Aisin's new rail-free mechanism does what no other sliding door's done before; debuts on Toyota Century SUV
Sanjay · Oct 4, 2023 12:53 PM
If you take a good, hard think, you'll realise that sliding doors have long been exclusively on slab-sided cars, almost as if such a surface is a must-have to mount the rails on which the doors work.
Actually, that is one of the bigger reasons. Conventional sliding doors run through a track to open and close, which sort of limits the creative liberties a designer can take; not to mention having to accept one random straight line just being there while the doors are closed.
Enter the recently-unveiled all-new 2023 Toyota Century SUV. For various reasons this isn't a conventional car in itself (details in this post), and of course it's got to have a novel take for its optional sliding door recipe – in this case, it's doing away with rails completely.
That is the work of Aisin, which have developed a new 'linkage-type power door system' that uses a rotating arm to hold, open, and close the door. This allows for all the advantages – easy entry and exit, space saving in tight areas – without too much restrictions on design and surfacing.
One could say this is the next evolution of sliding doors, coming from the same company that made the world's first mass production of power sliding doors way back in 2001.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.