Normally, people who are going to invest six or even seven figures in buying their new car expect it to have something that makes it a special, different, unique model. There was a time when they became fashionable headlamps in sports, just as I told you the other day, but since 2000, little by little these were disappearing. However, there is another element that may make a sport much more special and, despite the passage of the years, it still continues to triumph.
Yes, we talk about doors with unusual designs, as I have already advanced in the title. At the end of the day when we pay for a car close to the value of a house, not only are we acquiring a high performance vehicle, we also want design and exclusivity , and what better way to make a unique sports car than giving you doors with a Genuine opening design.
Well, I’m talking about elite sports cars, but what about the Ford B-Max? It seems silly, but when it was launched its door opening system gave much to talk about. And next to this the Mazda RX-8 or the Hyundai Veloster. They all got out of the majority rule, and although some of us might like it better than others, at least they were different. For this reason, today I am going to spend some time of my time talking about the most peculiar door opening designs in history. Will you accompany me?
Although they are also commonly known as razor doors or beetle wings , undoubtedly their greatest ambassador are Lamborghini models, both that many directly know them as Lambo doors or LSD doors ( Lambo Style Doors ) regardless of the brand and the model that assembles them. Their operation is simple; they are doors that open vertically rotating while they remain fixed in the zone near the end of the windshield, where they possess a hinge.
This opening system is fitted by most of the most exclusive models of the house of Sant’Agata Bolognese, from the Aventador and its predecessors of twelve cylinders (that go back to the Countach ) to prototypes like the Urus. Along with these, there are many models – essentially prototypes – of other brands that also equipped them, such as the Alfa Brera concept, the Alfa Romeo Carabo (the first one to take them in 1968), the Bugatti EB110, the Giugiaro Ford Mustang, the Land Rover Stormer, several Spyker and even the Toyota Alessandro Volta.
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Speaking in Christian, synchro-propeller dihedral or doors raptor if you find it simpler. Koenigsegg was a pioneer in its use with the CC8S and seeing them work is a mechanical ballet almost as impressive as the performance of the cars in which they are installed. In fact, they are similar to scissor doors but mechanically much more complex, as they open slightly outwards and then rotate. The design prevents the doors from being hit or blocked against the edges of the sidewalks. This system is used in the Koenigsegg CC, CC8S, CCGT, CCR, CCX, CCXR, Agera and, soon, Regera.
Also called butterfly doors, vertical doors or dihedral doors, such doors is another classic among sports and even some racing models? It is based on two doors that unfold upwards and outwards in a similar way to the scissor doors, since when they move out they also rotate.
They are characterized by being usually the opening system of very high performance vehicles such as the SSC Ultimate Aero, Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, numerous McLaren yesterday and today, Ferrari Enzo, Panoz Esperante, the Saleen S7, the Toyota Sera (it is the exception to the high performance) or the Alfa Romeo 33 Stradale, among others. In the world of competition they were also equipped with models such as the Peugeot 908, the Bentley Speed 8, the Ferrari 512 M / S, the Alfa Romeo Type 33, the Nissan R390 GT1 or the Porsche 917; while the prototypes include the Volkswagen XL1 or Citroën C-Airplay.
It is clear, if the scissor doors are related to the Lamborghini models, the Gaviota wing door system is married to the fabulous 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. This type of opening is characterized in that the doors are attached to the roof of the door and open upwards. Logically, its name comes from the fact that when they are open, they evoke the image of a seagull with its wings unfolded.
There is an erroneous concept that they are uncomfortable, but the fact is that they require little space to open (about 27.5 cm in the De Lorean), thus facilitating the entry and exit of the vehicle. It seems absurd, but this is especially important for very wide cars that could not carry conventional doors as they could not be opened in places with limited space. These doors have been equipped with a multitude of models and prototypes , from the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, the DeLorean DMC-12, the De Tomaso Mangusta or the Gumpert Apollo to the BMW Turbo, the Lamborghini Marzal, the Mercedes-Benz C111 and C112, the Porsche Tapiro or the Volvo YCC.
