Scissor doors

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Scissor doors (also wing doors, beetle-wing doors, turtle doors, switchblade doors, swing-up doors, Lamborghini doors,[1] and Lambo doors) are automobile doors that rotate vertically at a fixed hinge at the front of the door,[2] rather than outward as with a conventional door.[1]


The Alfa Romeo Carabo concept car was the first vehicle to use scissor doors

The first vehicle to feature scissor doors was the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo concept car, designed by Bertone's Marcello Gandini. The door style was dictated by Gandini's desire for an innovative design, and by his concern over the car's extremely poor rear visibility. In order to reverse the car, the driver would be able to lift the door and lean his upper body out of the hatch in order to see behind the car. The first production car to feature the doors was a Lamborghini, Gandini's Countach; the sports car's wide chassis created similar problems to those found on the Carabo, calling for the unusual door configuration. The doors were used on the Countach's successor, the Diablo, on its replacement, the Murciélago, and on a low-production run derivative of the Murciélago called the Reventón.[3] The Centenario is the latest Lamborghini car to feature the trademark doors. Having used the exotic door style for several of its cars, the Italian manufacturer has become synonymous with the implementation of scissor doors, which are sometimes colloquially referred to as "Lambo doors".[3]

2006 Smart Roadster with prepared panel and scissor doors.

Today many aftermarket companies are specialized in production of scissor door conversion kits for regular production cars that originally come with regular doors. A common scissor door conversion kit (also known as a "Lambo-door" kit) includes model specific redesigned door hinges and gas filled shocks. Such kits are usually bolt-on or weld on and require some modifications to front bumpers and door panels. Original door panels are not replaced, so a vehicle looks standard from the outside, when the doors are closed.


  • Offers the possibility of operating the car with the door open, in a manner that would be difficult or impossible in a car with conventional doors.
  • Because the doors stay within the car's track throughout their range of movement, they are useful when parking in tight spaces. A gullwing door style offers similar visibility, but the doors swing out from the car's area slightly.
  • The hinge is placed in a similar location to a conventional door, so a convertible version of the car is possible with the same door style.[4]
  • Reduces the dooring hazard to cyclists.


  • The manufacture cost of the door hinge can be more than that of a conventional door.
  • The door still impedes access/egress much more than a gullwing and, in some cases, more than a conventional door.
  • If the height of the parking lot ceiling is insufficient, the door may come into contact with it when opens.
  • In the event of a rollover, emergency egress may be more difficult than with conventional doors, if not impossible.


There are different types of scissor doors. The conventional type rotates to 90 degrees.[5] Scissor doors can be powered and they usually are.

Vertical Lift System[edit]

VLS doors have a scissor door configuration. The biggest difference is that they are designed to initially open slightly outward before opening upward to allow the top edge of the door to clear the door frame and A-pillar.[1] Although butterfly doors also move upwards and outwards, VLS doors are not butterfly doors, this is because VLS doors move outwards to a very small degree compared to the angle of butterfly doors.

130 degrees[edit]

Although conventional scissor doors rotate to 90 degrees, some can rotate up to 130 degrees;[6] these are commonly used for modified cars. These have the benefit that they don't obstruct the entrance or exit to the car as much as conventional scissor doors. VLS doors also can rotate to 130 degrees.

Scissor-conventional door hybrid[edit]

Some aftermarket example scissor doors are also designed so they can open vertically and horizontally like a conventional car door. These are used so the user can get the benefits of both types of door and open the door in whichever style is best suited to the situation.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Automotive door styles". Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  2. ^ "Gadget". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. May 27, 2006. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  3. ^ a b "Lamborghini on Piston Heads". 2002-06-11. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  4. ^ "Butterfly Doors". Scissor Doors Inc. Retrieved 2013-12-26. 
  5. ^ 90 Degree Doors.
  6. ^ "130 Degree doors". 2011-10-22. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 

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