Since the birth of the brand, only the Mercedes McLaren SLR was offered with butterfly doors. Some car manufacturers like McLaren use butterfly doors on every model, but Mercedes decided that only the SLR is going to get the butterfly door treatment due to the rarity and the novelty factor.
Mercedes has only made a few super sports cars throughout the brand’s modern history, and it’s fairly obvious that Mercedes likes to take its time before releasing a new supercar. The Gullwing doors made famous by the 1950’s 300SL have also been seen only twice, in the SLS and the 300SL.
But Mercedes is soon to release the ultra-limited, ultra-powerful AMG Project 1 hypercar that is also expected to utilize the butterfly doors design. Mercedes keeps the butterfly and gullwing doors for only the most special cars.
Mercedes McLaren SLR
In 2003 Mercedes has revealed the Mercedes McLaren SLR, a supersports GT equipped with a 5.4L V8 engine that’s pushing out 626hp and 780Nm of torque. The car was offered with a 5-speed automatic transmission, and the clunky outdated transmission is the reason why the SLR has not skyrocketed in value in recent years.
These days you are able to buy a Mercedes Benz E-Class sedan with similar power, but back in 2003, the SLR was one of the most powerful cars on the market, and certainly the most powerful automatic transmission supercar of the early 2000s.
Mercedes bought 40% of the McLaren F1 team, and the SLR was a jointly developed car between McLaren and Mercedes. The initial idea to build the SLR spanned back in the 90s, and Mercedes revealed the Vision SLR concept in 1999, and the Vision SLR concept was the bedrock for the imminent SLR super GT.
The SLR was equipped with butterfly doors, a door design that was not associated with Mercedes, but rather McLaren. In the 90s the McLaren F1 was the most advanced, fastest supercar in the world, and was also offered with butterfly doors.
Mercedes AMG Project 1
In 2017 Mercedes unveiled the AMG Project 1, a hybrid hypercar that is aimed at introducing the peak of Mercedes Benz F1 performance technology into a road car. Mercedes plans to sell only 275 units, and the prices of these are expected to surpass $3 million.
The deliveries of the Project 1 will start in 2022, and the sheer performance credentials of such a crazy road car are hard not to be impressed with. The Project 1 is powered by an F1-derived 1.6L V6 turbo engine mated with 4 electric motors.
The power output measures north of 1000hp, a 0-60 time of less than 3 seconds, and a top speed well over 210mph. The Project 1 was completely constructed out of carbon fiber which ensures great chassis rigidity and low curb weight.
The Project 1 is also equipped with butterfly doors, and the reason for this is simple. This car is incredibly special, so in order to make the doors stand out, a butterfly design was the only option. The Project 1 is surely going in the history books as one of the greatest hypercars of the modern age.
The Gullwing door design, also known as Falcon doors is an automotive term to a specific top-hinged door design Mercedes debuted in the 1950s 300SL. These doors were also later reintroduced with the SLS AMG, which was in some ways a spiritual successor to the 300SL, and a replacement for the SLR as the definitive Mercedes supercar.
The 300SL is now considered one of the most desirable classics, and a decent 300SL will set you back for millions of dollars. It’s worth mentioning that the SL was also offered as a roadster, and the Roadster was not equipped with the Gullwing doors due to the inability for the doors to be top hinged.
The SLS represents one of the greatest hits in the Mercedes Benz discography, as all the SLS models are seeing a steady rise when it comes to value, and the top-of-the-line SLS AMG Black Series is widely considered to be one of the best Mercedes supercars of all time.
Are there any other brands that use butterfly doors?
The butterfly door design is fairly common on most supercars. Lamborghini uses a similar door design known as scissor doors, and Ferrari uses butterfly doors on only the most special models like the LaFerrari or the Ferrari Enzo.
McLaren uses butterfly doors for every model they ever introduced, Maserati uses butterfly doors, the new Ford GT also utilizes the butterfly door design. BMW also uses the butterfly door design on the hybrid-powered BMW i8.
What are the benefits of butterfly doors?
Obviously, the butterfly door design is cool, and that’s the main reason why many of the aforementioned supercars are equipped with butterfly doors. But, that’s not the only reason why butterfly doors are also top hinged and they open in a manner that ensures an easy entry and exit.
Furthermore, butterfly doors require way less space to fully open, which ensures that you will be able to exit the car without worrying about slamming the doors into the car next to you. Moreover, butterfly doors are also opening up, which also ensures that you will not hit the curb either.
Why there aren’t any butterfly doors on regular cars?
Butterfly doors are a supercar thing. No other regular consumer vehicle is offered with butterfly doors. And that’s because the doors on supercars are usually longer than normal, and if they are utilizing a normal car design in a car with longer doors, it might severely affect the practicality of the car.
So there is no need to use butterfly doors on normal cars, furthermore, butterfly doors open up, which means that if you have anything stored in your door compartment space, it is likely to fly out once you open the door. Plus, butterfly doors are way too excentric for boring everyday Honda’s and Toyota’s.