25 Apr Unconventional Car Doors found in the Auto Market
If we observe cars on the road, you will find the same type of car doors in almost every vehicle you may come across; the ones that open horizontally away from the car or otherwise known as conventional doors. These types of doors are mostly found in mainstream or commercial vehicles and come as a standard design.
Due to the rapidly innovative nature of the automobile industry, there have been many variants of car doors introduced over the years. This knowledge may be known among the car enthusiast, but quite unknown in general. Such non-standard door designs are mostly found in exotic cars or luxury cars that offer beyond contemporary features.
Other than the conventional door design, there are six more types of exotic doors available in the auto market and each of them have their distinct names. Here includes a list of some of these non-standard door types along with a description of how their names came about and how each one is so distinctive.
These doors are seen in high performing cars or super cars, with vertical opening. The name butterfly is owed due to the position they take when opened, like butterfly wings. Their mechanism is such that the doors first move outward and then up at an angle.
This leaves a great deal of space for the passenger to climb outside. It also helps in parking in a tight space where you can easily open the doors, thus providing more movement and agility compared to conventional door types.
Nevertheless, butterfly doors meddle with the interior space causing it to be tighter. Such doors are found in prominent cars like McLaren F1, the Enzo, and even the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, Toyota Sera and Toyota GT-One
Previously known as suicide doors, these doors are hinged at the rear end of the doorframe and open horizontally towards the rear. Such doors were initially found in horse-drawn coaches and then in high-end luxury cars like Rolls-Royce, Lincoln 1960s Continental, Mazda BT-50, Mazda RX-8 and Nissan Sway.
Coach doors were initially called suicide doors because if somebody tried to close the suicide door of a moving car, due to the resistance of air currents, the person would be pulled out and most probably be killed, hence the name.
However, rear hinges also provide easy entrance to the vehicles. Nevertheless, their production by most of the manufacturers was discontinued. Those who did continue, added a lot of safety features. So to make things “less scary,” these doors were renamed as Coach Doors.
These doors were adopted in racing cars, while taking inspiration from the winging system of a seagull, thus the name suggestion. Their mechanism is that they are hinged to the roof at the top horizontal edge of the door and open upward on a horizontal axis. Gullwing doors with a second hinge between door and moving roof panel are called falcon wing doors.
When opened, they give an aggressive look to the vehicle, but they help in crowded areas where getting parked in closed spaces could become a nuisance for a conventional door car. Such doors are found in car models like Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, Gumpert Apollo, DeLorean DMC-12 and Pagani Huayra.
Scissor doors or Lambo doors were first introduced by Lamborghini and Alfa Romeo. They have a simple mechanism whereby they have a typical hinge mounted at the front of the door, but instead of rotating outwards as it happens in the case of a conventional door, they go up, using a vertical configuration. Their opening gives them a scissor shape, thus the name.
Such doors allow easy parking in crowded spaces. Scissor doors can be found in car models including Lamborghini Aventador, Diablo, Murcielago and Reventon, Spyker C8 and C12 Zagato, Bugatti EB110 and Honda HSC.
Such doors may not be exotic looking, like the ones discussed previously, but are certainly the type that are not found in many cars. They are mostly seen in minivans or commercial vehicles that need easy access and opening.
Their design is such that they are mounted on tracks that slide them horizontally and such vehicles come in handy in tight parking spaces again. Other than in commercial vehicles, sliding doors are now being introduced in passenger cars in order to improve passenger access and make it easy to use small spaces in parking lots.
Some of the car models that features sliding doors include Daihatsu FF Ultra Space, Honda N-Box, Peugeot 1007, Citroen C8, Chrysler Voyager and Kia Sedona.
Inspired by an aircraft, these doors are actually placed on top of the car and move upward for access to the car cabin. The mechanism may look too much work, but it helps to save some space in a congested area.
Canopy doors are also referenced as articulated canopy, bubble canopy, cockpit canopy or simply a canopy. These are one of the rarely used doors in vehicles. Other than taking up less space, cars with such doors don’t need A-pillars as there are no side doors, so the widescreen can extend from the front to the back of the car, giving the driver a 180 degree vision and minimum blind spots.
Some of the disadvantages of having such doors in a vehicle include the fact all that canopy glass may create a “glasshouse effect” in the cabin so a functional air-conditional becomes crucial. Furthermore, in case of bad weather like heavy rain and snow, it can be impossible to enter or exit the vehicle without getting the interior wet.
There have been certain car models with canopy doors over the years; these include Daihatsu UFE-III, Toyota EX-7, Toyota Publica Sports, 2002 Volkswagen 1-litre car, 2005 Maserati Birdcage 75th concept car and 2006 Saab Aero-X concept car among others.
These are just some of the non-standard types of doors found in vehicles over the years. Some of them may be practical and should be made standard on all cars like the sliding doors, while others are mostly for aesthetical purposes and that oomph factor in exotic and luxury cars.
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