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There is no shortage of cool patents that never make it to production cars. This is the way of things. You patent every idea you have just in case one is good enough for someone else to try and make. However, lately, Ford has been on a patent killing spree. We recently covered the Multi-Vehicle Audio System, which is such a good idea; I’m surprised it is only now being patented. Now, Ford is bringing back an old rocket-age feature potentially slotted for Ford SUVs

black and white diagram of Ford patent showing a large gullwing door
New Ford SUV patent for single gullwing door | USTPO

Is Ford really making Gullwing doors? 

Motor1 did some digging and found a new patent from our favorite Blue Oval for what looks like super-futuristic gullwing doors. The patent is for the “side door of a vehicle.” With that much description, I doubt y’all even need journos to explain further. 

Just in case you’d like a little more exposition on the “side door of a vehicle” patent, it appears to be a very unique style of gullwing door that is asymmetrical, opening up the entire side of a vehicle. The patent diagrams show this wild door on an SUV. Given the strange offset door’s size, it should only work on a large Ford SUV

What is this huge door for? 

At first glance, you might think this door is cool but more gimmicky than practical; more Tesla, less Ford. However, the more we think about it, the more its practical side makes sense. This huge door would open nearly the entire side of the vehicle. With that, you could more easily access the third row of a larger SUV and more easily load and unload senior riders or folks with impairments or injuries; you could also pair it with the Multi-Vehicle Audio System patent and eliminate obstruction from blasting Thin Lizzy at the function. 

Will Ford actually make this crazy gullwing door? 

diagram showing a gullwing door on Ford SUV
New Ford SUV patent | USPTO

Our friends at Gear Patrol have their doubts, as do we. As we said earlier, Ford has been on a Patent filing spree. If they have a cool idea that could possibly be useful or possible, they patent it. This has no bearing on whether or not Ford has any plans of actually making any of them. 

However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible either; just unlikely. 

As Gear Patrol notes, gullwing doors aren’t new. In fact, they have been around for over 70 years. They were first put into production on the legendary 1954 Mercedes 300SL. Despite being around longer than color TV, we don’t use them much. 

Why don’t cars have gullwing doors more often?

Gullwing doors are undeniably cool, yet few automakers ever used them. As with most cool things that we don’t do, there is usually a decent reason why. In the case of gullwing doors, there are a few reasons why. 

One of the biggest reasons is that they are complicated and expensive. For one, you need some powered lift to lift a door the size of the one in Ford’s patent. For two, you have to spend far more time developing weather sealing. There are safety and structural issues that have to be addressed. 

While there are some nice benefits to having a giant door, it’s hard to imagine why they wouldn’t go for the much easier and proven minivan-style sliding door. It achieves all the same basic things but is far easier and cheaper to execute. 

Again, we aren’t saying that it’s impossible, but it’s not likely, at least not anytime soon. It’s cool, though, and Ford has the patent, so who knows? Maybe the 2028 Ford Expedition gets the “side door of a vehicle.”