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Speculation - M3 Suicide Doors (Tesla Style)

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by eloder, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. eloder

    eloder Member

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    I've seen a lot of talk on this from various threads about the benefits and drawbacks of suicide doors, with obviously a large number of people refusing to buy a car with such an annoying door type.

    What if Tesla is planning on a solution, though, that'd take care of the drawbacks of suicide doors?

    Here's my wild guess about Model 3 suicide doors: They'd have a normally-positioned door handle or open button on the interior, and they can be opened without the front doors being open. To elaborate, the rear doors could be fully electrical in nature (similar to the MX doors). When pulling the rear door handle, the front door pops open a tad just as the Model X doors do without the auto-present/open packages prior to the suicide doors opening. Rear occupants would be able to fully let themselves out of the suicide door unassisted. Or possibly (but not as likely in my opinion), the front doors can remain closed while the suicide doors open.

    To deal with the inconvenience of closing the front doors before the rear doors accidentally, the front doors would automatically make themselves slightly ajar if closed before the rear doors are closed; once the rear doors close, the front doors would just close up automatically.

    Why suicide doors? If anyone has taken a look at the BMW i3, they can see some clear advantages to them--the rear occupant space and ease of entry vehicle is absolutely tremendous given the relatively tiny length of the car. For a highly aerodynamic car, suicide doors allow a much larger headroom for ingress and exit because the traditional pillars are not present and rear passengers enter near the apex of the car's height. Given the Model X's insane focus on falcon wing doors for having easy-access to rear seats (especially for parents/kids), this also seems like a logical design decision. They also can probably borrow a lot from the MX safety design due to non-traditional doors.

    I've seen comments in other threads that electro-mechanical doors are possibly cheaper and less complex than traditional mechanical car doors, along with space-saving benefits for the interior. Given the aerodynamic goals while keeping interior space high, the electro-mechanical doors are almost certainly included base-line, anyways, with touch-activated door handles on the exterior.

    I'm curious if the anti-suicide door crowd (myself included in this!) would buy a car if it had a system like the above, and if there are any other drawbacks that Tesla may not be able to address.
     
  2. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Ahem. "Weirdmobile" :smile:
     
  3. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon Member

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    I would guess Tesla has had it's fill of the problems inherent in novelty doors after the X fiasco.
     
  4. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    Why do they have to screw with the doors? Hell if they had just made a GL350 body with regular doors and seats for the Model X we would all have one by now!

    I hate suicide doors! I have them on my FJ and it has to be annoying aspect of the vehicle.
     
  5. eloder

    eloder Member

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    But is there anything weird with suicide doors that have none of the disadvantages of traditional suicide doors? I.e., you tap the rear suicide door handle, it opens even with the front door closed? An outsider observer couldn't even tell that the doors are suicide until opened with such a system.



    With the well-publicized .2 cd goal, there are not many ways to get there. A conical trunk, a conical front-end, wheel covers seem like much bigger dealbreakers than suicide doors that work exactly like normal doors, with the exception of where the hinge is located.

    Arguably, touch-activated, electro-mechanical doors (like the MX front doors sans premium package) are actually much cheaper and simpler to design than traditional mechanical doors because they don't have to tolerate heavy stress day-in and day-out.
     
  6. Brad_NC

    Brad_NC Member

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    In reality, the success of any feature is all in the execution of said feature.

    Gull Wing Doors of the past were interesting, and could have been great, but were a failure in execution. Tesla turned up the heat and introduced a slightly tweaked version named the Falcon Wing Doors... Many people will think that Tesla is full of absolute geniuses due to their quality of execution.

    I think that Suicide Doors can be completely successful too, but they do have to be executed with great finesse. I am not sure how it has to be done, but if Tesla does go after the Suicide Doors, you can be sure that they'll do it in an unconventional way that provides unparalleled style, function and

    The thing is, when they show us something fantastic, we'll think they are geniuses... until then, most of us will think rather uninspired thoughts.
     
  7. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

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    They have those refrigerators with left/right doors that allow you to open/close either door in any order (go to Lowe's or Home Depot to check out the mechanics of those). I think it might be possible to do it similar to those doors. I've been a supporter of Model 3 having suicide doors. I think it would be a cool addition that would improve utility.
     
  8. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Annoying, gimmicky, pointless. Likely weaker B-pillar. This comes from someone who owned 2 Saturn SC2's for a total of 15 years combined, so I have experience with them (driver's rear door was a suicide door).

    Your proposed automated system solves some of the operational issues, but, *meh*
     
  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    It is not clear to me how the doors the OP describes improve aerodynamics in any significant way.
    I do see how they can make entering and exiting a compact vehicle easier but am concerned that the lack of a B pillar will reduce the structural integrity of the body in a side impact accident.
     
  10. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    But that's just it. They were designed for the i3 because of the small size of the car. The Model 3 is going to be far larger than the i3, so there is no need for them.
     
  11. eloder

    eloder Member

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    It's all about the .2 cd on a vehicle the size of a 3-series or Audi A4.

