The gullwing door, first seen on the Mercedes-Benz 300SL, has inspired numerous replicas. The latest entity to explore this idea is Ford, contemplating the incorporation of gullwing doors in its future vehicle models.
Motor1 initially discovered a patent application from Ford titled “side door for a vehicle,” filed in October 2021 and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on April 20, 2023. The document outlines a novel interpretation of the gullwing door design, with an SUV providing the illustrative example.
Ford’s gullwing door patent image
The Tesla Model X showcases the automaker’s proprietary gullwing door design, termed “falcon doors.” However, Ford’s idea differs slightly. While the Model X utilizes traditional front doors and rear falcon doors, Ford’s patent depicts a single large gullwing door on the passenger side, leaving the driver’s side with a standard door.
The unique, asymmetrical setup seems to stem from the door’s design. The Model X employs multiple hinged sections, allowing the doors to lift vertically. In contrast, Ford’s rendition hinges only at the roof’s midpoint, resulting in a clamshell shape that integrates a section of the roof into the door.
Ford’s gullwing door patent image
An evident advantage of this gullwing door design for SUVs includes an enlarged opening, facilitating passenger ingress and egress. The patent drawings also seem to include a movable in-vehicle table from a separate recent Ford patent application, a feature potentially useful for tailgating setups.
Despite the promising design, there’s no assurance that this gullwing door concept will enter production. Among other concerns, the complex hardware needed for such a door might invite reliability issues, as Tesla experienced with its falcon door design (possibly explaining its restriction to the Model X), as well as previous gullwing models by DeLorean and Bricklin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Ford Gullwing Door Patent
What is Ford’s new patent about?
Ford’s new patent details a concept for a gullwing door design specifically meant for SUVs. The application was first discovered by Motor1 and was titled “side door for a vehicle”. It was filed in October 2021 and published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on April 20, 2023. The patent illustrates a single large gullwing door on the passenger side, with a conventional door on the driver’s side.
How does Ford’s gullwing door design differ from Tesla’s falcon doors?
Tesla’s Model X has traditional front doors and rear falcon doors, while Ford’s patent shows a single large gullwing door on the passenger’s side, keeping the driver’s side door conventional. Additionally, Ford’s gullwing door design only hinges along the roof centerline, creating a clamshell shape that incorporates part of the roof into the door. Tesla’s falcon doors, on the other hand, have multiple hinged sections that allow them to open vertically.
What are the potential benefits of Ford’s gullwing door design?
One of the apparent benefits of Ford’s gullwing door design for SUVs is a larger opening, making it easier for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle. The patent drawings also seem to depict a movable in-vehicle table, which could enhance the vehicle’s utility, especially for tailgating setups.
Will Ford’s gullwing door design definitely be produced?
There is no certainty that Ford’s gullwing door design will make it to production. As with all patent applications, the concept is still theoretical at this stage. Moreover, the complex hardware required for such a door could potentially lead to reliability issues, as seen with Tesla’s falcon doors and previous gullwing models by DeLorean and Bricklin.
More about Ford Gullwing Door Patent
- Ford’s Gullwing Door Patent
- Tesla’s Falcon Doors
- Motor1’s Discovery of Ford’s Patent
- Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing Door Design
- The DeLorean’s Gullwing Door
- The Bricklin SV-1’s Gullwing Door