Not long ago, we learned that Tesla has almost entirely phased leather out of their interiors, as part of a bid to appeal to eco-conscious buyers, with a faux leather option taking the place of leather in Tesla's premium interior package. Bentley started to examine synthetic options back in May, after a meeting with California buyers convinced them to adopt less ecologically taxing materials. Now, Range Rover is following suit, and has introduced a cloth option beyond leather, according to Drive.com.au. The option is only available on the Velar SUV at present, but availability might spread to other models if the option proves successful, according to JLR.
The material is listed on Range Rover's online configurator as premium textile and suedecloth, and it is priced as a $4,480 USD option on the Velar R-Dynamic SE. This comes in under the leather option in the US market, by a margin of $95, though the price listed in Australia is $920 to $4210 above that of vinyl and leather options. The textile itself is a mix of Australian and New Zealand wool, with the "suedecloth" made from recycled plastic. The wool-based fabric was likened to the silk found in some Maseratis by the Australian outlet.
Gerry McGovern, the design director at Land Rover since 2006, believes leather is no longer the future of the luxury car market. “The attitude towards animal by-products is changing," he said to Drive.com.au, "that whole world of luxury is becoming more sophisticated and people are looking for ways to reconcile the way we use the world to create these products, things like fabrics that are more sustainable and have a better sustainable footprint."
As for McGovern, what does he think of leather, independent of the market's opinion? “Personally, I'd be quite happy to move away from leather tomorrow. I don’t like that we have to slaughter all those cows to create leather."