It’s almost expected that cars costing more than a luxury mansion come with fancy doors.
Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce have become synonymous with these traits, but what might seem like a feature for the sake of opulence, is actually functional.
The number one reason for upward hinging doors, like on the Lamborghini Aventador, is the car’s width.
The average width of a parking bay is 2.2-2.5m. The width of an Aventador is 2.03m – leaving very little space for a conventional door opening.
We take a look at the best and strangest door openings – sure to amplify the entrance of any proud owner when they pull up to an event – below.
The most recognisable modern-day recipient of a scissor door is the Lamborghini Aventador.
Its grandad, the Countach, was the first production car with feature doors that lifted vertically rather than outwards.
This allowed the driver to lift themselves onto the doorsill and look over their shoulder when reversing – due to the poor rearward visibility.
The feature stuck with the Diablo, Murcielago, and now the Aventador. Thankfully, reverse cameras are now standard.
Unlike scissor doors that open upward, butterfly doors are hinged on the A-pillar of the car and open upward and over the front.
It’s a feature carried through from several closed-top race cars – because it makes getting in and out simpler.
Butterfly doors are the most obvious feature of today’s McLaren supercars and the BMW i8.
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
The mention of gull-wing doors probably brings back memories of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL.
Gull-wing doors are hinged at the centre of the roof and lift up like the wings of a bird.
The Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG was the most recent recipient of this beautiful design feature, although its practical application and safety concerns in the event of a rollover meant that the successor, the Mercedes-AMG GT, went back to a conventional door set-up.
More than a gimmick, the suicide doors on modern Rolls-Royces are hinged at the rear of the door – opening outwards.
The design originated from horse-drawn carriages, where the coachman stepped back and opened the door for the passenger.
In such luxurious sedans and SUVs it allows the passengers to simply sit back into, and step out, of their seats very elegantly.
Aston Martin Rapide
Not to be outdone by sophisticated door mechanisms from its competition, Aston Martin developed the swan door.
This opens much like a conventional door, but slopes upwards at wider opening angles.
Again, this was a practical design consideration to avoid the bottom of a low-slung Aston Martin’s door snagging on a curb or pavement.
As with scissor doors on Lamborghinis, swan doors are a standard feature on most Aston Martins nowadays.