Coming from the French word “coupé” – meaning “cut”, this body design refers to fixed-roof cars that are generally shorter than either a sedan or a saloon which are part of the same make and model.
Although a particular definition of a coupe is not set in stone, it is generally accepted that it represents a 2-door car with 2 seats. However, in some cases, an extra set of doors and seats are added into coupes, to fit more passengers.
Since there are two-door sedans out there, a coupe is usually differentiated by the lack of a B-pillar behind the front doors. To better understand this, with all windows rolled down, coupes would look windowless.
There is a number of coupe cars variants out there, used by automotive manufacturers. Some of the nominations include club coupe, business coupe, opera coupe, sports coupe (berlinetta), four-door coupe and quad coupe. One of the more used variants is the four-door coupe, which basically represents a luxury sedan featuring the elongated design lines of a coupe, while also retaining the 4-door layout. Such a model was first released under the form of Rover P5 in 1962, then revved almost 10 years later by the 1985 Toyota Carina ED.
The coupe body has also become a form of marketing for the large automotive brands. The term is associated with 2, 3 or even 4-door cars that catch the eye via their improved performance or luxurious design and features. Being more streamlined and eye appealing, a coupe becomes marketed as the prettier, more powerful version of the sedan in the same model. Sometimes, high-end comfort features are only made available on coupes and not on sedans.
Even though the term coupe is sometimes interchangeable with sedan cars, depending on the seating layout and number of doors, coupes remain to excel through design and added power under the hood.
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