The upcoming C8 Corvette is already one of the most heavily rumored cars in recent automotive history, and now we can add another rumor to the list. According to enthusiast site MidEngine Corvette Forum, a recent patent filing by General Motors shows technical drawings of a power swinging-door mechanism installed on a 'Vette.
To be clear, these won't be vertical swinging doors like in a Lamborghini Aventador, they'll most likely be normal car doors that open the old-fashioned way—but electronically—much like those in a Rolls-Royce Wraith. While this solution is great for comfort, it would most likely add weight, which is generally something designers try to avoid in a performance car like the Corvette, and it obviously takes a very simple concept like opening a door and makes it needlessly complicated. Are average Corvette buyers just getting too old to open or close their own doors?
According to the application filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the system works via “a rotary actuator, position sensor, and controller” to automatically open the door. It sounds like it’s not that different from a power-opening hatch, just applied to a door. It does use sensors to determine wind grade and other external forces acting on the door while it’s opening and it compensates accordingly. As to whether it will hit the car next to you at the Walmart parking lot, we can’t say for sure.
Let's keep in mind that this is just a patent filing and automakers file these all the time without ever actually bringing those ideas to production. After all, we’re not anticipating Ford SUVs to have conveyor belts any time soon and we’re not holding our breath for power-opening doors on the Corvette, but the truth is that we never know.