Disappearing Car Door Option. Is This a Hoax?

http:// www. disappearing-car-door .com/ [EDIT: LINK CONTAINS VIRUS] Website with autoplaying video here. It’s a neat idea, I’ll give them that, and the video quality is such that the CGI-like nature of the images could be an artifact of the compression. I can’t recall seeing anything like this before on a concept car (switchblade doors, gullwing doors, suicide doors and sliding doors, yes), so this is pretty unique. I have to say that if it’s a hoax, I hope major carmakers pick up on the idea, because it looks to me that it would make it very easy for people with limited mobility to get in and out of the car.

Looks real to me, but I’ll have to spend more time on the site. I’d like to see a detailed diagram of the door structure and how it’s stored when open.

Certainly a nice idea; one drawback for people with small children might be that a single door covers the front and back seats, so when the door lowers, all the seats are open for egress.

ETA: when you hear soft chamber music throughout a car advertisement, you can just add five thousand dollars to whatever figure you had in your head.

That would be a huge amount of rework for the undercarriage and door frame. And quite a few sportscars already sit very very low to the ground. The door looks like it’s flexible as it rolls around the curve from side to bottom - sort of like a rolltop desk. But I don’t see how that’s possible with the window glass tucked doen inside the door. It might involve throwing away the original door and creating a whole new one out of special flexible material.

I wonder what’s involved in manually opening the door if the power fails (as in a dead battery or accident). Quite a bit of hand cranking, I would bet.

OK here’s my analysis of the door going from open to closed, as seen from the front of the car. It really cuts deep into the passenger compartment while it’s moving. That was the only way I could get the door from one position to the other without the top swinging way out or the bottom scraping the ground.

This screams hoax to me, a la Bonsai Kitten.

I get no Jatech LLC hits on google or in the US Patent search.

It has a lot of possibilities and some definite advantages. The big disadvantage I see is the problem with inclement weather. In the time that the door opens and closes much of the interior could be soaked or ruined.

It swings out further than that, Patty. In the shot of the two women getting into their side-by-side cars, you can clearly see the door extends a little ways beyond the edge of the car as it closes.

Edit: Nice work, though!

I retract my previous post.

Here’s a good site with additional information about this concept car from 1993.

Anyone remember the old GM station wagons in the 70s that had a tailgate that worked like this? The Vista Cruiser maybe?

Apparently they’ve changed the company name from Joalto Design, Inc. Here is the patent.

This looks cool. Edmunds makes mention of it in a blog, and…

I had a 7-point post outlining why I thought they’d been hoaxed. On preview, I see Tsar Chasm found verfication. I am not as smart as I’d thought.

I didn’t think it was a hoax so much as a car that could never be put into production. Without a B-pillar, it would be a deathtrap in a side impact.

Shouldn’t be hard to integrate one into the design (retrofitting is probably out of the question, however), after all, the “side impact beams” in cars are basically 2 inch dia. conduit.

I can think of a number of reasons that could be potential deal killers. In no particular order:
[li]As has been mentioned heavy rain.[/li][li]No B pillar would make it very hard to pass side impact standards. Side impact requirements go beyond just a bar in the door, it requires reinforcement in the B pillar which this car does not have.[/li][li]Lowered head room, or decreased ground clearance. If you don’t make the car taller, (less aerodynamic) you have to do one or the other. That door has to go somewhere. They said in the video something about no decreased ground clearance, so that would mean less head room, or a taller car.[/li][li]How do you get into the car to open the hood to jump start it with a dead battery?[/li][li]How do you replace the door seals when you have a wind leak?[/li][li]For that matter, how do you seal the sumbitch against wind and water leaks?[/li][li]How do you get out of the car after an accident when there is no battery power left?[/li][li]How do you get out of the car is there is a hit on the side anywhere between the wheels? A small hit right in front of the left rear wheel, and the driver is trapped.[/li][li]Cost. This bad boy has to cost more than a traditional door.[/li][/ul]
Other than that it looks way cool.
I am not holding my breath that it will be on any new cars in the foreseeable future.

The decreased ground clearance could be only while the door is open, not while driving. Just don’t park over a large rock.

Maybe the other side has normal doors?

Customer stops over a speed bump to pick up a passenger. SCRAPE! Who pays to paint the door?

In the video both sides of the car had the same doors.

How tamper-proof is it? Looks to be too easy to break into. And is there room in it for side airbags?

Don’t side airbags usually drop down from the roof?

Mine come out from the b-pillar if I understand my user manual correctly.

BMW did something similar years ago with the Z1: http://www.ssip.net/manufacturers/bmw/model/bmw-z1/