Over the past few years I have talked about different styles of doors including suicide and gullwings. For this article I will discuss retractable doors and I originally wrote this article back in 2010, so it was an interesting task to update it! The first time I saw this style of door on a production vehicle it was on a BMW Z1 – the first of the Z series from the late 1980s. Only about 8,000 were produced and they were the ancestor of the more common Z3 and Z4 models. On the BMW, the doors drop down into a high sill to give the impression of being door-less like an old Jeep or 1930s sports car. The high sill gave good side impact protection but did look a little odd. The doors were made of thermoplastic to reduce weight and in effect they were half the size of a normal door. In the US, a California based company called Jatech LLC created "Disappearing Car Doors" that are retrofitted to mass produced cars. They allegedly took their designs to the Big 3 and got acceptance but not … [Read More...]
Continental, the tyre company has been busy researching new ideas for disc brakes to make them lighter and more efficient.
Automatic gearboxes have been available for decades and are probably to most used these days – especially for commuting and town driving.