Leather vs Alacantara?

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IMO, Alcantara ages poorly. I'm opting for full leather interior.

In just 2-3 years (assuming you're driving it on weekends only, which isn't much) an all-Alcantara interior is going to still look like it's been beaten to hell, even if you're taking care of it.
This seems to be consistent with pretty much every long term review of Alcantara I've found. I'm opting for leather all around.
 

Leonard

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This seems to be consistent with pretty much every long term review of Alcantara I've found. I'm opting for leather all around.
I dont care either way on the what is better leather vs alcantara debate. But this is simply not true in regards to wear.
OK this is just one example but does this interior look even remotely worn?
 
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I dont care either way on the what is better leather vs alcantara debate. But this is simply not true in regards to wear.
OK this is just one example but does this interior look even remotely worn?
I'm sure with 100% proper attention to detail on the interior you can maintain almost anything, but given the nature of what most people maintain at which is probably a hair less than "obsessive", the results over time would be pretty staggering.

Your example is a little anecdotal.
 

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I dont care either way on the what is better leather vs alcantara debate. But this is simply not true in regards to wear.
OK this is just one example but does this interior look even remotely worn?
*shrugs*

I mean to each their own. To keep Alcantara looking new requires a ton of effort, and it all depends on the quality of the Alcantara and how the initial fit/finish is. (Porsche does it pretty well, but not everyone does.)

Furthermore, you can't just "wipe down" an Alcantara interior with quality detailing products - it's far more process heavy and if you get it wrong, you can damage it.

In comparison, a nice leather interior is simply just easier to maintain and keep looking fresh.
 

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I'm sure with 100% proper attention to detail on the interior you can maintain almost anything, but given the nature of what most people maintain at which is probably a hair less than "obsessive", the results over time would be pretty staggering.

Your example is a little anecdotal.
Pretty sure everyone on here will be looking after their car.
My sisters Evo from 2001 is still like new inside also 🤷 My GR Yaris I've cleaned 3 times in last 18 months. Still looks good.
Anyway.... I'd say just get whatever you like the look and feel of. Wouldn't even consider longevity.
 

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*shrugs*

I mean to each their own. To keep Alcantara looking new requires a ton of effort, and it all depends on the quality of the Alcantara and how the initial fit/finish is. (Porsche does it pretty well, but not everyone does.)

Furthermore, you can't just "wipe down" an Alcantara interior with quality detailing products - it's far more process heavy and if you get it wrong, you can damage it.

In comparison, a nice leather interior is simply just easier to maintain and keep looking fresh.
I think most alcantara bad press comes from poorly maintained steering wheels and gear shifters
 

ksegg

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I think most alcantara bad press comes from poorly maintained steering wheels and gear shifters
Also door panel inserts and seats. :ROFLMAO:


I have Alcantara in my M2 Competition (door panel trim, 6MT boot, seat side bolsters, etc) and I try to never touch any of it. It's a PITA to clean.
 

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Also door panel inserts and seats. :ROFLMAO:


I have Alcantara in my M2 Competition (door panel trim, 6MT boot, seat side bolsters, etc) and I try to never touch any of it. It's a PITA to clean.
I just periodically wiped the interior of my M2 Comp down with a damp microfiber. Maybe I'm a heathen I dunno 😕 🤷😅
Again still looked brand spanking after 3 years
Screenshot_20220815-181322_Photos.jpg
 

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In my experience, if you are wearing racing gloves, alcantara gives better grip on the wheel than leather. With gloves on, leather wheels always felt really slippery to me. I always thought that was why they typically wrapped racing wheels in alcantara, but not sure. Without gloves, it was the opposite and leather seems to give more grip, at least in my experience. Maybe alcantara is better if brand new. Rubber works better than both, gloves or not, but probably wouldn't fly in a car like the Emira.

Alcantara would probably make for more grippy seats, at least if you are wearing clothes:) A real racing seat with straight side bolstering is going to be significantly better, regardless of the covering though and is highly recommend if you plan on doing a decent amount of track work. Actually not as bad as you might think for a daily driver. If it's well fitted, they are really comfortable, just harder to get in and out of.
 

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In my experience, if you are wearing racing gloves, alcantara gives better grip on the wheel than leather. With gloves on, leather wheels always felt really slippery to me. I always thought that was why they typically wrapped racing wheels in alcantara, but not sure. Without gloves, it was the opposite and leather seems to give more grip, at least in my experience. Maybe alcantara is better if brand new. Rubber works better than both, gloves or not, but probably wouldn't fly in a car like the Emira.

Alcantara would probably make for more grippy seats, at least if you are wearing clothes:) A real racing seat with straight side bolstering is going to be significantly better, regardless of the covering though and is highly recommend if you plan on doing a decent amount of track work. Actually not as bad as you might think for a daily driver. If it's well fitted, they are really comfortable, just harder to get in and out of.
alcantara steering wheels are meant for fire-proof racing gloves. they are cloth thingies. the gloves are designed to stick to the alcantara wheel.


that's the only reason alcantara wheels exist, to allow race car drivers use flame retarded clothing and have great grip still.

