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I'd like to hear from those of you with Alcantara in your car. Does it show much wear? I would be concerned mostly with the steering wheel and seat surfaces. How's it holding up for you?
 

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I'm told the alcantara headliners wear just fine! And I can tell you by seeing the his & her987cs cars here in Portland that the headliners look awesome. :)
 

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I have alcantra lined doors on my daily driver (Lexus) and it looks brand new. And it doesn't get hot on those sunny days ;)
 

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blueone, thanks! Since His987CS is in Australia at the moment I'll pick up the slack and not let this slide by. However, definitely doesn't show much wear, just looks good!
 

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My Alcantara steering wheel is about 1 1/2 years old. Also have shifter, e-brake, center console lid, and lower dash. Steering wheel is wearing nicely. But with anything you need to take care of it. I wear gloves a lot because I also have a tan and carrera red interior in my other P-cars and they are a biotch to clean from sweat, oil and grime from your hands.
 

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My Alcantara steering wheel is about 1 1/2 years old. Also have shifter, e-brake, center console lid, and lower dash. Steering wheel is wearing nicely. But with anything you need to take care of it. I wear gloves a lot because I also have a tan and carrera red interior in my other P-cars and they are a biotch to clean from sweat, oil and grime from your hands.
Nice to know.
:eek:
 

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I've alcantar all around my LE Boxster. I would say it's nicer and smoother than letter in my CS. But it has different smell from the smell of P-car letter, took me awhile to get used to it.
 

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I'd like to hear from those of you with Alcantara in your car. Does it show much wear? I would be concerned mostly with the steering wheel and seat surfaces. How's it holding up for you?
By now, you're probably getting the idea that alacantra wears well. Let me +1 on that subject.

I bought a '95 M3 new. I took good care of the thing but I tracked it alot and I'm not exactly anal about
appearences. It had seats with "Motorsport Cloth" inserts acd medium grey alacantra bolsters. The car was lowered quite a bit and getting in and out involved pretty intense rubbing of the outside bolsters. I owned the car 15 years and tracked it 14 of those years. When I first got it I Scotchguarded the cloth inserts twice. I did nothing to the alacantra because I didn't want to take a chance on mucking it up.

The rear bolsters were removed when I installed the roll bar. After probably a hundred DEs and trips to and from tracks in the Midwest, shoe-horning 4 race tires in the fold-down back seat area, getting the seats wet driving in rain with windows open and generally getting the seat very dirty now and then, The front bolsters looked like new when I sold it. The only cleaning I ever did was to occasionally brush them with a clean hand. The front bolsters perfectly matched the rear ones that had been stored over 10 years. Tough and EZ care is how I would describe the stuff.

It's the perfect material for seats and I'd love a steering wheel and shift knob made from it.

I'm not fond of alacantra headliners, though. They make a cabin seem a little close and claustrophobic. We don't need that feeling in our Caymans.
 

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Alcantara is a chemical compostion non-woven material composed of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane. It was developed in the 70's by a Japanese scientist and involves some complex 'spinning' to create. Its sometimes referred to as 'microsuede', but its not a leather product.

There are a lot of imitators out there. The real deal comes from Alcantara SpA which is a joint venture of an Italian chemical company and Toray, the Japanese company that invented the material. Imitation materials will fray when cut with scissors, real Alcantara will not.

How will it wear? Well, like most things if you keep it clean it wears quite well. I'm in the leather/fabric business and the # 1 killer of all leathers/fabrics is failure to keep them properly cleaned. Steering wheels in particular are magnets for hand oils and grime, which will break down any material - even leather. Just give them a wipe down when you wash your car. You don't need anything fancy, plain water will do, or a little mild soap (like a swipe on a rag with a Ivory bar bath soap) will do the trick. Not too much soap, not too much water.

I have in in my Boxster and its terrific.

-Duane
 

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I'd like to hear from those of you with Alcantara in your car. Does it show much wear? I would be concerned mostly with the steering wheel and seat surfaces. How's it holding up for you?
Mine is fine. I have a DE1, which has the full Alcantara treatment (headliner,
steering wheel, shift knob, E-brake handle). If my hands a bit greasy after
eating at a restaurant, I always wash my hands before driving. Maybe
that helps a bit. I've had the car for nearly 1.5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the responses. I have an alcantara headliner in my 997S and I like the feel of it, but I was thinking the softness might wear off after a few thousand miles on items like the steering wheel and seat surfaces. I may order a car with those things in alcantara. I'm glad to hear it holds up better than I expected.
 

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Thanks for all the responses. I have an alcantara headliner in my 997S and I like the feel of it, but I was thinking the softness might wear off after a few thousand miles on items like the steering wheel and seat surfaces. I may order a car with those things in alcantara. I'm glad to hear it holds up better than I expected.

As far as the headliners, I'm just going by the highly optioned cars I've sat in in dealerships. An A6 with it felt claustrophobic compared to my normal interior. It's strictly personal taste. I just wouldn't order and pay for it on a new car, personally, although, thinking about it, it might make the interior quieter...an advantage in a 911 if you want to listen to the stereo and not just the engine.

911 has a little roomier interior, so claustrophobia is less of an issue. On a Cayman, you want all the airiness you can get.
 

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I took reasonable care of the Alcantara seats in my 2000 Audi S4, but experienced some pilling of the fabric over time.

It looked fabulous when it was in good shape, but not so good now. I'd think that leather would wear better. I wouldn't be concerned about using for surfaces that receive less contact like headliners, however.
 

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I have a 2004 BMW with an alcantara covered steeering wheel and other bits. Only the steering wheel needs cleaning every 6 months or so when you start to see and feel it getting smooth (with hand oil/grease).
To clean DON'T rub. I simply soak a microfibre cloth with a foamy fabric cleaner, spray the steering wheel with the same stuff, wrap the cloth around the wheel and SQUEEZE.
do it 3 or 4 times, the cloth gets black, and the steering wheel is perfect. Leave the windows open to get the wheel dry... you're done
 

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My car was bought in June 2008, my daily driver, I have Alcantara seat inserts in a Carrera Red leather Sports Seat. 3 observations:
1) Looks great
2) Holds your butt in the seat especially at DEs, Autocross
3) Very durable looks brand new so far

Personally think seats or headliners would be the right place, for this material don't think I would want to touch it that much (but that just may be me and others on this post have real world experience in those places, I don't). I have Carbon Fiber on the shifter and leather on the wheel; love those materials in those places.....Rod
 

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I'd like to hear from those of you with Alcantara in your car. Does it show much wear? I would be concerned mostly with the steering wheel and seat surfaces. How's it holding up for you?
Pnut,
I gotta ask man, where ya been? I've missed you and that avatar of yours! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pnut,
I gotta ask man, where ya been? I've missed you and that avatar of yours! :)
Hey Ken, yeah I've been away for a couple years. After a few months of waffling over whether to go for a Boxster or Cayman, I decided on a 997 S (that was 2 months after meeting you and Brad and a few others at the Portland Parade). I came back here after finding out about the Boxster Spyder. Well, that is after first trying to figure out what happened to the Cayman Register :rolleyes: After hanging out here again for a few days, I now remember why I liked the Cayman so much. I don't think I'll be satisfied until I've owned one of every freakin' model.

What's up with KU this year? Go 5-0 then lose 5 in a row, sheesh.
 
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