Doors have always had a simple and universal method of operation. They move back and forth, this is the same whether it’s your house door or your car door. But some car doors make this experience a little special.
Lamborghini is known for its famous scissor doors, and they’re expensive. Cars with similar doors are usually exotic vehicles with hefty price tags. Roll up in any of these and open the door and people stare and think they’re expensive, which they are.
But some cars are the exception. You do not need hundreds of thousands of dollars to own them, but the wow factor is still there. This does not mean they’re dirt cheap any car even the cheapest on this list has a price to it, but they’re way more affordable than exotics with these doors.
From the likes of Mercedes and BMW to Toyota, Yes the Toyota we all know. These are some of the cheapest vehicles you can buy with winged (fancy) doors.
1. Toyota Sera: $4,300-$15,000
Toyota would not be a brand that comes to mind when you think of winged doors. The Sera is one of those projects that shows Toyota can do things differently sometimes. Its butterfly doors are forward-hinged similar to the ones found on the McLaren F1.
It was a hatchback coupe built from 1990-1996. It has only one engine option which was a 1.5 liter 4-cylinder engine mounted in front making 104 hp and 97 lb ft (132 Nm) of torque. Transmission options included a 4 speed Automatic and 5-speed manual powering the front wheels.
The car may not be fast, but it is very light, weighing in at 930 kg. It also has a monocoque steel construction which supports both doors and the entire vehicle structure. This structure makes it almost as safe as any sports car of its time. Being a Toyota, you can also be sure of its reliability.
Top speed: 121 mph (195 km/h)
Also read: Are Toyotas Reliable? Which Toyotas aren’t?
2. Autozam AZ1: $16,000-$40,000
In the US, it is known as the Autozam AZ1 but in some parts of the world is known as the Suzuki Cara or Mazda AZ-550. It is a mid-engine, 2 seat Kei class sports car manufactured by Mazda under the Autozam brand. Suzuki provided the engine and inspired the design.
It was only available from 1992-1994, and its most notable feature is the gullwing doors. The Kei class designation was used to identify the smallest class of road-legal Japanese vehicles. Their engines also couldn’t be more than 660cc (0.6 liters).
So the AZ1 was powered by a 657cc turbocharged 3 cylinder making 64 hp and 64 lb ft (85Nm) of torque. But it is lighter than the Toyota Sera weighing in at Just 720Kg (1,587 lbs)
0-60 mph: 10.5 seconds
Top Speed: 110 mph (177 km/h)
3. Bricklin SV1: $15,000-$45,000
Say hello to Canada with The Bricklin SV1. It is a 2-seat sports car made from 1974 to 1976. SV1 means “safety vehicle one” as the brand was focused on making the car as safe as possible. But what I see are those gullwing doors hanging high and proud.
Two different engine choices were offered depending on the year of manufacturing. 1974 cars got a 5.9 liter AMC V8 which made 220hp and 315 lb ft (427 Nm) of torque. 1975 cars got a 5.8 liter Windsor V8 from Ford, making 175 hp and 286 lb ft (387 Nm) of torque. The engines were mounted in front and sent power to the rear wheels.
3 different transmissions were also offered which included 2 different automatic transmissions and a 4-speed manual. The SV1 was a failure with its short lifespan. Only 3000 cars were made and less than 1,700 exist today.
0-60 mph: 9.9 seconds
Top speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
Also read: 10 Best Cars with Paddle Shifters Under $10k
4. Delorean DMC 12: $35,000-$45,000
This car was made famous for its role in the movie franchise “Back to the Future” as the time machine. Most people who watched that movie know this car, and most car enthusiasts seem to love it. The highlights are the brushed stainless steel body panels and gullwing doors.
The 2-seat sports car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro who also designed cars for Lamborghini, Bugatti, BMW, and many others. It was powered by a rear engine 2.8 liter V6 making 130hp and 153 lb ft (207Nm) of torque. The transmission was either a 5-speed manual or 3 speed automatic.
0-60 mph: 10.5 seconds
Top speed: 130 mph (209 km/h)
5. Vaydor G35: The kit costs $26,000 and the donor car would start from $4,000.
Vaydor is not a major manufacturer, but a kit car company. The body kit is stunning from almost every angle and looks like a proper supercar from far away. Its party piece is the scissor doors, similar to those on a Lamborghini Aventador.
The base vehicle is a 2003-2007 Infiniti G35 coupe. The kit was designed to replace every body panel of the vehicle. Custom paint and interior can be done in any way the customer wants.
The base engine is a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 280hp. But engine swaps can be made to your preferred engine of choice to make the car faster. Transmission options are a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic, driving the rear wheels only.
The price of this vehicle is highly dependent on the owner, their preferences. You can make it as cheap as possible or go crazy and spend over $100,000 or more. Its design is so stunning that it was featured as the Joker’s car in suicide squad and caught the eye of retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neil.
