Ford Patents Wild Wing SUV Door: Is It a Step Too Far?
Ford recently filed a new patent for a cool wild wing door. This new door is a departure from anything we see in the market currently. Right now, the wildest doors we see are found on the Tesla Model X, which utilizes gullwing doors for the rear passengers. Does this new Ford door patent make sense? Is it simply a complicated take on something we don’t want to see?
Will this new Ford door patent become a reality for SUVs?
This new patent filed shows a massive side door for the passenger side of future Ford SUVs. Motor1 provides some details about the door design that could become part of future models. This patent, filed in October 2021 but only recently published, shows one massive door opening up and over the vehicle on the passenger side.
This new large door provides a large space for passengers to easily enter the vehicle and move to the rear seats. A separate door for the driver is provided on the opposite side of the vehicle, allowing easy access for the driver.
Does this new door style remind us of anything?
A single large door opening on one side of a vehicle is reminiscent of the original sliding door design on early minivans. The single sliding door design isn’t gone from the van world, showing itself in the current models of the Ford Transit and Econoline vans. Many cargo vans still use a single large sliding door on one side to access the cargo/passenger area.
Most commercial-grade cargo vans utilize a single sliding door. Passenger-style minivans evolved to two sliding doors, one on each side, many years ago. This become much more convenient for parents carrying families in these vehicles. This new Ford door patent for a single lifting passenger side opening takes us back to the early days of minivans but in a much more complicated way.
Could this new door design become problematic for future Ford SUVs?
If Ford does move forward and develop this new lifting door, it adds an unnecessary degree of difficulty. The patent calls for four pivoting arms to lift the door up and over the vehicle. Owners of new Ford Expedition and Explorer models might not appreciate the added difficulty of this door design. With more moving parts and more forces moving against gravity, parts could wear out faster, causing expensive repairs for owners.
At least minivans had a passenger-side front door
If this new Ford door patent goes into production, this massive door might be opened much more often than it should be. Think about how many times you drive your vehicle. How often do you have only one other passenger seated in the front seat next to you? Without a front passenger door, this massive lifting door would be opened often.
What should happen to this new patent meant for Ford SUVs?
Automakers file several patents every year to ensure they get ahead of the competition and protect their ideas. This new door patent could change vehicle access, but not in a positive manner. This is one of those patents that shouldn’t become a reality. The added complexity, moving parts, potential repairs, and inconvenience makes this new door design better left at the patent office. It should not enter production for future Ford SUVs.