if their paste type leather conditioner
was suitable for the Elise? My concern
was 'build-up' along the inner edges of
the perforated holes. He replied, asking me if I knew what type of leather is in the
Elise? Anyone know?
I used connolly on my boxster. The seats were also preforated. You get paste in the holes, it doesn't hurt it and it comes out over time. I would leave the paste on overnight and then buff out. It's great stuff and I'm not sure it matters what kind of leather you have
I've used "Eagle One" leather care products on a variety of car applications with great success. The basic product looks and applies like a hand lotion - you work it into the leather with your fingertips. After a short drying time, it buffs off with a soft cloth and leaves a nice non-oily feel to the leather surface.
Another thing you should find out is whether the Elise's leather is coated or non-coated. Coated leathers have a small protection layer over them and are somewhat easier to take care of. Uncoated leathers like Napa leather, are usually nicer leathers, but require more care.
Motorcycle Consumer News (like the Consumer Reports of m/c only more technical and reliable) did an extensive test of dozens of leather care products, and the liked Lexol among others -- works well, not too expensive, not greasy. I've been happy with it so far, but the real results are still five years out.
Tim's correct in the manual recommends using only mild soapy water only infrequently. They also specifically advise not using a "hide food"or any petroleum based cleaners. That said, my experience is that the leather can take on a dingy appearance.
The lexol cleaner is milder than soap and is neutral ph which leather people tells me prevents the leather drying out. The lexol preservative is good in that it doesn't leave any residue, apply very thinly with a damp sponge and dries.
Sadly, Connolly is no longer in business. I had a Rolls for several years and initially used their Hide Food, but switched to Leatherique products at the suggestion of many of my RROC friends. They have a full range of products for cleaning and rejuvenating leather. They also have various dyes that can be used as well. I redid a leather couch at home and the results were fantastic. Their instructions were very easy to follow. In fact I am seriously considering creating a two tone leather interior on the Elise (once it arrives). They are true enthusiasts as well and frequently give discounts to various car clubs. www.leatherique.com
typically corrected and coated leathers are far cheaper than natural and dyed. so i would suspect the elise has the first. which is more durable and easier to clean. if the coating is thick enough, leather food may not even penetrate it, which would explain lotus saying "mild soap and water"