Scissor doors vs butterfly doors

The scissor door design was made popular by the Lamborghini V12 lineup which consists out of the Lamborghini Countach, the Diablo, the Murcielago, and the Aventador. Even though the Miura was technically the first V12 Lambo it did not come with scissor doors from the factory.

Butterfly doors are more widely used by multiple different manufacturers such as McLaren, Ford, Ferrari, and BMW. They are hinged differently when compared to scissor doors because they don’t open straight up as scissor doors do.

Scissor doors have their own set of pros and cons which mostly consist out of an easier entry in tight parking spaces while butterfly doors arguably look better and they are easier to get in and out of for cars with a lower roofline. Given the fact that most supercars offer a low roofline that’s why most supercars opt for butterfly doors.

Many people believe that scissor doors are only a synonym for butterfly doors, but that’s not the case as they utilize a completely different hinge design and they open differently. Either way, the best door type is mostly down to personal preference and badge loyalty.

Scissor doors – Pros and Cons

Scissor doors are often also known as “Lambo” doors because V12 Lamborghini models made this door design popular. Most of them open within the track of the vehicle which means that you can easily drive a car with scissor doors with the doors opened.

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This is not something you should be doing, especially not at higher speeds but it is a possibility if you own a car with scissor doors. This also means that cars with these doors are easier to get in and out of in tight parking spaces because the doors open vertically and enable you to get out even if the space between the door and the nearest object is minimal.

However, scissor doors are also known to be heavier because they are never hinged on the roof which means that there are no hydraulics directly mounted onto the roof which in theory should make it easier to open the door, especially if you are on uneven ground.

Scissor doors exert more force onto the hinges and hydraulics which means that they are likely going to wear out sooner when compared to butterfly doors and especially normal car doors. Lastly, most Lambo scissor doors are known to squeak after prolonged use.

Butterfly doors – Pros and Cons

Butterfly doors are more common than scissor doors which means that you are more likely to spot a car with butterfly doors. This also means that more people are keen on modifying these doors in order for them to be better at getting in and out of the car.

Furthermore, butterfly doors often tend to be hinged both at the traditional hinge point and on the roof or the A-pillar. This means that they are usually easier to operate which is especially important after prolonged use.

They are more difficult to open in tighter spaces because they are wider than the track of the car. However, they often eat into the roofline which means that they make it a lot easier to get in and out of the car as far as height is concerned.

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Finally, it’s more difficult to drive a car with opened butterfly doors because they are not as aerodynamic while opened. Another factor to keep in mind is exclusivity as there are far fewer cars that come with scissor doors when compared to butterfly doors.

Installing butterfly/scissor doors on a car with normal doors

Many people out there are fond of the idea of investing in a set of aftermarket butterfly/scissor doors and installing them on a car with normal doors. This makes sense if you opt for a high-quality set with professional installation but these tend to cost $1000-$2000.

If you skimp out on quality chances are that your doors are not going to be as safe as they once were. Even though a set of scissor/butterfly doors look amazing, they are likely going to murder your car’s resale value because rarely anyone likes a normal car with scissor/butterfly doors.

They are not nearly as practical as normal doors because scissor/butterfly doors are not able to offer conventional door pockets because whenever you open the doors the stuff tends to fly out. Finally, it looks wrong to install butterfly/scissor doors on cars that do not come with them.

FAQ Section

Why do people like scissor/butterfly doors?

People like these types of door mechanisms because they are associated with the most exciting cars on the market – supercars. These types of cars ooze drama whenever they go and it’s almost impossible not to turn your head whenever you see a Lamborghini or a McLaren passing by.

These doors can only be found on expensive and exotic cars that are both exclusive and performance-rated. This means that these types of cars enjoy a large cult following because many car enthusiasts out there deem types of cars as their dream cars.

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Why do scissor/butterfly doors exist?

There are basically two reasons why these types of doors exist and that’s increased rear visibility and design. The designer who designed the first car with scissor doors (Lamborghini Countach) believed that being able to drive the car with the doors opened is going to help you while reversing.

However, the reason why most supercars utilize these doors is that they look cool and they make the car feel more special. A supercar with normal doors simply is not a “special occasion” type of car because people who are willing to pay $200k want to feel special while they interact with the car.

Should I add butterfly/scissor doors to my car?

If you love the way how these doors look and you simply want to have them, then you should do what you want to do because cars are personal and we should enjoy them in our own ways. However, this usually means that you will destroy your car’s resale value.

Most people, myself included hate seeing cars such as Mustangs, Civics, or BMWs with scissor doors because they look riced up. They look out of place while also making the car less practical and more likely to get robbed.

Marko Mikulic

Why do you love writing about cars? I love writing about cars as cars are a huge personal interest of mine. I was raised in a car enthusiast community and ever since I was young, I always wanted to do car-related work.

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