Coupé-like styling is one of the biggest buzzwords at new car launch parties. Although this is more of a modern phenomenon, the root of the seemingly contradictory four-door coupé is older than you might think.
In 1962, Rover dropped the rear roofline on its P5 sedan and dared to call it a four-door coupé. In 2004, Mercedes picked up on this idea with the CLS-class Coupe. It was only a matter of time before Audi and BMW joined the party with the A7 and 6-Series Gran Coupé.
Now, many of you may say we already have a name for the four-door coupé. It’s a sedan. I agree with you. Audi isn’t entirely convinced by the “coupé” designation either, and they only dare mention it twice in the 62-page brochure. This means the S7 is a $12,000 styling exercise atop a tasty and more practical S6.
What do you get when you add two doors to a 6-Series coupé? Last year the answer was: a 7-Series. Of course that was last year, now BMW has an all-new answer: the Gran Coupe. Of course, calling your latest sexy sedan a “coupé” is nothing new (Mercedes has done it since 2004), what is new is the process by which this “coupé” arrived. Normally manufacturers introduce a new sedan, then within a year they delete two doors, lop off some trunk, give it a sporty grille and launch it as a coupé and convertible. The 6-Series Gran Coupe (GC) on the other hand is what happens when you take a an expensive coupé and add doors. In BMW speak, this process created a four-door coupé. Confused yet? Allow me to explain: apparently all you have to do to create a coupé is remove the sashes from the windows. (This means that Subaru buyers have driven coupés all these years and didn’t know it.) Can the sexy 6-Series beat Mercedes at their own CLS game? Let’s find out.
There was a time when “Passat” was German for “budget-Audi.” Even though the A4 and Passat parted ways in 2005, the Passat’s interior and price tag were more premium than mid-market shoppers were looking for. To hit VW’s North American yearly sales goal of 800,o000, the European Passat (B6) was replaced with a model designed specifically for American tastes. This means a lower price tag, less “premium” interior, and larger dimensions. If your heart pines for a “real” Passat, look no further than the 2013 Volkswagen CC. If it looks familiar, it should. The CC is none other than the
artist car formerly known as Prince Passat CC with a nose job. VW advertises the CC as “the most affordable four-door coupé” in the US. All you need to know is: Euro lovers, this is your Passat.
Ever since Mercedes lured its competitors into the “four door coupe” segment created by its 2004 CLS, we’ve been waiting for the next fad segment to mangle the definition of the word “coupe” beyond recognition. And here it is: a forthcoming “five-door coupe” that is essentially a wagon version of the CLS. This near-production mule looks remarkably like the concept version, in other words, fantastic. On the other hand, the idea of buying a more-practical version of a less-practical version of an E-Class still doesn’t compute… but then you can’t underestimate the power of fads in the luxury car game. Stand by for competing models from Audi and BMW, not to mention the inevitable six, seven, and eight-door coupes. [via AM unds S]
Over the last several months I’ve been especially glad that TTAC is relatively more free from the demands of the news cycle, as the doldrums of August has left us with little in the way of breaking news. Luckily TTAC is blessed with the kind of writers who can make even the most obscure story relevant and fascinating, and we’ve kept up our story cadence rolling even through the near media blackout of deep summer. But with just under a month left before the first and biggest auto show of the year, the Internationale Automobile Ausstellung in Frankfurt, the concepts and new models are starting to be rolled out, and the news cycle is chugging back to life. And one of the sparks that’s getting things moving again is this Kia rear-drive, four-door sports coupe concept.