When I was a kid in the 1980s and first became aware of the Lamborghini Countach (despite it already being around for a few years at this point) I immediately became a fan of it, and all supercars and it’s incredible to think how things have moved on since those days. It wasn’t just the Countach, the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 959 were all included in my dream wish-list.
When I looked at that red Countach print on my wall, there were really two things that made me feel in a way that I hadn’t felt before. Firstly, the enormous, totally useless rear spoiler on the back end which gave it an almost spaceship appearance. Secondly, the doors. These doors totally blew me away, they were just…different. I think it is from this time onwards that I (and others) have associated these scissor doors with Lamborghini in general.
However, some people assume that all Lamborghini’s have these scissor doors but you may be surprised to learn that this is not the case!
Does the Lamborghini Gallardo have scissor doors? No, the Lamborghini Gallardo does not have scissor doors. Only the ‘pro’ series Lambo cars, such as the Aventador (and its predecessors) have them. Both the Gallardo and its replacement, the Huracán (and whatever follows) will not.
What are scissor doors?
Scissor doors are typically found on some supercars and unlike a conventional door that swings outwards on a fixed hinge near the front of the car, scissor doors swing upwards using a hinge that’s located roughly at the same point. The doors usually rotate 90 degrees (although there are some that rotate up to 130 degrees) and due to the fact that they lift upwards, are assisted in the mechanism by some form of power-assist – otherwise, they’d be very difficult to open!
What are the advantages and disadvantages of scissor doors?
There’s obviously a good reason why only a small amount of cars are built with these kind of doors. If they were a better option for your little run-around then they would already be fitted, right? Well, maybe – but they’re not, so why not?
Advantages of scissor doors
- One of the problems with many supercars is that they can be somewhat wide. Take the Lamborghini Aventador, it’s over 2 meters wide! If you try and park a car of this width in your conventional or multi-story carpark, you might just be able to get it into a parking space – but with conventional doors, you’re going to struggle to get out! You’re going to either have to squeeze through a tiny gap or will accidentally bump your door on the car parked next to you. The advantage scissor doors have is that they go up, rather than out. This means you have more room to get in and out.
- With a scissor door up, you can still drive the car in a relatively normal way. Now, this may sound like an odd thing to say but try reversing the Lamborghini Countach without opening up the door and sticking yourself half in, half out – it’s nigh on impossible!
- Unfortunately, a lot of cyclists are hit when passing a parked car each year due to the occupant of the vehicle opening the door without checking or not realizing that a cyclist is about to ride past. Having a door that goes upwards, obviously removes a lot of this risk.
- I think we can all agree that they just look awesome.
Disadvantages of scissor doors
- Access in and out of the cabin can be surprisingly restrictive and actually in some cases be more difficult than your conventional car door.
- The cost of manufacturing is more than a traditional door, which is one of the reasons why more car manufacturers don’t have them on their cars!
- Emergency escape in the unlikely event of a rollover can be more difficult, for obvious reasons. Occupants would need to either leave via the side window or smash it if required.
- Whereas conventional doors can be a problem in parking lots as they may hit other cars, scissor doors can also be a problem both in these parking lots and in your own garage due to how high the doors open.
Are scissor doors the same as suicide doors?
Some people get confused by the different types of doors, and often get scissor doors confused with suicide doors. They are not the same thing. Suicide doors are car doors that still have the hinge on the side, but typically the front door hinge will be at the front of the car and the rear door hinge will be at the rear of the rear door.
So, if you’re facing the side of a car, the door handles will both be close together in the middle. There are a fair few manufacturers that have this configuration but arguably the most well known is Rolls Royce.
How about Gull-Wing doors?
The Gull-Wing door is different to both the scissor and suicide doors as here, the hinges are at the top of the car. So, the doors open upwards. The best-known example of a car that has gull-wing doors is the DMC DeLorean, famous due to the Back to the Future films.
What Lamborghini models have scissor doors?
The following models of Lamborghini have scissor doors:
- Lamborghini Countach (1974 – 1990) – 1983 manufactured
- Lamborghini Silhouette P300 (1976 – 1979) – 54 manufactured
- Lamborghini Jalpa (1981 – 1988) – 410 manufactured
- Lamborghini LM002 (1986 – 1993) – 328 manufactured
- Lamborghini Diablo (1990 – 2001) – 2884 manufactured
- Lamborghini Murciélago (2001 – 2010) – 4099 manufactured
- Lamborghini Reventón (2007 – 2009) – 21 manufactured
- Lamborghini Aventador (2017 – present)
The only Lamborghini’s that don’t have scissor doors are the Gallardo and the Huracán. So, at the moment if you want to buy a new Lamborghini you’ll need to get an Aventador. I should probably also mention the Urus, this also doesn’t have scissor doors but I’m not quite sure the Urus fits the whole ‘supercar’ thing, as nice as it is.
Why don’t all Lamborghinis have scissor doors?
Good question – however, the Gallardo (and now the Huracán) have been more the entry-level car for Lamborghini. It seems odd calling either of these cars ‘entry-level’ but it is the case. The Murciélago had them, which replaced the Diablo and the Aventador (which replaced the Murciélago) also has them. So, their ‘pro’ series has always had them but the entry-level cars do not. Which is a shame, personally – as I have the Gallardo and one of the most popular questions people ask me is, ‘why doesn’t it have the doors?’. I wish it did myself (as stock) actually as I love them, the entry-level Mclaren has them (the 540) – so why not?
I suppose you could say that both the Gallardo and the Huracán are produced in far greater volumes than any other car and maybe to keep the costs down just a little, this proved a better option. They wanted these cars to be more accessible to more people and I guess this was one way to achieve this.
Can you change the standard Gallardo doors to scissor doors?
If you have a Lamborghini Gallardo, can you get the doors changed from conventional to the scissor type? Well, yes you can. Whether you should get the conversion or not is another question. If you live in Europe, where most people prefer their cars relatively stock, getting this type of conversion could seriously harm the resale value and you might find your car on the market for years if you don’t want to lose a lot of money!
In the US though, these kinds of conversions are accepted a little more. There are a few manufacturers that will supply them and one of them can be found here. These guys will supply the components required for a little under $6k but my advice? Don’t do it! Personally, I don’t think they look right and these scissor doors should be left to the pro Lambo series.
What was the first car to have scissor doors?
The first car to have scissor doors was the Alfa Romeo Carabo which had looks remarkably like the Lotus Esprit and the Countach I think. It was designed by Bertone Gandini, who was concerned about the extremely poor visibility the thing had. In fact, the car was practically impossible to reverse without the door open – a strong similarity to the Lamborghini Countach here of course!
However, the Carabo wasn’t exactly a production car, so actually – the award for the first production car to have scissor doors goes to the Countach itself.
I love the scissor doors on any car but they just go hand-in-hand with Lamborghini. In fact, the main feature most people associate with any Lambo is indeed these scissor doors. You can see why. Pulling up at the gas station and pushing these things up must be something else.
It looks like all the professional series of Lambo’s and that includes whatever will follow the Aventador will have them and whatever follows the Huracán won’t.
Finally, if you’re wondering what it’s like to drive a Lamborghini, click on the link!
If you’re wondering whether you can afford a supercar then check out my article. Many people are surprised to learn that after looking at the numbers they can actually buy one for themselves!