They look cool, and they're more functional than you think.
Volkswagen recently filed a patent for an all-new unlocking system for a vehicle door.
According to the patent registered with the German Patent and Trade Mark Office, the handle sinks into the door in the non-use position and protrudes outwards when used.
Two rod-shaped grip elements will jump up from the sides when it moves outward, allowing the user to rotate the handle. Think of it as a safe door, but for your car.
According to Volkswagen's application discovered by CarBuzz, the thinking behind this new door lock is its ease of operation. It also allows for more torque to be applied to the handle. To put it simply, it's a lot easier to twist a lock with two pointy ends sticking out of it.
The rotating door lock is not coupled to the physical door lock. That part is still done electronically via an actuator. Instead, this new patented lock will still rely on the driver or passenger to apply a certain amount of torque, after which it will tell the actuator to open the door.
To understand why this particular patent is so intelligent, you have to look at it in a closed position.
Once it's closed, the door handle will be nothing more than a small circular slot that sits flush with the body. The spring-loaded rods fold back within the handle when not in use, which means the lock itself requires less surface area on the car.
The lock is helpful for two reasons. The first and most obvious reason is the flush design, which is bound to be more aerodynamic. The slippier the car, the more efficient it is.
If you look at just about every EV currently on the market, you'll notice that the engineers did everything possible to reduce drag. Drag is the enemy of efficiency, and while these handles might not reduce it by much, every little bit helps. It could possibly add ten miles to the range of an ID. Buzz.
Secondly, given the smaller surface area, particles are less likely to get into the door mechanism. A door lock like this could be helpful on a car that will regularly be subjected to harsh conditions.
Volkswagen is working on a Ranger Raptor competitor, and a dune jumping Amarok R with these door handles would make sense.
Finally, this door handle has the potential to be quite a design feature. A chunky off-roader with safe-like door handles would be a unique selling point.
We like the idea. How about you?
Join The Discussion