Why our car seats and doors are where they are

A response to the Doking HD
By Jeffrey the Barak

The Doking HD is car made in Croatia. Most cars are of course not made in Croatia, but this is not the most unusual aspect of the Doking HD.

It is an electric car, and it is competing for our attention against electric cars from better known manufacturers, such as Mitsubishi, Nissan, Rolls-Royce, Ford, Chevrolet etc.

While rival CODA, from Southern California has aimed for a boring, plain-vanilla car format, Doking has included several design features that are out of the ordinary, notably gullwing doors and a central driver position.

And it is these two features in particular that make the car stand out. But while gullwing doors and a central driver position are great for car shows, there are very good reasons why most cars have hinged doors and the driver seat on one side or the other.

Let’s take the doors. Right now my ordinary car is parked in the garage. A few feet above the car is a concrete roof, and below that are water, gas and sewer lines. Had my car been a Doking, I could have parked there, but I could not have opened the door to get out, without hitting the structure above.

Okay so let’s assume I parked in a taller space. Normally we get in a car by opening a door, putting one leg on the floorpan, sitting down and then bringing the other leg in; in that order. But if the seat is not right beside the door, we have to come up with another way. We can step to the seat in a semi-crouch, or we can jump butt-first and backwards towards the seat, or perhaps hang our weight from overhead handles to maneuver into position. But we cannot just hop in, especially if the car is somehow not in clean show condition and the carpet has mud on it. And all the while, the entire side of the car is open, letting in the Croatian winter or the Arizonan heat, depending on where you are parked.

So Doking, the addition of gullwing doors and a central driving seat may be what sets this car apart from the Nissan Leaf or the Mitsubishi iMiev, but not necessarily to the advantage of Doking.

Besides these two areas of impracticality, this seems to be a nice car. It is fast, efficient, well-made and safe. Rather than retype everything from my Zagreb-penned press release, I will include this link to the very descriptive website: http://doking-automotiv.hr. I will say though, the tail light design is very clever and is sure to be copied by other marques by the time the next car show rolls by. See them in this article from two days ago:  the-art-at-the-auto-show

Have you seen the Doking? How do you like it?

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