    This cd is not going to be possible with standard-looking front ends or trunks on a car of that size.

    As a reference, this is what a near .2 cd car looks like:
    General_Motors_EV1_R%C3%BCckansicht.jpg

    That car has headroom, but in order to get that headroom you had to go with weirdmobile trunk and front. And it's much smaller than a Model 3.

    Tesla can't violate laws of physics, but they can certainly do design tricks to maximize ease of entry/exit. Just like how Falcon Wing Doors make the MX significantly easier to get into than any other similarly-sized 7-seater CUV on the market (even ones with significantly higher heights). People thought gull wing doors were impossible on SUVs, but the response and practicality of the doors seems overwhelmingly positive from owners.
    If Tesla does go with suicide doors that properly address all negative aspects, prepare to have similar criticism and similar positive responses from owners.



    The BMW i3 is taller than a 3-series or Audi A4 by a healthy margin. The i3 will be significantly taller than a Model 3 given that the M3 is going to be a hell of a lot more aerodynamic than 3-series or A4. The i3 has them because of its short length; the Model 3 will need innovative solutions as long as they're sticking to their .2 cd goal and also having a goal of making this vehicle compelling and not a "weirdmobile" (conical front, conical trunk, wheel covers).

    How do you propose that they reach a .2 cd while having enough headroom to accomodate normal sedan drivers getting into and out of the rear seat? Making the car with two doors? Making it look like the EV1 or a Prius?
     
  12. gregincal

    gregincal Active Member

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    I don't expect them to get a cd of .2. As far as I know that rumor was started by a single blog that claimed an insider said that Elon Musk wanted it. However, in my opinion the only way to get there is to make it a weird mobile, so I don't expect them to try.
     
  13. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers Total Smeghead

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    +1

    If Model 3 manages to get cd of .2 (or less, as was speculated also), while at the same time not looking like a weirdmobile, I will draw my hat and be positively gobsmacked.
     
  14. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    I'm growing to hate the suicide doors on our i3 and I really hope the model 3 doesn't have them (the i3 is leased and the plan is to return it to the BMW dealer close to when we get our model 3). We have a one year old that rides in a rear facing car seat and the suicide doors on our i3 present two problems. First, you have to open the front door prior to opening the rear door on the same side and in tight parking spots you kind of get trapped between the two open doors and the adjacent cars when loading and unloading the kid. It's not impossible, but you have to do lots of things in the right order for things to work. If the rear door could open independently of the front door this would fix this problem, but dealing with rear facing car seats would still be a pain and presents the second problem we've encountered.. We have with a small rear facing car seat that detaches from a base, but we looked into getting a larger convertible car seat that can be either rear facing or front facing and while it would physically fit into the i3 in the rear facing configuration, it was nearly impossible to put the kid in there or take him out when the car seat was installed because of the geometry of the rear door. So we're going to be pretty limited in our choice of car seats until our son is old enough for a front facing seat.
     
  15. Sunlight

    Sunlight Member

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    Indeed while I was day-dreaming t'other day (about the MX mainly) and contemplating doors in general and FWDs in particular (and the so called 'problems' with them); I wondered if the 'access to the third row' issue could have been addressed by having two conventional doors with a further third (smaller) suicide door (per side).

    This SD could feasibly open independently (but this may not be necessary if loading second row passengers anyway)

    Should be far cheaper and simpler than FWD and give the same outcome of easier access. Also a bit novel and stand-out without being a regular nuisance- as in the only access to the rear seats.

    With Tesla's fancy sensors, software and automation they could work very well. For a start the rear main rear doors could be self opening/closing like the front ones. And, maybe the suicide doors as well..........

    Just a thought - not a belief system.
     
  16. RedModel3

    RedModel3 Member

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    Just my .02, but I don't really care what the doors will be like. I'm buying the car, period.
     
  17. Laserbrain

    Laserbrain Member

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    Here another reference for a 0.19 cd car (a 2005 Mercedes concept car):

    1920px-Bioniccar_11.jpg

    It is modelled after the yellow boxfish.
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Ive seen quite a few box fish while scuba diving. They are not speedy swimmers. [emoji3]
    fish /fɪʃ/ : Photo
     
  19. jkk_

    jkk_ Member

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    My thoughts exactly. Maybe people (us) have gotten too focused to the (claimed) .2 CD target? I'd imagine, and hope, that for Tesla the priorities are non-weird mobileness + functionality > arbitrary CD target.
     
  20. mkjayakumar

    mkjayakumar Active Member

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    I once had an i3 for an extended weekend test drive, in the hope that the suicide doors will grow on us. But after really trying hard we all hated it, and my 8 year old said she will never talk to me again if I bought that car.

    She typically sits on the rear passenger side, and her point was she should be able to get out of the car by opening the rear door all by herself, but the stupid design requires me to stop the car, get out, go around and open the front passenger door before opening the rear door. Stupid, idiotic design. Moreover she felt the rear doors were too heavy and had difficulty opening it,
     

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