2011 Infiniti M56: Luxe Detailing
April 25, 2011
Here's a tactile detail in our 2011 Infiniti M56 that is frequently overlooked, even among luxury car makes -- steering wheel stitching. Roll your eyes if you will.
Go ahead, I'll wait.
First off, the leather on the M56's wheel is as supple as lambskin. Really nice stuff. Were it stitched with your typical thread in a typical fashion, you'd feel the discontinuity every time you touched the wheel. Definitely uncouth.
It might be difficult to see here, but that stitch you see above results in a very slight raised portion of leather between the rows of thread. This way, all you can feel is said soft leather rather than the thread, which is never anywhere close to as pleasant to the touch as the cowhide. It feels almost as though the thread isn't there. I'm sure there's some impossibly esoteric description for this type of seam. Any tailors out there?
Whatever it's called, this type of seam makes a noticeable difference. As such I made a point to check out the seams of the last two luxury cars I drove. Our Equus' stitches are as coarse as horsehair and protrude significantly. They're actually quite poor. Next was the current Mercedes S-Class. Guess what? It, too, has a rougher feel at the stitches than the M56.
I'm not crazy about the secondary controls on the M56's steering wheel, but Nissan's leather-wrap department scores an A+.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor