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I just posted about our order and build for a new BGTS for which we decided to go with leather and not take the GTS/Alcantara route. My wife is a designer so we know that quality microfiber "suede" is durable. We did, however, have a few concerns and we were hoping that P-9er's that have Alcantara could help us out. At the risk of being rude, we're looking for actual experience (preferably with the 981 GTS, then Porsche use of Alcantara, then general) - and not opinions, informed or otherwise. I really really like deviated stitching but it isn't available on a GTS with the non-GTS optional interior. Even if we did change back to Alcantara we'd get the leather steering wheel, not the Alcantara wheel.

Concerns:
1. My wife, like many ladies, wears make up. She occasionally rubs her face - normal. That means make up/oils on her hands - so we're concerned that the passenger side door handle could get matted from the make up.
2. Same for other bits that get hand contact (armrest, center console).
3. Seat surface matting.
4. Dealing with the "grain" inherent to suede (real or man-made) - I'm OCD enough to want a pattern when I help with housecleaning and vacuum carpet. I did "putting green patterns" in our lawns. How easy is it to keep the lower dash, door inserts, etc. "presentable" - or does anyone even care? ("We don't care" would be the expected, normal response IMHO).
5. I know how it should be cleaned, etc. and we've removed some nasty grand-kid stains from some of our micro-suede-covered furniture so is it reasonable to expect the same easy-to-clean properties in the longer-napped Alcantara?
6. Any other info about the wearability of Alcantara?

Thanks in advance for your real-life anecdotal responses!!!

gordon
 

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I've had my car for 2 months (took delivery Sep 27th), no problems in the slightest and everything looks like new. I even have the Alcantara steering wheel and its totally fine and still smooth/soft and I haven't really done any cleanings since I treated it new. The Alcantara that Porsche uses is very short pile, Its much shorter than my micro-suede couch, even the feel is different (nicer in the Porsche). I had Alcantara seats and door cards in my '04 STi which I had for 7+ years and the material held up very well there. The pile in the Porsche is a little bit shorter from what I recall my Subaru having, this should mean it will avoid pilling even more. Never had any problems with pilling on my STi seats and I admittedly didn't take great care of my seats (only vacuumed) on the Subi. Because of my experience with my STi that I had no reservations in keeping the Alcantara steering wheel that many GTS buyers were subbing for leather.

Care: It's much easier than it looks.

My go to thread on autopia is no more it seems, but Alcantara.com has some care instructions - Cleaning Alcantara and general maintenance | Alcantara
There's weekly, Monthly and Yearly cleaning steps.

My personal experience, you don't need to wipe weekly unless you are touching surfaces a lot with dirty hands.
I work in an office, and so I can keep my hands fairly clean.

I use LeatherMasters Nubuck leather cleaner and eco protector. Its a water based stain repellent that will keep oils and accidents at bay. I would still recommend immediately clean up of anything that would happen.
Personally, I don't allow eating and drinks only with screw on caps. Ideally, just water, which the was on board with.
I applied the protector when I got the car home and I haven't cleaned it yet since.

If you do have to clean something up, its easy to do and the material resists staining very well.

I fully expect the Alcantara to wear better over time than my leather surfaces.

The only concern I would have from your list there is the makup hands. It's likely however it will not be like the car I cleaned where the person put their makeup on every morning while driving (foundation caked everywhere). But even then I'm confident I could clean up the Alcantara like new.

Be quick if you plan to change, my build went locked in less than 10 days from when I ordered, and there is nothing your dealer can do once it's locked.
 

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4. Dealing with the "grain" inherent to suede (real or man-made) - I'm OCD enough to want a pattern when I help with housecleaning and vacuum carpet. I did "putting green patterns" in our lawns. How easy is it to keep the lower dash, door inserts, etc. "presentable" - or does anyone even care? ("We don't care" would be the expected, normal response IMHO).
I keep a horsehair brush from Allen Edmonds in my glove box for quick touch up to keep the alcantara pattern even. You're not alone with this OCD ;).
 
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THANKS GUYS! Great detailed write up on the Alcantara and a really great tip on the brush. The upside of OCD-ness is that feeling that come from when things are just right - the brush in the glove box idea brought that to mind. Heck maybe I could find a flatter brush that would store in the otherwise near useless center console bin! :dance:
 

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HAHAHAHA. I will. Having to duck fast and bob and weave to avoid getting beat up is good for these aging bones and reflexes!
 

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I have just over 4000km on mine. The seats, steering wheel and shifter still looks brand new and I have yet to clean it once. The dealer did have the car detail before I took my second delivery.
 

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After one week, I can't speak for the maintenance yet but the feel is phenomenal. I am very happy that I chose it. It also looks great with the overall GTS interior design.
 

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I think all current GTS owners should and most likely not see any remote signs of wear on their alcantara unless their cars are used as Taxis

its best to check with Cayman R guys as they would have better chance of having higher mileage and usage on the alcantara bits. Anyway, I have see alcantara holding up pretty well on seat cushions on the bucket seats with higher mileage. However, on the steering wheel and shift knob .... Due to how much skin contact they get (and likelihood of having sweat etc touching them in long term), expect to get new ones every now and then.

i see most of steering wheels and shifters starting to look crummy after 30000miles/5years, but not terrible obviously. But then a shift knob is only around 250 from Suncoast and a rewrap job for steering is similar to a bit less. Consider them wear and tear items

door handles and panels should have no problem lasting the life of the car if you take care of it.
 

