A door is simply a means of exit and entry.
But just like house doors, car doors have evolved to become even fancier while doing their simple task.
Fancy doors are a statement piece that usually shows that a car is expensive. Lamborghini was not the first company to have a fancy door but they made it popular. Most Supercars and some sports cars these days incorporate these doors.
These doors all started as engineering solutions and in the process have become associated with supercar brands. Over the years we’ve seen some of these doors in different forms.
1. Scissor Doors
The most popular type of fancy car door on this list goes to the scissor doors. They operate by being hinged like normal doors but open upwards. They are popularly known as Lambo doors because they were made famous by Lamborghini. You still have to be careful if you have something above you, these doors open quite high to enable entry and exit.
These doors are so popular that after-market companies have created conversions for normal cars. So if you have some money and want some cool doors you could get yourself some scissor doors.
2. Rear Hinged Doors (Suicide Doors)
Among OEM’s these are called coach doors. They are no longer commonplace but in the old days, it was considered a luxury feature. In 4 door cars, the front doors were normal while the rear doors were hinged from the rear. The Lincoln Continental from the 1960s was famous for these doors. Mazda used it in the RX 8 and even Lykan with the Hypersport and Fenyr supersport. These doors are not being widely used because of safety concerns in instances where cars could hit the door from behind and smash or injure the occupants.
Today these doors are still being used in every Rolls Royce. It has become the signature door for the Rolls Royce brand. Lincoln has also made a comeback with the new Continental having these doors.
3. Gullwing Doors
These types of doors are hinged to the roofs of their vehicles and open up vertically. The design allows the door to take up part of the roof, making for easy entry and exit. Since it opens upward not much space is needed to open or close these doors.
The Mercedes 300SL was famous for having these doors as it was defining trait of the car. The newer SLS AMG is the spiritual successor to the 300 SL and it too has gullwing doors. Pagani’s Huayra also features these awesome doors.
4. Falcon Doors
Falcon doors are quite similar to the design of the gullwing but with a difference. These doors have a movable roof panel which allows the doors to open much narrower than the gullwing. The Tesla Model X SUV uses these for its rear doors and even dances with them.
5. Dihedral Doors
These doors might be the most unique and complex doors on this list. The mechanism in this door allows it to open and rotate upwards and slightly outwards all in one motion. This mechanism allows this door to have the best ease of entry and exit while being as close to the body of the car as possible.
Koenigsegg created these doors and is currently the only company using them. You only have to be careful of curbs as the motion doesn’t allow the door to move upwards. There’s even a warning label on the underside of the door warning you of curbs that could result in a huge bill if damaged.
6. Butterfly Doors
These doors are a bit similar to scissor doors but they move in an upward and outward motion. Next to scissor doors, these are the next popular fancy doors. These doors tend to give a little bit more room for exit and entry than scissor doors. McLaren uses this door in every model they make. Some butterfly doors even have cutouts in their roof like the McLaren 720S.
The BMW i8 also comes standard with these doors and they are very beautiful. Even the Laferrari and Ferrari Enzo use these doors. These doors are not easy to replicate because of the more complex setup.
7. Swan Doors
These doors are synonymous with the Aston Martin as these are the doors of choice for their cars. Swan doors open outwards like normal doors but also open slightly upwards at an angle to clear curbs. They are called swan doors because they mimic the wings of a swan when they’re open
8. Sliding doors
Sliding doors are very popular among minivans but they were not the only type of vehicles to use this door design. In 1955, cars like the Kaiser Darim used these doors which made entry and exit extremely easy in any situation. This trend didn’t catch on to passenger cars but is more conventional with Minivans and buses.
The canopy door takes inspiration from fighter jets with the way they open up. No street-legal car uses these doors yet but manufacturers have been toying with the idea in a lot of concept cars.
The canopy should open up and off the car with two electronic hydraulic lifts on both sides. The only issue I see in once open you may have to climb in and out of your car which may be a bit of a workout.
10. Front hinged
The BMW Isetta seems to be one of the few cars that ever had this door. The door was hinged from the very front of the car meaning the windshield and steering moved to allow access. This meant the car had a very tiny engine that was placed at the very back of the car. This door never really made it onto other cars and honestly.
Scissor doors on Lamborghini remain the most popular but the butterfly doors on McLarens are a close second. The aftermarket has also seen normal cars incorporate these doors in some form. The most innovative doors are the dihedral doors on the Koenigsegg which would be hard to copy.
Which doors do you like best or would you rather stick with normal doors?