By on December 18, 2018

Considering they’re only making 160 of them, the suicide doors on the eighty Coach Door Edition Lincoln Continentals to be sold next year have garnered quite a bit of attention.

The use of rear-hinged doors on vehicles dates to the horse age. It seems that sometime in the 1930s the moniker “suicide doors” was applied to them, apparently due to people’s propensity  for falling out of cars in the decades before Ford introduced the seat belt (as an option in 1956). There’s also, at least according to something frequently reproduced online, a connection with gangsters pushing people out of cars — though to my ears, that would be more like homicide doors.

I’m not convinced, though, it’s any easier to fall (or be pushed) out of a car with such doors, other than the fact that aerodynamics will help keep the door open while you’re falling (or being pushed). (Read More…)

By on December 17, 2018

Image: Lincoln

It’s true. You’ll soon be able to slap down a pile of hard-earned cash for a 2019 Lincoln Continental with suicide coach-style doors. Well, 80 of you will.

To mark the 80th anniversary of the Continental nameplate, Lincoln Motor Company went the extra mile for heritage devotees, revealing a limited-edition model that dispenses with front-hinged rear doors and adds half a foot of wheelbase to pull it off. You’ve never had a better look at the Continental’s B-pillar. (Read More…)

By on December 14, 2018

Image: Steph Willems/TTAC

What is it about suicide doors? Some 47 years after the last pair of full-size, rear-hinged doors faded from the domestic automobile landscape, we continue lusting after them. And automakers continue teasing us with sedans that open like a barn. Remember Lincoln’s go-nowhere Continental concept of the early 2000s? That’s just one of many pieces of vaporware boasting throwback doors that never went anywhere.

Next to narrow, barely-there side mirrors and ridiculously oversized wheels, suicide (aka clamshell, aka coach-style) doors are the design feature a good concept cannot go without, even though the audience has no expectation of ever seeing them in a showroom. Kia saw fit to install them on its Telluride concept. A three-row SUV, fer chrissakes. We’d probably be annoyed with them by now, were it not for Rolls-Royce’s resurrection of this vintage method of ingress/egress.

Are you as afflicted with suicide door love as this writer? (Read More…)

By on May 3, 2018

Sometimes an automaker goes out on a limb and gives consumers what they say they want. Toyota attempted to appease Internet Car Enthusiasts with the GT86, though it didn’t really work. A few years before that sporty coupe debuted, the company tried to woo the traditional sedan consumer with a very special, limited-production model for the Japanese domestic market.

Presenting Origin, by Toyota.

(Read More…)

By on March 26, 2018

The future of the slow-selling Lincoln Continental couldn’t be more hazy, but a new report claims the brand is preparing a last-ditch effort to revive interest in the flagship sedan. How does Lincoln plan to reverse a sales slide amid an industry addicted to crossovers?

Suicide doors.

Yes, the novel layout once favored by luxury American automakers — and returned to prominence with the iconic 1961-1969 Continentals — could make a comeback. (Read More…)

By on August 18, 2010

As Europe moves towards ever more premium subcompact cars, Opel has sought to hop on the bandwagon by giving its Corsa-based Meriva Micro-MPV stylish suicide doors. And with Buick moving towards simple rebadges of Opel’s product, the suicide-doored Meriva seems almost certain to arrive stateside as the so-called “Baby Enclave” MPV, expected to debut in the US market in 2012. There’s little doubt of the suicide door concept’s gimmick value, and we’ve said before that this factor alone could get Americans excited about the first-ever Buick subcompact… but just how much of a difference do the rear-hinged doors make in real life? According to the first German-market comparison test (by Auto Motor und Sport print edition), the Meriva’s suicide doors are still just a gimmick.

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2010

2010 Opel Meriva

The production version of the Opel Meriva has debuted, and as promised, the suicide doors made the cut. But will the Meriva come to America, re-grilled as a Buick? A Gamma II-based MPV is rumored for Buick’s 2012 lineup, and suicide doors might just be the gimmick that helps America understand the concept of “premium compact.” Even though, as the image after the jump shows, they are little more than a gimmick.

(Read More…)

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