By on November 9, 2010

Thought the idea of a four-door coupe was confusing? How about a five-door coupe? Or, is that a four-door shooting break? While the debate rages on, Mercedes has announced that it will produce a wagon version of its CLS four-door coupe, because, as the video above states

Mercedes is committed to the development of the coupe.

To develop the coupe you must destroy the coupe… or at least the significance of the word “coupe.” By that measure, Mercedes has done quite nicely with this car, and it doesn’t look half bad either. We’re just starting to get a little worried about where all this coupe “development” is going to end up.

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20 Comments on “When Is A Coupe Not A Coupe?...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    I used to think the CLS “coupé” designation was lame, but that was my own ignorance of French.
     
    It’s the past participle for “to chop” and allegedly can represent any vehicle with a chopped roofline compared to traditional sedans. I suppose we could apply this to a wagon, but we’d be stretching convention/tradition pretty thinly at that point.

  • avatar
    Highway27

    Am I the only person who thinks the term ‘Shooting Brake’ is stupid?

    • 0 avatar
      ott

      Not only stupid, but nobody seems to be able to decide on how to spell ‘brake’ or ‘break’. Which is it, really?

    • 0 avatar
      V572625694

      Well, there’s no room for a gun rack.

    • 0 avatar

      The name, like so much automotive terminology, stems from the carriage era before cars. Sedan, Spider, Coupe, Cabriolet, etc.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      EEGeek

      One of the things I like about this site is that it makes me consider stuff I had never thought about, like where “shooting brake” comes from.  So I checked Wikipedia:

      In the early 19th century, a brake was a large carriage-frame with no body, used for breaking in young horses. By the late 19th century the meaning had been extended to a large waggonette designed for country use. A “shooting brake” carried a driver and gamekeeper facing forward and up to six sportsmen on longitudinal benches with their dogs, guns and game carried alongside in slat-sided racks.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    You keep using this word.
    I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • avatar
    HoldenSSVSE

    I hear the word “coupe” and I think two door with a trunk.
     
    I hear the word “hatchback” and I think two doors with a hatchback.
     
    I hear the words “shooting brake” and I think of a two door with a station wagon back end.
     
    I hear the words “five door” and I think of a four door hatchback.
     
    I hear the words “station wagon” and I think four doors with a station wagon back end.
     
    This is either a station wagon or five door in my book, not a coupe.

  • avatar
    mjz

    I don’t care what you call it, the new CLS is a lumpy looking mess. The old CLS was graceful and elegant.

  • avatar
    carguy

    That depends on the meaning – the French word “coupe” just means “cut”. In automotive design language that has traditionally meant two doors and a sloping back (i.e. “cut” the back). Recently auto makers have been trying to stretch the definition of the “coupe” concept to include four doors with sloping backs and now even station wagons.
     
    It looks to me like a marketing stunt – much like selling tall minivans and calling them CUVs. It makes the buyer feel better about their car. Americans wanted to feel like the rugged outdoor type while driving their mommy mobiles while Europeans like to think they are driving the latest Benz coupe when, in fact, they are pottering along in a diesel station wagon.
     

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    A coupe? Jeebus Friggin’ Cripes, it’s a f*%#ng station wagon!!!…maybe a sporty-looking station wagon, but that IS NOT any kind of coupe that maintains ANY historical reference to the term..of course, “5-door hatchback” sounds cheap to American ears, so I guess that term is out too. It would be just as accurate to call it a ‘roadster’, or why not an airplane, or a baloney sandwich, or a steaming pile of lying crap?

    I would like to think that vaunted M-B still has some respect for the correct use of automotive terminology…I am, apparently, wrong. Sad….Up is down, bad is good, right is wrong, grass is purple and the sky is pink polka dots in a world gone mad.

  • avatar
    LALoser

    Shooting Brake, (break?), must be Euro-marketing speak for “Expensive Honda Crosstour”.

  • avatar

    You know what also doesn’t mean anything? GT. There’s the BMW 5GT, Continental GT, R8 GT, and Maserati Gran turismo GT. Sometimes it’s always a part of the model’s name and other times for a variant.
    I think the R8 is most misinformed.

  • avatar

    Break / Brake: Wikipedia says:
    “In the early 19th century, a brake was a large carriage-frame with no body, used for breaking in young horses. By the late 19th century the meaning had been extended to a large waggonette designed for country use. A “shooting brake” carried a driver and gamekeeper facing forward and up to six sportsmen on longitudinal benches with their dogs, guns and game carried alongside in slat-sided racks.”

  • avatar
    blau

    Some of my fondest memories involve sitting in the backwards-facing third-row seats of my dad’s old wood-paneled coupe.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    A Ha ! Dodge Magnum 2.0 !


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