Over the years, car designs have changed in many ways, and one of the most significant changes is door designs. Today, most super-luxury sports cars and supercars are built with vertical doors that open upwards (vertically) instead of outward.
Vertical car doors are generally referred to as “butterfly-style” car doors, and different designs are seen today.
What is the difference between butterfly-style car doors? There’s actually not much difference between these doors – except for the building design.
Apparently, every automaker tries to make theirs different from what is on their competitors’ models. Notwithstanding, there are common types of vertical (butterfly-style) car doors you should know about.
What is Butterfly-Style Car Door?
A butter-fly car door is a car door style that opens vertically to depict a butterfly shape. These doors are mostly found on supercars and luxury cars like Bentleys, Lambos, Ferraris, Aston Martins, etc. Butterfly-style doors make supercars appear more catchy and distinctive.
Notwithstanding, there are other similar car door styles such as “Scissors Doors” and “Dihedral Synchro-Helix Doors.” While these doors open pretty much similar to butter-fly doors, they are a bit different in their mechanism – many people call them all “butter-fly doors” anyways.
Butterfly Style Car Doors | Car Door Designs
As hinted earlier, a lot of people use the “butterfly-style” term for different car door designs that look similar. Thus, in this article, we’d explore the differences between the three common car door designs, which are typically referred to as butterfly-style car doors.
1. Scissors Doors
The actual name for this car door style is “Scissor Door,” but you’d find a couple of people call it butter-fly door. Scissors doors are often associated with sports cars; they open vertically – or rather, diagonally – and feature a hinge at the front. Of course, they are stylish doors and give you “classy” vibes.
Scissors Doors are the landmark of Lamborghini supercars. Notwithstanding, some Lambos come with the actual butterfly-style doors, while there are Ferraris and models from other luxury car brands that come with scissors doors.
The first scissor door was introduced in an Alfa Romeo Carabo car in 1968; scissors doors are both aesthetically appealing and “super” practical, too.
2. Butterfly Doors
Now, the actual “Butterfly-Style” doors. These are vertical doors (upswing doors) that combine the mechanism of scissors and gullwing doors; this means that butterfly-style doors feature an opening mechanism that combines vertical movement (found in scissors doors) with a horizontal pivot. You’d find these doors on Koenigsegg Jesko, McLaren Senna, and Lamborghini Aventador.
They are called butterfly doors because when fully opened, the doors appear like butterfly wings.
This particular door style has gained significant popularity in recent years because they are viewed to be more enchanting, futuristic, and practical than the others. Also, butterfly doors open wider than scissors doors.
3. Dihedral Door
Dihedral Door is one of the most recent car door designs found on supercars. This car door design is similar to scissors and butterfly doors, but the opening mechanism is quite different.
Unlike other similar doors, Dihedral Doors are hinged to open both outwards and upwards at a 90-degree angle, making it easy for you to get in or get out of the car.
Being the latest “classy” door invention in the market, dihedral doors are very much expensive to fix if anything happens to them. Some notable cars with this door type include Koenigsegg Agera R and RS, and Koenigsegg CC8S.
Dihedral doors are built with synchro-helio hinges that allow them to rotate at 90 degrees (upward).
Difference Between Butterfly-Style Car Doors | Car Door Designs
Now that we have established that about three commonly similar car door designs are referred to as “butterfly-style doors,” what is then, the differences between the door designs? Hereunder are the unique differences between the three car door designs explained above.
1. Opening Mechanism
This is where the major difference applies. While these doors may open vertically, the “how” (mechanism) that lets them open vertically differs.
Scissors doors open vertically and do not have a horizontal pivot; butterfly doors open vertically and have a horizontal pivot, which makes them open wider; dihedral doors have a hinge that lets them open outwards and upwards at a 90-degree angle.
Due to the mechanism, the scissor door opens less widely than the other two.
2. Accessibility and Comfort
It is much easier to get in and out of a supercar that has butterfly doors. Also, the horizontal pivot on butterfly doors makes it easy to open the car even in tight parking spaces.
Of course, dihedral doors provide easy access into the vehicle and do not take up much space – dihedral doors seem to be the future of butterfly-style doors in the supercar market.
3. Visual Appeal
Apparently, these three car door designs being talked about here are all visually appealing and sort after; they exude practicality and modernity.
Also, the distinctive opening motion makes them more exciting to see. All “butterfly-style” doors are beautiful to look at, and they are pretty sturdy.
Well, this is definitely one of the aspects these doors slack a bit. Yes, they are practical, but definitely not like conventional doors, swan doors, and suicide doors.
Butterfly doors’ practicality in everyday scenarios is quite limited; the wide opening arc requires a decent amount of space, which makes it hard to park such cars in cramped parking lots (parking spaces with limited overhead clearance). More so, the complex design makes the maintenance and repair costs a bit high.
Car door designs have evolved significantly in recent years, and this is to meet the demands of both aesthetics and functionality of modern cars.
While conventional doors aren’t going away anytime soon, butterfly-style car doors are increasingly becoming more popular and accepted as a standard for most luxury cars, thanks to the attention-grabbing aesthetics and striking visual appeal.
Scissor doors, butterfly doors, and dihedral doors are all considered “butterfly-style doors by most car enthusiasts, and that is because when they open, they look like butterfly wings. The difference is in the opening style and mechanism, but once fully open, a novice car owner may consider these doors the same.