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CLOSED DOORS DARK PRICE?

This is how to say it. The development of a new door opener for Renault Avantime took … 24 months and required more than one crash test.

Alexey VOROBYEV-OBUKHOV

Cars are getting crowded on city streets. Often you have to park so tightly that even as slightly open as possible the door does not let out of the car. This is especially true for two-door cars with an extended opening. Therefore, designers have to go to all sorts of tricks, coming up with original solutions. Do not really put on the sports coupe a sliding door from the Gazelle!

One of the options is the guillotine scheme has been known for a long time, but the French decided to go the other way and came up with tricky loops. The kinematics of their aluminum hinges allows the door to first simply move to the side, then open slightly and finally move forward.

It was not easy to bring the new design to metal: it was necessary to solve a number of problems with safety, sealing, body rigidity … Since there is no usual strut here, in the crash tests more than one car was crashed until the door began to withstand the force of 5 tons that arose from the frontal hit. Special transverse amplifiers connect the left and right walls of the car, so that when you collide on the side, both "work" at once.

The French, however, thought these problems were few, and they also removed the glass frames. Now the raised glass enters the groove of the elastic seal. It is worth taking the door handle, and the window regulator will immediately lower the window a few millimeters and only then will give permission to activate the lock. After the door is slammed, the glass will also automatically rise up and enter the seal groove. (Note in parentheses: the performance of this design will cause some doubts among the Russians, who are accustomed to the frequent change of thaws and severe frosts.)

Renault, however, is not the only company that was fascinated by door motives. Designers of the Mazda-RX Evolve, for example, remembered the well-forgotten old - doors that opened towards each other (this was, in particular, at Moskvich-401, ZIM …). Actually, this did not give additional amenities - anyway, the opening was limited to the central pillar of the body. And if you do without it? A bold thought. But what if at a high speed the rear passenger suddenly decides to open the door in order to (about horror) throw something into the "environment"? Most likely, the door will be immediately torn off by a stream of incoming air. (On American cars of the 60s, such a design rightly earned the nickname "suicidal" - suicide type door.) At Mazda, the automatic system does not allow the rear door locks to work if the front doors are not ajar. This, of course, is inconvenient, but just imagine how huge a box can be loaded with wide open wings and the front seat unfolded!