Which car doors open upward?

There are a couple of different iterations of doors that go up, and the most famous of them all are butterfly doors, scissor doors, and gullwing doors. Some manufacturers like Koenigsegg like to modify their doors a little bit so they can stand out a bit more than the rest.

Doors such as these are often associated with exotic cars like sportscars, supercars, or classic cars. The point of these doors is to invoke drama and make the user experience feel more like an occasion rather than an everyday occurrence.

As such, these doors are not all that common which brings quite a few caveats with that. Parts are usually exponentially more expensive and you often have to order parts directly from the manufacturer which increases the price substantially when compared to normal doors.

All in all, these doors can be found on cars made by Lamborghini, Ferraris, McLarens, Mercedes Benz,  Pagani, BMW, Maserati, Rimac, Alfa Romeo, Ford, and so on.

Scissor doors – Made famous by the Lamborghini Countach

A man named Marcello Gandini came up with a design for the supercar successor of the legendary Lamborghini Miura. Marcello was heavily involved in car design back in the late 1960s, and the very first car to feature scissor doors was the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo concept car.

However, Gandini went on to design the iconic Lamborghini Countach which was the very first Lamborghini to wear scissor doors, and ever since then, scissor doors became a hallmark of every flagship V12 Lamborghini. After the Countach came the Diablo, then the Murcielago, and now the Aventador.

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However, scissor doors were not only limited to Lamborghini supercars. Other supercars like the Lykan Hypersport also used an iteration of scissor doors which also went up, but these doors were hinged at the back which was a unique touch.

Butterfly doors – Made famous by the McLaren F1

Butterfly doors are different than scissor doors even though many people believe that they are the same. The main difference between these two is that butterfly doors open up and outwards, while scissor doors go straight up.

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Another difference between these two is the fact that butterfly doors are often both top-hinged and hinged on the A-pillar while scissor doors are usually hinged in a single place, and that’s one of the pillars. The McLaren F1 was not the first car to feature butterfly doors, but it definitely was the car to make them famous.

Ever since then, all McLaren models have featured the butterfly door design, and they still do. Ferrari is also keen on using butterfly doors for their top-of-the-line models like the Ferrari Enzo and the LaFerrari. BMW utilizes the butterfly door design on the BMW i8, and Ford also uses butterfly doors on the new Ford GT.

Gullwing/Falcon doors – Made famous by the Mercedes 300SL

Gullwing/Falcon doors are the rarest of them all, and only a handful of cars use this door design, and the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing was the car to make them famous. The sheer significance of this door design is apparent with the 300SL because the roadster version does not have these doors which in turn lowered the value of 300SL Roadster models.

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The Bugatti Type 64 used this door design ever earlier, but the Type 64 is so rare that not many people even know it exists. However, there is one other car that is arguably even more famous than all of the cars listen in this article that also uses Gull-wing doors, and that’s the legendary DeLorean.

Even though Gull-wing doors were nowhere to be seen for ages, the Mercedes SLS AMG was the spiritual successor to the 300SL. The SLS was also available in coupe and roadster form, but only the coupe version was equipped with Gullwing doors.

The Tesla Model X was the first SUV and most likely the only one to ever wear Gull-wing or as Tesla likes to call them – Falcon doors. Tesla used this door design because it makes the car look more futuristic and it also made the car more practical.

FAQ Section

What is the coolest type of car doors?

The coolest doors are built by Koenigsegg and they are called “Dihedral Synchrohelix Actuation” doors. These doors combine a couple of different mechanisms in order to make the doors unique to Koenigsegg. They are equipped with extremely advanced hinges which open the door out and up, but not like butterfly doors.

These doors are way more complex than that. When they are opened it seems like they are not even attached to the car itself. They are also equipped with proximity sensors to properly gauge the distance between the doors and the floor in order not to damage the doors because they can be controlled with a remote.

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What is the weirdest type of car doors?

BMW is a brand known for conservatism when it comes to sports cars. They know what BMW customers want and they deliver without making a big fuss about it, at least before they made the new BMW M3/M4. However, the BMW Z1 was a bit of an experiment by BMW because it was the first, and most definitely the last BMW coupe to sport sliding doors.

Sliding doors are not actually uncommon in the car industry because many vans and minivans use them, but the doors found on the Z1 are sliding downwards which is rather weird. As such, the BMW Z1 is by far the weirdest car out there when it comes to doors.

What other types of doors are there?

Besides regular doors and the door types listed here, there are also a few interesting door types out there. The most famous of them all are suicide doors which are currently being used only by Rolls Royce, but other brands such as Lincoln, Mazda, and BMW were using them in recent years.

Aston Martin uses so-called “Swan Doors” which open at a slight angle to perfectly line them up with the Aston Martin wings which are situated on the badge. The first-gen Ford GT uses so-called “Guillotine Doors” for obvious reasons, but they were designed that way to make the entry as easy as possible while wearing a helmet.

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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