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ToniCipriani

Terminology Confusion

23 posts in this topic

Well Saturn definetly had the 4-door ION coupe before MB, but I'm guessing it was someone else.

199592[/snapback]

Maybe...but the Saturn is really a 2dr with funny rear-opening mini doors like an extended cab pickup. I was thinking '4 dr coupe' like the Merc CLS..

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balthazar    2,004

To be technically correct regarding the body style term, one of the earliest would be the '42 Cadillac/ Flxible Innovation.mercedes does not build anything close to a "4-door coupe"; the Ion is much closer to the concept than the mercedes, but it's still not one.

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Wow... if you go that far... I wouldn't argue. But the thing is though, did they explicitly market it as a 4-door coupe?

199752[/snapback]

It's a just a marketing term that Merc uses..

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To be technically correct regarding the body style term, one of the earliest would be the '42 Cadillac/ Flxible Innovation.

mercedes does not build anything close to a "4-door coupe"; the Ion is much closer to the concept than the mercedes, but it's still not one.

199725[/snapback]

What is this '42 Cadillac you speak of?

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Hudson    16

I can't remember where I read it, but years ago there was an article defining various body styles of cars and trucks. "Coupe" was not defined as a 2-door but was defined by rear headroom (something about a lack of it).

Just like "sedan" doesn't mean "4-door," I never treated "coupe" as to automatically mean "2-door."

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ocnblu    773
Was there a '61 Impala two door sedan? I thought all '61 Impala two doors were "bubble tops", hardtops, but I saw a really nice black '61 Impala two door post sedan with Chevy Rally wheels with early center caps on the highway. It was a visual treat. Edited by ocnblu

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balthazar    2,004

'Coupe' and 'sedan' terminology as defined by interior volume comes (relatively recently) from the Environmental Protection Agency- not an entity I am particularly motivated to recognize as the New World Order in motor vehicle terminology.

There is a tremendous bank of evidence dating all the way back to the carriage age that has cemented the terms from a standpoint of physical configuration. Interior volume --a completely meaningless spec that may be useful to inflated balloon delivery persons if anyone at all-- has never entered into it. The EPA's formula is an unsolicited & strictly arbitrary declaration for fuel economy classification/comparison purposes- and nothing more.

That said, even the time-honored terms have been misused numerous times, tho I struggle to recall an example in history so badly misnamed as mercedes' "4-door coupe" (or VW's "phaeton" for that matter. The last phaeton that I can recall was the one-off Cadillac Cimarron PPG car of circa '85.)

"Coupe" is an abbreviation of 'close-coupled', and for the most part indicates a closed bodystyle with no rear quarter windows, AKA the Corvette from '63 on, for example, or the Viper.

Ocn- yup: Chevy built both a full-size 2-dr hardtop ("bubbletop")and a 2-dr sedan in that era; some enthusiasts nickname the # 2311 2-dr sedan the "batwing" sedan for the 4-dr flattop-style roofline. In '61, Pontiac & Buick also offered that distinctive roofline on the 2-dr sedan. I believe Chevy may have had this same roofline exclusively into '62. Here's a '61 Pontiac Catalina (Super Duty) 2-dr sedan with the "batwing" roofline:

Posted Image

moltar: the '42 Flxible/ Cadillac Innovation is a coachbuilt funeral car with a true coupe roofline and 4 doors- this is the only real "4-door coupe" bodystyle. The floral coaches often had 'close-coupled' rooflines, a single bench seat, yet retained the rear pair of doors with no glass/upper structures; they opened onto below-beltline storage areas behind the passenger compartment. This style was built by numerous coachbuilders on numerous makes' chassis's over a period of roughly 30 years.

Not regular production; no. But an actual existing 4-dr coupe; yes.

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For a modern use of the term, it seems appropriate to label the RX-8 a 4dr coupe and maybe the Ion... the CLS is more a sleek sedan..

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balthazar    2,004

Entry doesn't seem to dip to the regular low levels of accuracy at wikipedia- not bad.

It does bring up another irksome term: the 3-door or 5-door car. Doors are for entry/egress. A hatch -while physically being a door-is not used for that purpose. Early on in this bodystyle, manufacturers used more common sense here. Of course that soon went right out the window under pressure from marketing: more 'doors' must be 'better'- right?

After all, no one counts windows when totalling the number of doors in a room in one's house...

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thegriffon    5

Entry doesn't seem to dip to the regular low levels of accuracy at wikipedia- not bad.

It does bring up another irksome term: the 3-door or 5-door car. Doors are for entry/egress. A hatch -while physically being a door-is not used for that purpose. Early on in this bodystyle, manufacturers used more common sense here. Of course that soon went right out the window under pressure from marketing: more 'doors' must be 'better'- right?

After all, no one counts windows when totalling the number of doors in a room in one's house...

200661[/snapback]

I assume wikipedia says coupe is French for "cut"—from coup: strike, blow as in coup de grace, coup d'etat etc., as any good dictionary will tell you.

The transfer of coachbuiulding terms to the automotive industry has been haphazard and inconsistent. In general a coupe will be cut down from a related sedan if there is one, while a 2-door sedan will have the standard body and roofline. If the headroom argument stands, then most recent Pontiacs have been 4-door coupes.

As for 3-doors, 5-doors etc., this distinguishes such hatchbacks from earlier 2-box sedans that lacked such a full-height door, offering only a smaller trunk-lid or a rear engine hood at most.

Edited by thegriffon

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balthazar    2,004

The coachbuilder-to-automotive glossary has modified to some degree, and there are exceptions as I stated earlier, but by & large the transfer seems more consistant than inconsistant to me.

3-drs/5-drs... what is the necessity for have such a distinction?

What is a 1980 VW Rabbit; a 2-door hatchback or a 3-dr sedan? The size of the hatch doesn't seem to change the fact it's not used for ingress/egress in any case.

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Hudson    16

...or VW's "phaeton" for that matter. The last phaeton that I can recall was the one-off Cadillac Cimarron PPG car of circa '85....

I agree with much of what you said, so let me just remind you of...

Posted Image

1998 Chrysler Phaeton.

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balthazar    2,004

Good point- forgot that one. The Chrysler does earn the name, especially since a second windscreen comes out of that slot between the passenger compartments:

Posted Image

Edited by balthazar

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the Ion is much closer to the concept than the mercedes, but it's still not one.

199725[/snapback]

Thread over!

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balthazar    2,004

>>"The so called 4-door coupe is actually a 5-door hatch. "<<

No; it's actually neither. It's a 4-dr hatch.... and I say this not because I know the car, but because it's just.... right.

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