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As a luxury material for car interiors, the popularity of Alcantara appears to be on the rise. The synthetic, Italian-made product, which resembles suede leather in look and feel, featured in a number of new car and bakkie interiors on display at this year’s Los Angeles International Auto Show.
The newest entry in the luxury SUV market, Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio, made its world premiere at the event featuring Alcantara on its dashboard, steering wheel and seats, the material also being used for the headliner. A sister car, the Giulia Quadrifoglio Verde, featured black Alcantara with red stitching on the seats and a steering wheel sheathed in the product.
The Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid Executive, also making its world debut in Los Angeles, featured an Alcantara headliner and the material was showcased on other new Porsche models as well, including the new Panamera, 911 Carrera S, the Macan Turbo and Cayenne S E-Hybrid.
Honda’s Acura brand relied on the richness of Alcantara’s look to dress the seats for the debut of its Precision Concept – a stand-alone cockpit which featured innovative telematics. In addition, the latest version of the Honda NSX – which was also on show – utilised Alcantara covered seats stitched with red thread.
Fiat Chrysler’s Dodge brand made extensive use of the material. A Viper GTS-R was on display with Alcantara apparent on seats and door panels. The Challenger 392 and Charger Daytona Scat Pack 392 both offered similarly upholstered seats and a Dodge Daytona had a combination of perforated Alcantara and yellow stitching on the seats.
Equally, Maserati’s Levante and Levante Sport each featured Alcantara headliners and interior trim, while the brand’s GranTurismo MC and Ghibli utilised Alcantara headliners.
Ford also made use of the material for the headliner and seats of its Lincoln brand’s new Navigator Concept and for its Ford branded Lariat F-150 bakkie. Jaguar followed the trend by cladding the interior of its new, electrically driven I-PACE with moonstone-coloured Alcantara.
The brand’s latest F-Type featured grey Alcantara – highlighted by electric blue stitching – on its instrument panel while BMW’s 2017 M2 Coupé had its door panels and brake boot covered with the material. Further, both the X6 M and M6 Grand Coupe used Alcantara for their headliners.
Finally, the Audi S6, S8, RS7 and A8L 4,0 T Quattro each featured Alcantara trim and a Lexus LC 500 on display offered red Alcantara on its seats and in the door panels.
In a media statement, a spokesman for Alcantara SpA attributed the popularity of the highly versatile material to its combination of sensory, aesthetic and functional qualities. It is fire retardant and eco-friendly and, for the past seven years, its production has been certified as carbon neutral.
“Alcantara is the choice of leading brands in a number of application fields: fashion and accessories, automotive, consumer electronics, interior design and home décor. The material’s features, together with a serious and certified commitment in terms of sustainability, make it a true icon of contemporary lifestyle,” the statement said.