Toyota's Kinto is getting bored, finds a way to make the AH30 Alphard and Vellfire sliding doors close faster
Dinesh · Oct 13, 2023 07:01 PM
You know how some cars can be truly fantastic except for one minor detail that you just can’t overlook and it ends up ruining the entire driving experience. It could be a terrible head unit or a bad seating position. Well, some of the engineers at Toyota’s Kinto subscription service thought that could be the abysmally slow speed of the sliding doors on the previous AH30 generation of the Toyota Alphard and Vellfire.
Either that or they must be getting really bored over there. Or someone has secretly invented a timing chart of sliding door operation times, in the style of 0-100 kph sprint times.
Although some would say the slower speed lends an air of luxury or opulence as the rich are never in a rush, it turns out that upgrade for the doors has been requested by a small number of owners.
The reasons are easy to imagine. Say its raining and you’re getting soaked waiting for the door to open or even if you’re stopping on a busy road to drop someone off and the door takes forever to open.
In cases like this, things can get similar to Formula 1 where every millisecond counts.
Kinto itself is Toyota’s leasing programme for cars. Part of their business includes Kinto Factory, a service that provides owners of existing Toyota cars light customisation or upgrade plans for their cars.
Among the latest upgrades is the aforementioned increase in the operating speed of the Alphard and Vellfire automatic sliding door.
The process is a simple one. Kinto doesn’t install a more powerful motor or nitrous tank Fast & Furious style to the door, instead it’s an easy software update with a new control program from a laptop.
It only takes about 15 minutes from the technician plugging in the laptop too installing the update. Once completed, Kinto claims the opening and closing times reduced by 1 second. If this was a century sprint, that would be mind-blowing performance gains.
Nonetheless, the difference is compelling even if it feels negligible. Best Car Web from Japan was able to witness the process and even compare the sliding speed between a car that has had the work done and a car that hasn’t, claiming the difference is very much noticeable.
Going the extra mile in the name of the truth, the Best Car Web writer even timed the difference with a time that’s 1 second faster in opening and 1.6 seconds in closing.
Of course, nothing is free in this world and the price for this upgrade starts from 14,300 yen (~RM 450).
“Better late than never.” Some despise it, others begrudgingly agree with it but he swears by it… much to the chagrin of everyone around him. That unfortunately stems from all of his project cars not running most of the time, which in turn is testament to his questionable decision-making skills in life. A culmination of many wrongs fortunately making a right; much like his project cars on the rare occasions they run, he’s still trying to figure out if another project car is the way to go.