Yes, I have a 718 Boxster T coming with full bucket seats, the ones with Alcantara/Race-Tex seat centers. That sucker grips clothes like glue. Bolsters + alcantara = glue. I am also getting swappable custom seat inserts that are more plush and pretty from a place called P1 Designs. That will be Sport-Tex from porsche, a very grippy but not as grippy as alcantara cloth.
 

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I opted for a leather steering wheel, because it's obvious the alcantara wheel will quickly lose it's fluff and start looking bad.

With that said, my wife's 2015 S4 has alcantara seats and they are PERFECT after 7 years and 75k miles. It's very good quality alcantara. The alcantara in my 2015 4C is much cheaper, but still looks 95%.

If you eat in your car and spill stuff on your seats, I would imagine alcantara would be a huge pain compared to simply wiping up leather. But the idea that somehow alcantara in general doesn't wear well is not true in my experience.
 

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There is no such thing as „good quality“ and „bad quality“ Alcantara. Alcantara is a brand name and they are very constant with their quality ;)
Many manufacturers use different materials that try to copy Alcantara, like Porsche Race-Tex or Mercedes microfiber Dynamica. Some of them are good as well, some are not. The advantage of those other materials is the price, because those Italian Alcantara guys charge a lot.
Lotus will get the real Alcantara. And this stuff is very durable and will last very long. However it can get dirty especially when soaking in oil from your hands. You can clean it, but the steering wheel won‘t look nice if you don’t. The seats however are very easy to maintain and will look new for a very long time.
 

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There is no such thing as „good quality“ and „bad quality“ Alcantara. Alcantara is a brand name and they are very constant with their quality ;)
Many manufacturers use different materials that try to copy Alcantara, like Porsche Race-Tex or Mercedes microfiber Dynamica. Some of them are good as well, some are not. The advantage of those other materials is the price, because those Italian Alcantara guys charge a lot.
Lotus will get the real Alcantara. And this stuff is very durable and will last very long. However it can get dirty especially when soaking in oil from your hands. You can clean it, but the steering wheel won‘t look nice if you don’t. The seats however are very easy to maintain and will look new for a very long time.
The alcantara on the 2017 BRZ i own and the alcantara on the 2021 911 GTS in the showroom of my Porsche dealership are not the same at all in feel and how they grip. Short vs longer fiber? not sure that's the the only difference.
 

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Then either one of them or both are using an Alcantara alternative. The BRZ probably has no real Alcantara due to costs.
This Stuff here is the real deal and more expensive then most leathers are. Normally only higher or high end manufacturers use Alcantara, Lamborghini for example does. Mercedes uses their own stuff as mentioned before, BMW also doesn’t use Alcantara, but a cheaper alternative, which is quite good as well however.
 

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Then either one of them or both are using an Alcantara alternative. The BRZ probably has no real Alcantara due to costs.
This Stuff here is the real deal and more expensive then most leathers are. Normally only higher or high end manufacturers use Alcantara, Lamborghini for example does. Mercedes uses their own stuff as mentioned before, BMW also doesn’t use Alcantara, but a cheaper alternative, which is quite good as well however.
Most high end supercar manufacturers use Alcantara and I don't see anyone complaining about the quality of the interior.
If its good enough for 2 million pound plus cars that could have seats made of otter pelts if they wanted, then....
 

FederGigant

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Most high end supercar manufacturers use Alcantara and I don't see anyone complaining about the quality of the interior.
If its good enough for 2 million pound plus cars that could have seats made of otter pelts if they wanted, then....
Correct. The bad reputation comes from the cheaper Alcantara alternatives/fakes that are used for cheaper, higher volume cars, because most people don‘t know that it isn‘t the real Alcantara. Most don‘t even know that Alcantara is a brand in it‘s own, and not just a type of fabric.
If you check car configurators from volume manufacturers you will see that they never use the word Alcantara for their microfiber fabrics that they use, because it obviously isn‘t Alcantara that they are using. The brand name Alcantara is just used synonymously by people for all those types of fabrics.
Good thing is that Lotus uses the real deal and I would say that the real Alcantara is at least as sturdy as a good leather.
 

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Yeah, "Alcantara" is thrown around like "Band-aid" or "Kleenex" no matter the brand of microfiberish material. Quality is certainly different. Whatever is in my Audi is still plush, soft and fresh looking. My 4C is a 3rd car, so it too still looks great, but the material isn't as nice feeling as the Audi.
 

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To put it in perspective, Lamborghini and Ferrari use Alcantara...do what I did to my GT, Ceramic coat the interior!
 

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