Suicide doors offer a different take on a car door mechanism by hinging the doors at the back. This solution enables the person to gracefully exit and enter the car. That being said, they were originally called “coach doors”, and no one knows for certain how they got the nickname suicide doors.
Before WW2, many manufacturers in the US were eager to utilize the rear-hinged door design, but the concept was rather abandoned soon enough. Nowadays there are only a handful of cars that are available with a rear-hinged door design, but it seems that this door mechanism might make a comeback.
Currently, Rolls Royce and Lincoln are the two only manufacturers that still offer rear-hinged doors on their high-end luxury cars. Ford has once offered the rear-hinged door design on their F150 Supercab models, but it seems that these are nowhere to be found on their newest models.
However, Mazda has recently released the upcoming Mazda MX30 to the public, and it seems like the MX30 is going to utilize the rear-hinged door design. Besides these, the BMW i3 also has suicide doors, but these are rather small when compared to those found on Lincoln and Rolls Royce cars.
Rolls Royce Phantom – The most luxurious car on the planet
The eighth generation of the Rolls Royce Phantom was introduced back in 2017, and is still the most luxurious car money can buy. The Phantom is almost 6 meters long which makes it almost twice as long as the BMW i3. The space on offer is gargantuan, and everything you see and touch is covered with the finest materials known to men.
Rolls Royce calls it post-opulence because the new Phantom features a minimalistic, yet thorough and cohesive luxury experience that can not be achieved by technology and large screens. The Phantom comes as standard with suicide doors which are just like everything else in the Phantom engineered to perfection. It’s worth mentioning that all current Rolls models offer suicide doors.
Rolls Royce Cullinan – The most luxurious SUV on the planet
Even though the Phantom is an extremely amazing car, it is not nearly the best Rolls Royce product you can buy. That honor goes to the Rolls Royce Cullinan SUV which also spots a pair of suicide doors at the back. Rolls Royce believes that doors such as these are more welcoming for VIPs and easier to open for the driver.
However, when these doors are fully opened, they are fairly hard to reach while sitting inside the car. That’s why Rolls came up with a brilliant solution – self-closing doors. It may be laziness, it may be convenience, either way, they look cool. The Cullinan is built on the same platform as the Phantom, so the similarities between these are not worlds apart.
Lincoln Continental Coach Door Edition – Executive full-size luxury sedan
The Lincoln Continental is one of the best full-size US luxury sedans you can buy these days because US exec full-size sedans were usually a far cry from their German competition. However, the Continental is capable of trading punches with the likes of the Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, or the Mercedes Benz S-Class.
However, none of those cars offer coach doors, and they never did and that’s something that makes the Continental a bit more special in comparison. Besides the doors, the Continental looks and feels fairly upmarket, but the V6 engine on offer can not trade punches with the top-of-the-line engines offered by the Germans.
Mazda MX30 – The new kid on the block
The trend towards EVs is ramping up as the years go by and now Mazda is coming out with its first true EV- The MX30. It is expected that the MX30 will have a range of about 250 miles on a full charge from a 35.5 kWh battery. This should enable the MX30 to rival other EVs from competing brands.
The MX30 also utilizes the rear-hinged door mechanism which could spark a trend in the coming years. Automakers are willing to experiment with their upcoming EVs which certainly increases the chances of other brands also incorporating more interesting design choices.
BMW i3 – Around town commuter
The BMW i3 is a small city commuter that also offers a pair of rear-hinged doors. Of course, these doors are rather small, but they are large enough for most people to get in the back. The i3 has been on the market for quite a while now and it seems that the i3 is not as interesting as it once was.
Be that as it may, it is still one of the very best cars you can buy if you primarily drive shorter distances in town. The i3 is easy to drive, easy to park, and easy to keep charged.
Why are rear-hinged doors called suicide doors?
It is not 100% clear why rear-hinged doors got the nickname suicide doors, but it seems that the nickname originates from the fact that rear-hinged doors are more likely to get you killed. Because these doors open against the flow of wind, if you don’t close them properly, they might get ripped apart by wind pressure.
However, if you try to pull the door closed while this is happening, you are likely going to fly out yourself. Furthermore, suicide doors were primarily used on cars without seatbelts which further increased the chances that these design flaws could kill you.
What are butterfly doors?
Butterfly doors are usually hinged at the very top of the car in order to achieve easier access into the car. Doors such as these are primarily used on supercars and sportscars like the Pagani Huayra or a modern-day McLaren supercar.
They are easier to get into, but they require more topside clearance than most doors. Be that as it may, they look cool, and that’s the main reason why they do exist.
What are scissor doors?
The scissor door design was made famous by Lamborghini, but many other brands utilize this door mechanism as well. These doors are hinged at the same place just like regular doors, but the difference is that the hinge mechanism opens the doors upwards.
These types of doors are also called switchblade doors and can be found on cars such as the Lamborghini Aventador, Lamborghini Murcielago, and the Lamborghini Diablo.