Italian company Alcantara produces a synthetic suede that's so popular in the marine and automotive industries that it's become a generic term for any similar material. However, the Milan-based Alcantara, which was founded in 1972, is keen to point out its materials are different from the alternatives.
"Low weight and breathability are important features and the unique 'grip' provided by our material is valued by performance car owners as well," noted Andrea Boragno from Alcantara. "Our materials are certified 100% carbon neutral, which adds to the appeal for companies and consumers with a concern for the environment. Alcantara creates interiors with guaranteed durability combined with taste and elegance."
Cars at the recent LA Auto Show sporting Alcantara interiors included the new Audi A8 L TDI that premiered in Los Angeles. It had the material on its headliner, pillars and doors.
A number of BMWs also had Alcantara, including the new Alpina B7 as well as the X6, 5, 6 and 7 Series models featuring Alcantara seating, roof and door panels on certain models.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Coupe Black Series made its debut with a number of Alcantara accents, but it wasn't restricted to high-end products. The Dodge Charger Daytona, for example, had perforated Alcantara to match the car's body color, while Ford F-Series pickups had Alcantara seating on its new FX Appearance Package.