Our fellow journalists at CarBuzz recently uncovered a patent filing from Hyundai for a tailgate that “slides up” the vehicle and over the roof — almost like the sliding door of a minivan, but over the body instead of across it. It’s a real innovation, and could be a game changer for many would-be SUV buyers.
Why It Matters
Hatchbacks are great. They open wide, they accept oddly-shaped packages, and they help maximize the cargo-hauling potential of a given automotive footprint. The problem is that they’re usually large and, especially these days, heavy. Those facts together can cause damage to both people and things, especially when the shocks and struts that keep the hatch or tailgate “up” get old and fail. Another issue has less to do with the hatch itself, and more to do with where that vehicle’s hatch finds itself. In many cases, that’s a tight garage or parking structure with limited rear clearance.
In both cases, a sliding mechanism like the one proposed by Hyundai can help mitigate the issue. In the former case, by eliminating a single point of failure, and in the latter case, by enabling full access to the rear compartment that doesn’t require a ton of clearance above and behind the vehicle.
You Need Some Height
Yes, you would lose the ability to tie something to the roof and access the hatch in some cases. I’d respond to that by saying that you that, anyway, if you’re tying down something long, like a ladder or lumber. Besides, a solution like the Hyundai sliding tailgate (assuming it locks in the “up” position, that is) would make tying down longer items like TVs or IKEA furniture a bit easier in as many circumstances as it would make tying something to the roof harder. Maybe more!
For me, personally, if I was looking at three or four crossovers and couldn’t pick a clear favorite, this kind of sliding roof would be the deciding factor for me – what about you guys? Check out the patent filing, below, then head on down to the comments section at the bottom of the page and share your thoughts on Hyundai’s latest design innovation.
The new technology, filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and approved last week, could soon be coming to Hyundai models like the IONIQ line of EVs, as well as the Tucson, Santa Fe, and Palisade SUVs.
Source | Images: CarBuzz.
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