Known also by suicide doors or reverse-opening doors, this type of opening disappeared for a while from the industry until Rolls-Royce retook them in their models. Its particularity is to open in the opposite direction to conventional doors, as the hinges are located in the vertical part of the door frame that is towards the rear of the vehicle, with the handle at the front.
As you know, this system can be used in both the front and rear doors, and can also be combined with conventional front doors, in which case it is often called a shell-type door since each door opens to one side. Throughout the ages have been incorporated a myriad of vehicles of all brands, especially the large luxury cars pre-World War II, but currently only visible in Rolls-Royce models, in the BMW i3, in the Mazda RX-8, in the MINI Clubman and in some pick up with double cabin.
This is a somewhat more peculiar type of door, as it is located on the top of the vehicle and rises to allow access for passengers. It is similar to the cockpit of an airplane and there are no established rules regarding the position of the door components: they can have hinges either on the front, side or back. Usually they are responsible for covering the passenger in models that are still prototypes or that are of very little production, such as Sterling Nova, Holden Hurricane, Saab Aero-X or Ferrari Modulo.
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Yes, I know what you are thinking, am the typical doors of vans or minivans and are anything but exotic. However, this type of doors that slides open on a rail or a guide had a curious application in two sports of yesteryear. On the one hand, the BMW Z1, which was a two-seater convertible made between 1988 and 1991. 8,000 units were manufactured and their doors had no hinges: they opened down and were embedded in the chassis, which prevented the homologation in U.S. When the doors were lowered, the windows automatically retracted.
On the other hand, it should be mentioned the Kaiser Darrim, which was the first sports car in the United States to be built in fiberglass. Kaiser Motors alone produced 435 units in 1954 and used “pocket doors” that slid forward on the front fender. A final example would be the Russian I-Auto, a curious and bizarre concept whose doors slide back and settle there as if it were the wings of a bird.
You may have never heard of them, or you’ve never noticed them even though you’ve seen them, but these doors are the ones that ride the luxurious Aston Martin. The British brand was not going to be so “vulgar” to install an extravagant door opening system in its sports, but neither was willing to be one more, reason why decided that its doors would open out like the conventional ones but rising slightly to avoid rubbing against curbs or obstacles. We saw them for the first time in the DB9 and V8 Vantage, but now they are on all models, including the new DB11 or the Lagonda.
The doors of which I am going to speak to you here are not any type other than those already mentioned, but rather modifications of these, although they are certainly worth mentioning. The first of these is undoubtedly the Alfa Romeo Pandion Concept by Bertone , a peculiar prototype that took full advantage of the Geneva Motor Show 2010 by its doors that occupied the entire side of the vehicle and rose to give access to the passenger compartment .
Another model that deserves mention is the Ford EVOS, which used butterfly doors but both front and rear, which facilitated access to the cabin noticeably. Personally, watching it live seemed spectacular.
Nor can we forget the Isetta, that micro car produced initially by Iso after World War II and then reproduced by various manufacturers under license. It was very successful due to its economy in times of scarcity and mounted a single front door with lateral opening. The design was Italian, although it was reproduced in several countries like Spain, Brazil and the United Kingdom. Its peculiar shape and its bubble windows gave it multiple nicknames, such as car pomp in Spain or “Huevito” in Chile, among others.
Similar to the Isetta was the Zündapp Janus, a microcar built by Zündapp. It had front and rear doors the same as the Isetta, as it was based on a design by Dornier and was baptized inspired by Janus, the god of Roman mythology who was represented with two faces, one in front and the other in the back. There were 6,902 Zündapp Janus between 1957 and 1958, and later Zündapp sold the factory to Bosch.
Finally, the Geneva Motor Show in 2006 left us with a curious prototype named Loremo LS, a strange vehicle that the driver and the companion climbed in the front of the vehicle and the messengers from the rear accessed the passenger compartment by the boot itself. Practical what is said practical is certainly not…
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