6. Aston Martin V8 Vantage: $40,000-$100,000
This comes low on the list, but when you see these doors, they are quite cool. Swan doors as they called open up at an angle which makes it seem like a bird slightly showing its wings. The purpose of this is to help the door clear curbs easily. Most Aston Martin vehicles still incorporate this design.
The V8 vantage is Aston Martin’s smallest sports car in the lineup, made between 2005 and 2017. It is powered by a 4.3 liter naturally aspirated V8 making 380hp and 302 lb ft (409Nm) of torque. This was later changed in 2008 to the 4.7 liter V8 which made 420hp and 347 lb-ft of torque (470Nm). The transmission was either a 6-speed manual or a 7 speed automated manual, sending power to the rear wheels.
You have the choice of a coupe or a roadster. Either way, both variants still have the same doors.
0-60 mph: 4.3 V8 5.1 seconds, 4.7 V8 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 180 mph(290 km/h)
Also read: 10 Best Cars with Paddle Shifters Under $20k
7. BMW i8: $60,000- $130,000
BMW does not have an exotic vehicle. The i8 seems to be the only car that comes close to that word for the brand. It was introduced in 2014 and is by far the most beautiful modern BMW. Everything about it looked and felt futuristic. The butterfly doors complemented the design very well and share many similarities with the concept car.
The plug-in hybrid is powered by a 1.5 liter 3 cylinder making 228hp mated to a hybrid motor making 129hp. Total power is 357hp and 420 lb-ft (570 Nm) of torque. It has an electric-only range of 18 miles (29 km). It has a mid-engine, all-wheel-drive layout, and a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Supercar looks and sports car performance makes this car a winner. Starting prices were around $140,000 but you can pick used examples for half the price.
0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top speed: 155 mph(249 km/h)
8. Tesla Model X: $55,000-$130,000
Everyone and their mom knows about Tesla and its founder Elon Musk. Sports car/supercar beating performance in family sedans and SUVs. But they all kind of look the same with very little changes over the years. The only stand-out model is the X.
The model X SUV features normal doors in front but top-hinged doors at the back known as falcon doors. Tesla is so proud of these doors that later models have a mode that allows the car to dance. Christmas mode activates a song and creates a light show, which also features the falcon doors opening up and flapping like bird’s wings.
Just like their performance game, Tesla steps up their door game pretty strongly too. It also seems to be the only SUV/Crossover that doesn’t have normal doors.
0-60 mph: 5.1 seconds
Top speed: 156 mph (250 km/h)
9. McLaren 12C: Over $100,000
This is the most expensive and fastest car on this list. McLaren came in 2012 and put the competition on its toes with this car. It was the first road car made after the legendary McLaren F1 in the 90s. It shared almost nothing with the F1 except world-class performance and the famed butterfly doors.
The 12c puts you into true exotic/supercar ownership. Its design isn’t just for show, it is powered by a 3.8-liter twin-turbo V8 making 600hp and 443 lb ft (600Nm) of torque. The engine is mid-mounted and has a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, sending power to the rear wheels only.
Even today the 12c is still one of the fastest exotic cars in production hence the heavy price tag.
0-60 mph: 2.9 seconds
Top speed: 207mph (333 km/h)
10. Your car
This is for those who love their cars very much and want to add some flare to them. Your current doors can be modified to have doors like more expensive cars do. This saves you the cash you would have spent on a new vehicle and instead is spent on modifying your door.
Most mods only require a change in your door hinges from the open-outward style to the open-upward style (scissor doors). Though these are limited to just Lamborghini-scissor-like doors for regular vehicles. If you have a convertible tough, some kits do offer butterfly-style doors but not many companies make these. Of course, you also have the option of suicide doors, like Rolls-Royce has on its vehicles.
Cars with Wing Doors: Pros and Cons
Every vehicle has advantages and disadvantages. Unconventional doors have their perks and pitfalls too. Here are a few pros and cons.
Attention grabber: If you want people to talk about your car, then leave the doors up at a gas station. Most people are curious and would most likely ask what car it is.
Don’t need as much space to open: Scissor doors and gullwing doors don’t need much space to open up the vehicle. Since they mainly open upward, they easily clear objects like cars parked closely or a wall.
The cool factor: You always look cool getting out of your car if you do it gracefully and know the technique. We’ll discuss this more in the cons section.
Space issues: Scissor doors may open upwards but butterfly doors have an extra outward motion. If you’re close to an object or a car, you might as well go out the passenger door. For gullwing doors, you might hit your head if you stand too quickly.
Entry and exit: Getting in and out if you do not know the trick can be a pain. Going in the way you do in a normal car may take a few seconds. The trick is to go in butt-first and try not to hit your head.
Getting out is the same, legs first, and then you can support yourself out. Do any of these wrong, and you don’t look or feel cool anymore.
Leaking struts: These doors are heavy, so they need gas struts to support them. Over time, they get weak, and your door starts to lean in and makes your car look broken.
Accidents: Most car manufacturers have safety built into these doors. But if you modify your doors, you may make it hard to reach you in an accident.