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I have Alcantara in my CGTS and it holds better than the leather in my 991 turbo and as well as the fake leather (plastic) i had in my first BMW back in the day.....lets all remember folks, Alcantara is a synthetic from Japan, i.e. plastic, and not animal skin/hide. Having said that, the feel is the same as animal suede to me, and i find it luxurious, light, and grippy. No remorse here...
 

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If you wanted a leather steering wheel and shifter, Porsche allows that option on the GTS interior. That is what I got on mine.
 

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I think all current GTS owners should and most likely not see any remote signs of wear on their alcantara unless their cars are used as Taxis

its best to check with Cayman R guys as they would have better chance of having higher mileage and usage on the alcantara bits. Anyway, I have see alcantara holding up pretty well on seat cushions on the bucket seats with higher mileage. However, on the steering wheel and shift knob .... Due to how much skin contact they get (and likelihood of having sweat etc touching them in long term), expect to get new ones every now and then.

i see most of steering wheels and shifters starting to look crummy after 30000miles/5years, but not terrible obviously. But then a shift knob is only around 250 from Suncoast and a rewrap job for steering is similar to a bit less. Consider them wear and tear items

door handles and panels should have no problem lasting the life of the car if you take care of it.
I agree, I originally wanted alcantara steering wheel, shift knob, e-brake, etc, for my 997 but after looking at all the 997 GT3s on ebay, cars.com, etc, they all look horribly worn. I ended up paying double for carbon fiber. I have a leather sofa and microfiber sofa, the leather one is easy to clean, when my kids drop milk or food on it, I just get a damp cloth, wipe and it's clean. With my microfiber sofa (similar to alcantara), I have a special microfiber cleaning kit with a brush. I have to spray it, brush it, let it dry and do it again until the stain is removed. Alcantara does look cool though.
 

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Gordon,

I just ordered my car yesterday, got a little carried away, but went with the GTS interior. I have a 2011 BMW 1M, it has 12k miles on it, there is Alcantara trim on the instrument cowl, the door inserts and across the dash where the aluminum trim would usually be. It looks the same as it did the day I picked up the car. I have Alcantara specific cleaner, and I have some darker microfiber cloths I use to clean and 'groom' it with.

I agree with Ynot, some of the GT3s I have seen look a little rough, but I have noticed that having seen a few in real life, they sometimes look rough all over. I think quite few GT3s are track tools, and while mechanically they may be maintained, cosmetics sometimes are not a priority.


I know my experience isn't Porsche specific, the thing I was thinking is that having a car with Alcantara didn't dissuade me from ordering the GTS interior.


Best of luck!


Lee
 

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I do not know the answer to this but would ask the question about the impact that sweat and normal 'soiling' from hands have on a steering wheel and shifter surface? I know that the leather on my beige interior in my 981 gets cleaned and treated about every 3 months to keep it looking pretty much like new. I think that is what I would consider. I drove an Audi with Alcantara seat inserts for 18,000 miles with no noticeable impact of wear.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gordon,

I just ordered my car yesterday, got a little carried away, but went with the GTS interior. I have a 2011 BMW 1M, it has 12k miles on it, there is Alcantara trim on the instrument cowl, the door inserts and across the dash where the aluminum trim would usually be. It looks the same as it did the day I picked up the car. I have Alcantara specific cleaner, and I have some darker microfiber cloths I use to clean and 'groom' it with.

I agree with Ynot, some of the GT3s I have seen look a little rough, but I have noticed that having seen a few in real life, they sometimes look rough all over. I think quite few GT3s are track tools, and while mechanically they may be maintained, cosmetics sometimes are not a priority.


I know my experience isn't Porsche specific, the thing I was thinking is that having a car with Alcantara didn't dissuade me from ordering the GTS interior.


Best of luck!


Lee
look at my post in "what did you order with your..." Right after your post. You can delete the "I got a little carried away" disclaimer. You made.

We had reasons for our choices (detailed in a different post) but it doesn't take much to push the sticker price to $100K if you like your little decorative bits and bobs.
 

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I've only had my car for two weeks now and am happy with the choices I made. I went for the leather steering wheel option. I was worried that I would wear down an Alcantara wheel as I tend to hold the wheel a certain way most of the time. I was also concerned about keeping it clean. One of the pluses of going with the leather wheel is that you can opt for the aluminum or carbon PDK gear selector.

I went with the Carmine Red Interior package and haven't noticed any wear so far. The one concerning thing I did notice was that dog hair tends to stick to the cars interior a little more than I would like. It's easily removable using a lint remover but something to watch for if you have pets. I don't give my puppy a ride in my GTS but all it takes is a strand of hair or two on my clothes for it to stick to the seat and interior. I just keep a lint remover handy.
 

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sorry to thread revive this. but i thought I would provide some alcantara feedback in general.

My recaro's had Alcantara inserts.

the car was almost 8 years old when i sold her (45K miles). the alcantra looked better than the leather on the bolsters...

and certainly better than the perf leather wheel surface.

2 cents
 

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4 months, 3,000 miles. So far seats, wheel, and shifter all holding up just fine - no regrets. I especially love the feel of the wheel, which I know many delete and go with leather.
 

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For long-term Alcantara care, all you need to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wROwSj7OJGg

If you're looking for a cheaper cleaner than AMMO Shag, I'll strongly recommend Sonax Upholstery and Alcantara Cleaner, which you can usually get on Amazon.
 

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I just posted about our order and build for a new BGTS for which we decided to go with leather and not take the GTS/Alcantara route.
I'm a little confused. Are you thinking of switching it back to the Alcantara? Remember that if you pick one of the two-tone leather options, you'll get some deviated stitching (and more if you choose some of the extended leather options) though obviously not as much as the special GTS package has. This is the route I took and it looks beautiful!
 
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