2005 Kleeman SL 50K S8 Scissor Doors
(from Kleemann Press
Release) KLEEMANN is proud to present a new and highly
improved version of the scissor door system, now available with a
fully automatic hydraulic opening and closing system. The KLEEMANN
scissor doors system is a truly unique styling product for the
stunning Mercedes-Benz roadster SL (R230).
Many companies through the years have built "Gullwing" or "Pivot" door mechanisms. Historically these door mechanisms have been nothing more than gas spring aided parallel hinges, crude in their design and function. KLEEMANN set out to design and build a truly unique hinge and opening mechanism befitting the marque and the expectations of their owners.
Mercedes-Benz set the stage in 1954 with the introduction of the 300 SL whose doors opened upward on a roof-mounted hinge with the help of a gas charged shock. The opening was required to allow easy access over the wide rocker panel structure. In the late 1970's Lamborghini introduced the Countach with its forward pivoting doors, which were required because one couldn't close a standard hinged door once inside the vehicle. Both of these solutions relied on purely mechanical parts and were cumbersome to operate, requiring great dexterity and strength.
The KLEEMANN Scissor Door system uses a unique two-axis hinge mechanism. A hydraulic station, containing a high-pressure pump and sophisticated control valve assembly, is located in the trunk. Hydraulic lines are run through the chassis to each A-pillar where the hinge mechanism is located. To enter the vehicle simply pull the OE door handle. An electronic signal is sent to the processor in the hydraulic station and the appropriate process take place to open the door.
The process in entirely automated: The door first moves outward 80 mm, and then swings up in an arc, hence the name "Scissor". A generous opening allows easy access to the vehicle. The opening procedure requires only ten seconds from start to finish. To close the door simply press the button located on the bottom edge of the door, within easy reach of a seated position, and the process reverses itself. Over centre cam action "closer aid" insures that the door is positively closed. None of the vehicles structure is compromised, neither in the A pillars nor door, the crash integrity of the vehicle is left in tact.
KLEEMANN paid great attention to the aesthetics of the opening process itself, to simply swing the door forward on a single plane is too cold and simple. Drawing from nature, a compound path was developed that mimics a bird's wing in flight. As the door swings up and forward the outer edge of the door folds outward, an elegant and sublime detail.
The KLEEMANN Scissor Door mechanism combines a state of the art electronically controlled hydraulic system with a beautiful opening motion to provide the ultimate in personal expression. Like all KLEEMANN products, functionality is as important as form, nothing is extraneous or unnecessary.