stictching for both steering and seats.

I am having second thoughts on the Alcantara interior. I plan on using this as my daily but from my experience Alcantara wears down rather quickly... i currently drive a cls 63 AMGS and the alcantara on the steering wheel is practically buttery smooth now (after a couple years). Im not sure if there is a difference in quality of the material with other manufacturers but i think i might regret this interior later down the line. On the other hand, Alcantara is unmatched when it comes to grip and overall feel (especially the steering wheel).

Tough choice. Interested to hear some opinions.
Its not smooth from wear, it's the oils from skin that make it smooth, get a good interior shampoo and microfiber cloth and it should come up like new, did on my old 50k mole 997 GTS
 

Cutting42

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Good to hear the Alcantara cleans up well. I have never owned a car with it but always wanted it so have specced it on mine. One area of concern assuaged!
 

DrD

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I've had both leather and alcantara on identical steering wheels in different Porsches in the past, personal preference but I really preferred the tactile feel of the alcantara.

It did get matted with finger oils. God forbid you just ate some chicken wings without descaling the hands thoroughly too... But it does easily spruce up to the lovely tactile feeling material with a brush and some all purpose cleaner. I know alcantara retrimming at some specialists in the UK is about £180 or so, they can do contrast stitching and extra stripes etc... Too. I'm happy doing that every 4 years if needs be....

Personal preference, but I think alcantara feels better whereas it takes some marginal effort to maintain. Whereas leather still feels good but obviously doesn't really take any maintenance other than the occasional clean.
 

p.rob

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as stated, Alcantara will require additionnal maintenance.

I have it both on the wheel and the seats in my GT4. The wheel is the worst, I'm developing an OCD with this. I clean it twice a year with Sonax Alcantara Cleaner, even after 6 years it's still like new, but that car only has 22 000km...

On my Emira I ordered the alcantara seats, but leather steering. It's the best of both worlds.

Also, another point, Alcantara is way more grippy than leather, you do feel it during hard cornering.
 

CarGuy07

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as stated, Alcantara will require additionnal maintenance.

I have it both on the wheel and the seats in my GT4. The wheel is the worst, I'm developing an OCD with this. I clean it twice a year with Sonax Alcantara Cleaner, even after 6 years it's still like new, but that car only has 22 000km...

On my Emira I ordered the alcantara seats, but leather steering. It's the best of both worlds.

Also, another point, Alcantara is way more grippy than leather, you do feel it during hard cornering.
this is the way to go imo
I would go with alcantara seats for the stitching, but keep in mind the spilling, etc.
 

VL3X

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I clean it twice a year with Sonax Alcantara Cleaner

I guess my OCD is worse since I basically do a full detail on my cars at least once a month and wash them weekly. I keep a bottle of Meguiar's quik interior cleaner in my garage and wipe down the leather wheel in my GTI every couple weeks to keep it fresh. I've seen so many worn and shiny leather wheels that I'm extra careful with mine.
 

p.rob

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I guess my OCD is worse since I basically do a full detail on my cars at least once a month and wash them weekly. I keep a bottle of Meguiar's quik interior cleaner in my garage and wipe down the leather wheel in my GTI every couple weeks to keep it fresh. I've seen so many worn and shiny leather wheels that I'm extra careful with mine.
Well the GT4 is driven maybe once every 2 weeks, so not exactly the same battle I guess... I always wear gloves on track because I'm so worried about the steering wheel.
 

ksegg

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I'm going with Ice Grey interior and Leather Steering Wheel (Alcantara Wheel is going to be a nightmare to maintain, for reasons others have stated).

I originally wanted the Alcantara interior with Yellow Stitching but then thought - every single car I've ever owned my entire life had/has a black interior.

Want something different this time!
 

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