A vehicle canopy is a rarely used type of door for cars. It has no official name so it is also known as an articulated canopy, bubble canopy, cockpit canopy, canopy door, or simply a canopy. A canopy is a type of door which sits on top of a car and lifts up in some way, to provide access for passengers. It is similar to an aircraft canopy. There are no set rules to canopies, so they can be hinged at the front, side, or back, although hinging at the front is most common. Canopy doors are rarely used on production cars, and are sometimes used on concept cars.
- Normal car doors open out of the car's track, so they can obstruct the road or pavement when opened. This is not an issue with canopies as they open vertically.
- A-pillars aren't necessary as there are no side doors, so the windscreen can extend from the front to the back of the car, giving the driver a field of vision of more than 180 degrees and minimising blind spots. A-pillars are sometimes still added, like with the Sterling Nova, to give the car a more conventional look.
- Air-conditioning or climate control is necessary with an all-glass canopy or with a wrap-around windscreen because the canopy provides substantial 'glasshouse effect'.
- If the car rolled over during fast cornering, exiting the vehicle would be impossible, short of breaking the glass.
- Entering and exiting the vehicle can be hard with a high sill and awkward roof positioning. This problem was overcome with the Saab Aero X, which has a 3 part canopy to fully open the interior.
- In situations of bad weather such as snow, rain, or hail, it is impossible to enter or exit the vehicle without getting the interior wet, unless under cover.