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July 17, 2020 3 min read

www.BlackCoupe.comwill examine this new trend in this article. The simple answer most people would give you is two doors vs four doors but there is much more to qualify as a coupe. The car manufacturers and media companies have defined coupes and sedans over the last several decades and have set the parameters, but as with most things in life, there are those who choose to push past old definitions and create several variations or tangents.

What is a Coupe?

The origin of coupe comes from the French translation of cut and was first applied to horse drawn carriages for two passengers without rear facing seats. A traditional coupe defined by most vehicle manufactures is a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roof line and generally two doors.

Since 2005 several manufactures are trying to differentiate themselves by creating a new niche market with four door sports coupes. like the Mercedes-GLE 63 Coupe or the BMW 8 series Grand Coupe or the Audi S7 Sportback. Even the Tesla model S which originally was a two door, now has a four-door version. More examples such as the Lamborghini Estoque, the Aston Martin Rapide, and the awkward Porsche Panamera versus a classic four door sedan like the Mercedes GT 63.

A coupe is generally thought of as a closed-body style, two door car, often sporty in nature. A coupe generally has either two seats, or sometimes four seats as a backseat row placed in a 2+2 configuration was created during the 1960s where there are only the two bucket type seats in the rear (as opposed to the standard bench type rear seat as in a sedan) and those seats are smaller than average!! If you have ever tried to squeeze yourself into the back of a 2+2 sports coupe you probably didn’t find the experience comfortable unless you were a small child, or an adult who happens to be missing your legs.

There are of course plenty of vehicles these days which have only two doors but much larger in the rear beyond the technical specifications having under 33 cubic feet of rear interior space. These cars, while their manufacturers may call them coupes, are technically two-door sedans. A few examples of two door sedans would be cars like the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, Chevy Monte Carlo, and even the Mazda RX-8 qualifies.

What is a Sedan?

Sedan is a term usually associate with larger, 4-door, closed-roof cars that can comfortably sit four or five occupants. A identifying characteristic of a sedan is its fixed B-pillar between the front and rear windows.

A sedan is technically defined as any closed-roof car with greater than 33 cubic feet of rear interior space and thus in lies the dilemma of what is this new classification four door. As the manufactures are now creating a supposit “four-door coupe” the question to ask is; Are these actually coupes by definition?

So a problem if you will in understanding the purpose of a four-door coupe. If it has such a small rear interior volume, what’s the benefit of it having four doors? If you want a sports car that still has two seats in the back, do it right and a get a Mustang or Camaro in the 2+2 configuration it was designed. If you need to transport the family or have executives to tote around, you’ll want the a sports sedan or sedan.

So we know the technical difference between a coupe and a sedan now. A two door car is essentially a coupe and a four door car is essentially a sedan. This confusing new variations should be ignored because they are just gimmicks of the marketing firms even though the term “four door coupe” is a technically correct statement for sport coupes with bigger back ends 😊 

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