Porsche Wants To Revolutionize The Door Hinge With Magnetic Dampers


This is what happens when a sports car company thinks of luxury solutions.

As an executive luxury performance sedan the Porsche Panamera is as expensive as a small house, but it's also a lot of car. For the money, buyers can expect to own a vehicle that mimics a Mercedes S-Class but has the performance of a Ferrari from just a few generations ago. Now, thanks to a stray comment made by Autoblog during a recent test of the new Panamera, we have gained some insight into just how seriously Porsche takes the two-prong pursuit of luxury and performance.

With Panamera chief Gernot Döllner sitting shotgun, an editor joked that the sedan could use magnetic door dampers to facilitate the process of getting in and out of the car. According to Döllner, this idea is one that Porsche thought about. Cheaper vehicles usually feature hinges with indents to stop the door at certain angles when opening it. This helps keep the door from dinging cars in the parking lot and from slamming shut or ripping open when parked on a hill. These stop points help to remedy the minor inconveniences of getting in and out of a car, but they do not account for cramped parking spaces or specific angles that a driver may need the door to stay at.

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To relieve owners of that stress, Porsche uses hydraulic struts to hold the door in whatever position necessary, although this increases the effort needed to shut the door. If Porsche ends up putting magnetic fluid-filled dampers in the door, much like the ones that can vary the ride quality of a sports car, it would be easy for an owner to open the door to a certain point, have the damper stiffen to hold it in place, and then relax to allow the door to close smoothly. There are a few hurdles to making this a reality. One is figuring out how to tell the system when the driver wants to close the door. The other is weight, which would likely render the system as an option for the Panamera or SUV twins. Still, we like this sort of out-of-the-box thinking on Porsche’s end.