Considering they're only making 160 of them, the suicide doors on the eighty Coach Door Edition. Lincoln Continentals to be sold next year have garnered quite a bit of attention.
The use of rear-hinged doors on vehicles dates to the horse age. Het lijkt erop dat in de jaren dertig de moniker "suicide doors" werd toegepast op hen, vermoedelijk te wijten aan mensen's neiging om te vallen van auto's in de decennia voordat Ford de seatbelt introduceerde (als een optie in 1956). There's also, at least according to something often reproduced online, a connection with gangsters pushing people out of cars – though to my ears, that would be more like homicide doors.
I'm not convinced, though, it's any easier to (or be pushed) out of a car with such doors, other than the fact that aerodynamics will help keep the door open while you're falling.
In any case, rear-hinged doors became known as suicide doors, though it seems to have originally been applied to cars with front doors that were hinged at the back, usually two-door coupons or convertibles, like the current Rolls-Royce Dawn and Wraith, not the back doors of a four-door sedan. People are not particularly careful about the meanings of words, so in time the term also came to include what were originally called coach doors.
Again dating to the horse age, "coach doors" are when a four-door vehicle has front doors hinged at the front and back doors hinged at the rear. In een horse-drawn coach without a car's B pillar in de weg, wanneer beide zijdeuren zijn geopend, dat een enorme opening en makkelijke toegang tot de passagiersruimte, vooral als je een vrouw draagt een bustled jurk met petticoats en skirts.
While the truly iconic 1961 Continental had no B-pillars, for just 80 cars, Ford was not going to completely reengine the unibody, so the 2020 Coach by Edition Continental would still bother a lady wearing a hoop skirt. But, as you can see from the model name, even though the term is in common use, Lincoln's avoiding the S.
Just before today's hypersensitivity, no car company run by sane people would have used the term "suicide doors, "With good reason. Rolls-Royce does not use the term for their production cars and no recent concept vehicle with coach doors has called them suicide doors.
Though no official communications from Lincoln or Ford use the term "suicide doors," just about every news report on the new Conti called them exactly that. Autoweek Road & Track used the term in their tweets about the car. CNN Fox News and CBS News all used "suicide doors" in their headlines. Since few people these days seem to actually read, the Twitter mob was provoked by the headlines to inveigh the automaker for being insensitive about suicide, even though Lincoln is not using the word.
Horrible nickname for this feature: "Lincoln Continental bringing 'suicide doors' back in a special, limited-edition model. https://t.co/5QilLomxZm
– Diane Tuman (@Dianetuman) December 17, 2018
– Anne Zanoni (@ninja_CE) December 17, 2018
– (@danielhortonseo) December 17, 2018
Some implicitly criticized the automotive industry for the design itself, due to its supposed association with suicide.
And I'm sure there's a reason why they became known as "suicide doors," that would also have led to this design being phased out in the first place. https://t.co/pwUfDYOUO0
– David Hutchison (@dhdt) December 17, 2018
I'm tempted to say these are an example of Poe's Law, but I'm pretty sure these guys were joking.
I suggest rebranding suicide doors as "life doors" https://t.co/z9QildtaHE
– John Stoll (@johndstoll) December 17, 2018
Umm I don ' t like how they are called suicide doors. They should be called positive reinforcement doors.
– FallingIntoLove (@LoveCanCreate) December 17, 2018
Interestingly, none of the folks outraged about Lincoln's non-existent faux-pas used their tweets to mention that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK).
[Image Lincoln Motor Co.]