Alcantara: The Material of Choice in the Automotive World


Steel. Iron. Aluminum. Carbon Fiber. Carbon-Fiber Reinforced Plastic. Carbotanium.  These are all materials primarily used in building a chassis of a vehicle.  Materials and assembly techniques have changed over the past 100 years. Manufacturers are in the constant search for a more cost effective, better built, stronger material with less weight.  After all, it contributes to the performance of the vehicle, not just in terms of acceleration and braking through lightweight, but also occupant safety and chassis dynamics with stronger materials and lighter weight.

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Plastic and aluminum tend to dominate the interiors of cars.  Carbon fiber and aluminum are considered a premium.  The next step, is the use of alcantara.

Lamborghini, the luxury super sports car manufacturer located in Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy, chose Alcantara for the interiors of its Bianco Icarus Huracán LP 610-4 and Arancio Argos Aventador LP 700-4.

"The Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS coupé and 911 Carrera GTS convertible made their global debuts in Los Angeles, each dressed in Alcantara. For its 911 Carrera 4 GTS and GTS, Porsche chose grey Alcantara with red contrast stitching for the steering wheel, central tunnel, dashboard, seating and door panels.Alcantara also was featured on the steering wheel of the Porsche 918 Spyder e-hybrid and on the headliner and pillars of the Macan Turbo S, Macan Turbo and Panamera Exclusive.  In addition, dark grey Alcantara was used on Porsche’s Cayman GTS, the Boxster GTS and Panamera GTS on seats, headliners, pillars and door panels.Audi had a number of vehicles on display with Alcantara interiors as well. Audi’s Prologue concept car had pearl grey Alcantara on its headliner, door panels and rear back panel, while dark grey Alcantara could be found on the headliner, pillars and rear deck of the Audi A6. – Alcantara S.p.A."

One of the best uses of alcantara is on the steering wheel.  The texture allows for an affirmative grip, yet soft to the touch. It gives a racing feel through the touch points of the car, but especially through the steering wheel and the shifter.

Maybe next time, when you’re thinking about a new car purchase, you’ll consider alcantara for the headliner and steering wheel.  You may never turn back.