A light-colored leather interior can look absolutely fantastic and really lifts the ambience of a nice car, but luxury carmaker Lexus reckons that customers tend to shy away from lighter colors as they can begin to look grubby quite quickly.
One of the prime suspects is denim jeans. The evergreen fashion item is colored using indigo dye, and over repeated sliding in and out of light leather seats the dye can wear off, staining the seats.
The automakers are fighting back though. Lexus has developed a stain-resistant leather for its interiors, and Chrysler's cloth seats also have a stain- (and odor-) repellent coating, pretty important under typical heavy family use.
The Lexus leather doesn't simply use a coating. Paul Williamsen at the Lexus College research facility explains, "It's actually part of our tanning process for the leather."
"Our challenge is to make this durable as we can so that it looks great over the entire ownership of the vehicle". All Lexus with light colored leather upholstery will use the stain resistant material.
It's available right now on cars like the 2011 Lexus CT200h hybrid as a $1,300 option, and when you order leather on other models it comes as standard.
It won't be long before other manufacturers follow suit, so you'll have no excuse not to specify that fantastic light leather interior.