The Disappearing Car Door

August 4th, 2008 at 4:28pm

Runtime: 2:54

Both Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce are known for using unconventional door designs on many of their cars. The former popularized the vertical-opening “scissor” door, so much so that now you can buy “Lambo door” conversion kits for just about every other car on the road; the latter uses to the old school and oh-so-cool rear-hinged “suicide” door on all of its models.

One company based in California has developed an amazing new door design. They call it the disappearing car door and it’s truly unlike anything else out there.

Video after the jump …

9 Comments to “The Disappearing Car Door”

  1. William R. Walling Says:

    “Wonder how this ‘novel’ design tolerates side impact as relates occupant protection then departure post incident?”
    Hope they don’t use (common) garage door ‘rolling codes’ for open or closure measures as this could be ‘enlightening’ during deployment. :-)

  2. Tom Martin Says:

    I like it, but it must have negatives.

    “Price” first comes to mind.

    “Weight” next. Will this add weight to the vehicle?

    “Durability” Will this increase maintenance costs?

    And what happens if the car has a dead battery, or there’s a mechanial problem?

    Still, it’s an interesting idea!

  3. Adam Says:

    The first two comments suggest people watching the video are not listening to (or understanding) the narration. The first assertions of the design are that it is structurally superior to a hinge-and-latch door, it is lighter and allows the car to retain it’s existing design.

    I agree that a flat or “dead” battery would be a necessary contingency to address (probably putting a sealed battery in each door with a passive solar “tender” to keep it separately charged if the engine system fails.)

    It’s an interesting thing to consider what happens to unconventional doors in accidents, but the reality is that bodies get pulled out of windshields and sidewindows long before emergency crews waste time trying to pry open damaged doors even if the “first responders” happen to be equipped with hydraulic “jaws of life” tools.

    Much as I loathe “scissor” doors (most commonly associated with Lamborghini) I appreciate the functionality of the door (which can have a much stronger latching mechanism) and makes it much easier for side access than a conventional barn door hinge.

    I’m quite amazed by the video and would enjoy seeing schematics or animation of the mechanism. I imagine JATECH is in no hurry to reveal their invention until it’s broadly and thoroughly patented.

    Surely this is the kind of “revolutionary” technology that we should be seeing on a Maybach or Lexus. Presumably JATECH is selling to these companies as an OEM and I’d certainly choose a town car with these doors over a conventional car. I doubt I’d choose a Porsche based on the door technology, but if door resulted in a stiffer, lighter chassis, I’d pay extra for measurable benefits.

  4. Nabil Saaty Says:

    An ingenious design; yet, it does raise some concerns: 1. There seems to be a single door on each side of the vehicle; which means that both front and rear passengers are exposed to the elements (freezing cold or scorching desert wind) every time either a front or a rear passenger needs to exit the vehicle. 2. It would make pasengers (especially babies) and merchandise readily accessable to potential kidnappers/thieves whenever the entire side of the vehicle is exposed. 3. You can’t lower only one half of a window (e.g. the driver’s side).

    The numerous advantages are indeed appealing, and hopefully, further details are forthcoming.

  5. Don B. Says:

    I have seen this before and the question arises.
    What happens to the door’s inside panel?
    The video seems to eliminate the inside view.
    Now the rumor is the inner panel is removed.
    If true where are the controls and arm rest that were there?

  6. Jeffrey Poling Says:

    Remember the 4 dr hardtops that Detroit produced in the 50′s?
    Beautiful designs but you won’t see them again. Detroit was forced to stop producing them because of roof crush safety standards. Although the 4dr hardtops had a stub B plr, it contributed nothing to structural integrity during rool over. This design doesn’t even have that.

  7. jim Says:

    This looks cool, unless you live in the upper midwest when on many a cold winter day my window is frozen shut and won’t open. Also, when it’s snowing and blowing like crazy, I don’t want my door opened wide so it fills with snow or rain before I can get out quickly.

  8. Paul Passeggiato Says:

    Hello ;
    I bought a new Volvo 2011 and would like to have the disappearing install need the cost and were to install.could you please send information on this and could the be install on any car . Thanks you Paul

  9. internet lawyer Says:

    Thank you so much for this. I’m a blogger coming from Dordrecht, Netherlands and what you’ve said here on autoline.

    tv couldn’t be said much better. Reading through this information kinda reminds me of my college roommate, Josie. He persistently kept preaching about this. I will definitely send these ideas to him. Pretty sure he will have a good time reading this. I appreciate you for sharing this.