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Lincoln’s new Navigator concept does NOT have Tesla’s Falcon Wing doors


When I saw the concept this morning, I didn’t think I was going to report on it since it has nothing to do with electric vehicles, yet I somehow had the feeling it will come up because of the doors. Sure enough, tech publications have been reporting that Lincoln’s new Navigator concept features Tesla’s Falcon Wing doors, which is simply inaccurate and I expects people will make a bad habit of it.


“Lincoln just unveiled a humongous Navigator Concept — complete with falcon-wing doors — that looks more Tesla than it does Lincoln. Though, I suspect that’s the idea.”

The Verge:

“Don’t expect the amazing (and amazingly silly) Tesla Model X-style doors to make it to production.”

No and no. There’s a reason Tesla is calling the Model X’s doors “Falcon Wing doors” and not just “gull wing doors”. Historically, gull wing doors have only one set hinges, which is located on the chassis of the vehicle. Exactly like this new Lincoln concept:lincoln concept door

A design like that requires a very wide side clearance for the doors to open freely.

Tesla tried to innovate and make the concept more functional while retaining the aesthetic appeal of the gull wing door. The automaker’s design has two set of hinges which allows the second half of the door to stay closer to the vehicle while opening: falcon wind door mechanism 2

Tesla is calling the design “Falcon Wing doors” because of the obvious similarities with the wings of a falcon:falcon wing

I know the difference is not that big, but it actually makes all the difference in term of functionality. Forget about parking it in a garage, you’d need a hangar to park that Lincoln concept, but of course it’s only a concept and Lincoln doesn’t plan to bring the doors into production.

On the other hand, The Model X can park in most garages.

So it’s actually the difference between being forever stuck in the concept and luxury sport car market, or having a shot at becoming a more common door design.

It’s only the first generation of Falcon Wing doors and Tesla apparently plans to introduce them in other vehicles in the future. So let’s try to differentiate them from regular gull wing doors in the hope that we can popularize the concept as it improves over time.

In the meantime, enjoy a gallery of Lincoln’s new Navigator concept:

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  1. Thanks for pointing out what so many misunderstood, Fred. Tesla’s doors are are there for a valid reasons, not just to look fancy. I don’t think the same could be said of the Lincoln’s cumbersome wings.

  2. Nick Vergunst - 7 years ago

    I’m sorry but I really think you need to clarify your article. You claim that gullwing doors “require a very wide side clearance for the doors to open freely” and that is simply not true. It’s a very common misconception. Yes Tesla’s doors are different, but the standard gullwing is just as useful. For example, the DeLorean doors require a mere 11 inches of clearance to fully open. I would like to see people squeeze out of their normal opening doors with only 11inches of clearance then minus another 3 inches for door padding and plastic trim bits.

    Please research on your own, but I do own a DeLorean and it is really easy to disprove the requirement of large clearance.

    • Fred Lambert - 7 years ago

      You just prove my point. The Delorean is very small car which makes a foot of clearance significantly big, while the Model X has the same clearance, but it’s a much larger SUV.

    • freedomev - 7 years ago

      I agree with you Nick. And this one is a bad design by Ford. Gull Wing doors can be designed to take no more space than a regular door, especially on a 2 door.
      Likely either of my future EV designs, a 64 Vette looking all composite EV or EV small sportsvan will have will have them that take little more room, height than similar normal doors.
      As for this SUV, why is the floor so high and not being an EV? .

  3. Stephen Davies - 7 years ago

    This is ‘FUGLY’. What use case dis someone dream up to get the thing built with a door that opens to expose both Front and back passengers to the elements?
    Another Edsel perhaps?

  4. jednoucelovy - 7 years ago


  5. Bob Nickson - 7 years ago

    What’s not to love about a car with a half a flight of stairs to get in?

    With the camp kit in the back, all they need is some awnings that roll out from the gullwings, mid row seating that folds flat with the cargo area and inflates to a Queen size bed, and front seats on Captain’s swivels and there you go; the perfect car for the emerging homeless nomad class.

    This car and a gym membership for a shower. Who needs more than this? A different Wal-Mart parking lot every night spells F.R.E.E.D.O.M.

  6. NJDV (@NJDV7) - 7 years ago

    I’m pretty sure this was built on the Canyonero platform

  7. dogphlap - 7 years ago

    I get the fact that the falcon wing door has an extra articulation, just like the wing of a falcon but the wing of a gull (in fact any bird) also has that extra articulation so resorting to the avian world to show the difference between gull and falcon wing doors is absurd.


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