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9 Different Types of Car Doors (With Pictures)

car with gullwing doors

Most people drive cars with regular doors. These doors open outwards and are the typical door that you see on most vehicles. However, there are also many other kinds of doors that you may want to consider. In fact, there are at least nine different car doors out there that are occasionally put on cars!

However, many of these door types are extremely rare and of the time, regular car doors are installed.

Still, if you’re interested in unusual car doors, take a look at our list below.

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The 9 Different Types of Car Doors:

1. Regular Car Doors

open regular car doors of grey car
Photo Credit: face-4, Pixabay

These doors are what you typically find on most cars. They open outwards, leaving a decent opening for you to get in your car. If you go and purchase a car right now, you’ll likely get one with this sort of door.

  • Widely available
  • Easy to use
  • Not very eye-catching

2. Scissors Doors

Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 - Flickr - Alexandre Prévot (13)
Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 – Flickr – Alexandre Prévot (13) (Image Credit: Alexandre Prévot, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)

Scissors doors are usually used on exclusive brands, like Ferrari and Lamborghini. They are typically seen as high-brow. This sort of door is also known by several other names including swing-up doors, Lambo doors, and wing doors.

Simply put, these doors open upwards instead of outwards. They look a lot like scissors, hence the name. They were first invented in 1968 by Alfa Romeo Carabo.

On top of being very aesthetically pleasing, these doors are also actually very practical. They are greatly valued in areas where parking spaces are small since they don’t need much outward room to open. However, they can be a problem in parking garages, where the door may potentially hit the ceiling.

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Great in small parking spaces
  • Can be a problem in roofed areas

3. Gull-Wing Doors

Gumpert Apollo Dubai
Gumpert Apollo Dubai (Image Credit: GUMPERT Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

These doors are a bit like scissors doors, but instead of opening towards the front, these doors upon straight up. When the door is open, it can look a bit like a bird, which is how these doors got their name.

These doors were designed in 1939 by Jean Bugatti. However, they were not launched until fourteen years later, when they appeared on the Mercedes 300SL race car. There have been many other cars with these doors over the years.

With that said, these doors don’t have many practical benefits.

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Not practical

4. Butterfly Doors

Scissors doors and butterfly doors are often considered the same thing. However, there are a few small differences. For instance, scissors doors open straight up and are hinged to the bottom of the A-pillar. On the other hand, butterfly doors swing out and up, though it is also hinged to the A-pillar. Thanks to the opening mechanism, butterfly doors allow for maximum space when entering and exiting the car.

However, because they also open outwards, they require more room on either side of the car, which can be a problem in smaller spaces. They also open upwards, so they don’t work well with cramped ceilings. Still, they are a very stylish type of door!

  • Stylish
  • Provides maximum space
  • Expensive
  • Not practical in tight spaces

5. Suicide Doors

Lincoln-concept-Suicide-Doors (Image Credit: VoxLuna, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 2.0 Generic)

Technically, these doors are the “traditional” doors. They were around before the regular doors that we have today and were originally used in horse-drawn carriages. However, they are considered less safe than regular car doors as they hinge at the rear rather than the front, which is where the slang name “suicide door” came from.

There was a higher likelihood of occupants falling out of the door when opening the rear doors, which could potentially cause them to get hit by a passing car. Furthermore, seatbelts weren’t around at the time, further increasing risks.

  • “Traditional” style
  • Dangerous

6. Sliding Doors

Toyota HiAce GL Grandia Tourer van front
Toyota HiAce GL Grandia Tourer van front (Image Credit: Ominae, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 4.0 International)

These doors slide against the car on a track, as opposed to swinging out like most car doors. Usually, these doors are utilized on vans and passenger vehicles to provide a larger space for passengers to exit the vehicle.

This door was first utilized in 1954 and they’ve continued to be utilized in a small minority of cars for some time. Once again, vans are the most common but it’s still somewhat rare to find cars with these doors today.

There are also a few different styles of this door, depending on the car it is being utilized on.

  • Allows passengers plenty of room to exit
  • Mostly used on vans
  • Not particularly common

7. Swan Doors

This opening mechanism is newer, but it is starting to turn a lot of people’s heads. They open similarly to a regular car door. However, they swing open very wide, which makes them easier to enter and exit. However, this also means that they require more room on either side of the car.

These doors are still quite rare, which means that you’ll likely have a hard time finding them. Usually, you need to purchase a very expensive car to get these doors.

  • Easy to enter and exit
  • Very wide opening
  • Requires quite a bit of room
  • Expensive

8. Canopy Doors

3-4Nose (Image Credit: Davest1, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

Canopy doors are extremely rare. Technically, they do not have an official name, but we’ve decided to go by their unofficial name. When this door opens, the whole top of the car lifts up. Because these doors are rare, they are quite eye-catching at shows. However, they aren’t practical.

These doors can be parked inches away from others but they don’t work well in places with roofs. After all, the door opens upwards, which can be a problem if there is a ceiling nearby.

There are various ways these doors can hinge, so they do differ a little bit.

  • Eye-catching
  • No side clearance needed
  • Rare
  • Needs plenty of top clearance

9. Dihedral Doors

These doors are extremely similar to scissors doors. However, these doors move outward and rotate at 90-degrees at the hinge. They are one of the latest inventions in the car industry, with quite a few new cars coming with these doors.

They are typically considered an improvement on the regular scissors doors, and we’ll likely be seeing a lot more of them in the future.

  • Very similar to scissors doors
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Expensive
  • Rare

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There are many types of car doors out there, though most of us are accustomed to the regular car door. Beyond that, most people have seen scissors doors on fancier, more expensive cars – even if you haven’t seen one in person.

However, there are also tons of other car doors out there that you probably aren’t familiar with. Some of these are very old, like suicide doors, and are not used anymore today for obvious reasons. Some doors are very rare and only used on a few cars.

Featured Image Credit: LizzyZZ, Pixabay


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