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      02-23-2020, 01:43 PM   #8
Second Lieutenant

Drives: bicycle
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Florida

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Originally Posted by 850tgul View Post
Originally Posted by LakeSurfer View Post
I'm one of the rare guys who hates Alcantara. I've had a half Alcantara half leather steering wheel for the life of my car and never once had to clean or do anything with the leather portions of the wheel and it looks brand new, however, the Alcantara has to be cleaned at least every 6 months or so. It looks good when it's clean but only lasts a month and then it looks like garbage, especially bad next to the clean black leather. I've used Alcantara cleaning products with great results but a few areas have worn out and become "pilly" like an old sweater.

I also despise it as an end user because of the premium cost for it. It is super cheap to produce but is marketed as such a fantastic product that started in high end cars we think we're getting some kind of exclusive luxury product when we're really getting an ultra cheap, high maintenance alternative to suede. To me it's as much of a scam as forged carbon fiber. It all looks and feels fantastic but certainly shouldn't be in the premium product category. Just my opinion.

Sorry to jack the thread, Im just tired of being treated like an idiot by the marketing scams in the auto industry.
I don’t think you are alone in your dislike of the product. Plenty of folks don’t care for it. Mostly, though, I’ve found the hate comes from people who neglect it for years and then complain that it looks nasty after never cleaning it once.

Your points about production costs and marketing ploys aside, I do prefer the material on most surfaces to leather, especially touch points.

First, I think it feels nicer to the touch. Second, I think it looks nicer. Third, again pertaining to touch points, it grips better. Lastly, it is more temperate neutral than leather. Doesn’t get hot in the summer and doesn’t get cold in the winter.

Also, not sure what type of magic leather you had on your steering wheel that looked brand new after such a long time with zero maintenance but please share. To me, leather requires almost as much maintenance as Alcantara to maintain properly, unless you like the look of shiny, tough leather. To keep leather looking supple and matte requires preventative and regular maintenance as well.
I'm not trying to be difficult but I've never conditioned or cleaned the leather on the steering wheel. I also live in Tampa and never felt the leather was any hotter than any other material. I have an e93 with black interior and it's not any more noticeably hotter than any other vehicle I've been in down here. I'm sure it technically is but after a short time of driving it's totally fine and not noticeable at all. When it's clean the Alcantara feels amazing but as I've said it only lasts, in my car a month or so and then it's way more slippery than the leather.

If I had a track car I'd probably use it on the wheel but I don't so it's sort of wasted on me. I also wouldn't care about the how crappy it looked but my car is driven in most days and the wheel ruins the interior.

Leather requires a lot of hands on in order to complete the tanning process where Alcantara does not. It's a bunch of stuff throw into a machine where the machines spit out the end product. So why does it cost more and require more maintenance? It's cheap and not nearly as durable as leather. If you're driving a track car than you probably/should be wearing gloves and if you're not than you're probably not that serious about driving so does it really matter? Nope.

My opinions piss most people off but most people see Alcantara on a Ferrari at the local cars and coffee and think it's the end all be all. Ferrari is trying make a product on the cheap to sell said product for a profit. Also most people care more about what's trendy/popular or cool than what is a reliable product.

Im just saying that I shouldn't have to maintain my $1000 plus steering wheel every six months, that's embarrassing.