Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Alcantara, alcantara, alcantara !!

I've had my Model S for 2 weeks now and I'm very satisfied ... I didn't get a P model but very happy wth the performance (I came from an Audi S5) and the quality of the interior materials is high ... however :) ...

This is the first car where I've ordered Alcantara as a trim (perviously it's been a "sporty" add-on, but this time I explicitly ordered it for the roof) and I have been very impressed by the quality of the material. I have a micro-suede couch at home, which I've had for nearly 8 years, and it's worn exceptionally well + its very easy to keep clean (hands of a 6 yro).

One of the things I very much like about the MS is the "matt" finish to the leather - it's something I very much enjoyed with the Napa leather in the S5 too - bit I know, understand and accept that as the car is used the leather will age and gloss. However, i really like the matt look to the leather.

So I've been thinking that I might have Alcantara "wrapped" (?) on the high traffic areas (steering wheel, door inserts, and central arm rests inc. rear console) in order to remove the gloss from my eyes (I accept that there will be wear on the seats) and also to give me something easier to maintain than the original standard that OEM leather.

My first port of call was Unplugged Performance who, I think you would agree, are currently the premier "interior mod'er" of Teslas - they were very helpful ... but because I live in the hinterland (a.k.a Australia) it would involve shipping the Ghost to LA for them to work on themselves. I'm keen to get a good job done, and the shipping costs are reasonable, but the timeframe (shipping + work + shipping) doesn't work for me - especially since I'm only talking about wrapping trim items and not a full interior mod.

I've used a local trimmer before ... some f***wit decide to slice the roof on my S5 cab - twice ... and they have impressed me with their professionalism, quality of work and the cars they work on (lot's of classics.. Mercs, Porsche etc) ... so I spoke to the about doing a wrap of specific pieces of the interior.

Their reaction :) ... yes .. but NO :)

"Modern cars are a pain in the **** because they are mainly sealed units, the use trim clips bit unless you know where they are and how they will react to force it can be dangerous ... it's easy to break them and we have never done a Tesla before"

Queue sad face :(

However, as they said ... "Speak to the SC and if they can remove the trim pieces so that we can wrap it and then re-attach it ... well, yes we'd love too ... and it's aboutr 3sqm of Alcantara + max 1 hr were piece to wrap ... so basically $xxxx"

I spoke the the SC .. and god bless them ... "sure, we can remove and re-attach the pieces it will take about 1 hour per piece - but if it takes less then we on't charge you - so to should be errrr about $xxx ... we will take them across to the trimmer for your if you like"

Cool .... BUT ... one the the things that the SC mentioned was that they didn't think that getting the central arm rests wrapped was a good idea because it could wear quickly, also I was driving today and wondered what the effect of having Alcantara on the wheel would be for Autopilot (i.e. "Please hold the wheel ...nod dude, hold the wheel ... look are you REALLY holding the wheel ?")

Unplugged do a wrapped wheel that I can get, and therefore only get my trimmer to do the inserts ...

What I'd like to know is :

a) what experience do people have re. wear of alcantara vs nappa leather'?
b) what experience do people have of a wrapped steering wheel with autopilot?
c) should I wrap the centre arm rests?


Mar 4, 2014
Sydney, Australia
Regarding (b) I think the general consensus is that the car senses you holding the wheel by slight resistance to turning compared to no hands being present on the wheel (ie it is not using pressure pads or electric resistance across sensors or similar). Assuming that is the case it shouldn't make any difference what the wheel is trimmed with.

I am sure the Service Centre could confirm this one way or another.

Regards to (a) and (c) my personal view is I would rather live with some shinier bits of leather than the worn look that normally comes with the suede type of finish. I expect that the right type of leather care may keep either surface looking good for longer?


Apr 24, 2014
No. VA
Alcantara all over, including steering wheel and armrests, is certainly an option in a Bugatti!! http://www.ammonyc.com/detailing/bugatti-veyron-suede-alcantara-cleaning-tips/. However, I would be very hesitant to modify the steering wheel, remove trim pieces, etc. because Tesla can be touchy about modifications. Moreover, it doesn't sound like you have a vendor that is really all that comfortable doing the work you want to do.

In any event, good luck!
Thanks guys - I'll ask the SC about any potential effects of wrapping the steering wheel.

@iadbound : the SC have said they are happy to remove and re-attach the trim pieces, and the trimmer is happy doing the work so long as they get the pieces already removed

As an aside, apparently Tesla were considering adding Alcantara inserts as a trim option (to go with the Alcantara head lining) but they decided not because it would further complicate the configurator etc


Nov 18, 2015
Goulash I agree with you. I got rid of a CLA45 AMG (shocking car) - but it had a flat bottom and top alcantara steering wheel, and it was just brilliant. Go for it and please post photos!

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.