The automotive world has grown so wide and increased in so much variation that there really is a car for every single person. Literally everyone can find a car just for them, or that suits them perfectly. For example, people who wear fruit of the loom underwear, drink black coffee from the same stained white mug with #1 Employee written on it, have the Impala. People who worship kitchen zinc tops and buy “organic” Q Tips have the Honda Insight. And, for people who are pleasant and incessantly wear hats, there’s the Skoda lineup. As you can see, every single niche has been excruciatingly fulfilled, and we LOVE hating on every single one of them. Of course, we have our good points. Does someone really had to loose all practicality from their SUV, loose all capability off road and loose all visibility, making them run over the neighbours retarded labrador? Well, apparently so, which explains the Acura ZDX’s conception. Anyway, I am going to talk about a niche car that actually sells to other people that aren’t only dealership employees, the 4 door coupe. One niche that, when done right, could be much more loved by car enthusiasts.
The criticised newcomer, BMW 4 Series GrandCoupe, the sophisticated Passat cousin Volkswagen CC and the pioneer that started it all, the Mercedes Benz CLS are prime examples of this category of cars. Each of them have achieved their fair share of sales, and make their sedan counterparts seem like Ring Pop candy in a jewellery convention. Thanks to this, we will just keep seeing other brands introducing them which can be either exceptional or excruciating. So, before you scroll down and write that my opinions are as useful and reasonable as birth control for Pandas, bear with me because there is a way in which 4 door coupes can be insanely cool.
First off, they have to be better looking than sedans. Well, if you prefer a spittoon to faberge eggs , then yes, you probably adore the utilitarian aura of the sedan. May be you just revel in the squareness of its rear end and dislike curves. But for the people who do like curves, we can appreciate what the 4 door Coupes bring to our (preferably) circular table. Their contours all continue on a constant line that keeps bruised shoulders and purposeful stance. Those shoulders give home to the crucial pillar-less doors to add boldness. Then as the lines get to the back, it finishes in a perfectly sculpted rear that needs to be seen. When done right, 4 door coupes demand your saliva to be poured in the concrete as you approach them, they demand the fall of your ice cream ball that once was on a cone, they demand the envy from Traverse owners. And thats one of the kew factors that make a good car a great car. Im not saying all 4 door coupes may be great cars, but when they make their sedan counterparts look ridiculous besides them its just better for us.
Lets address the main issue with these oddballs, practicality. How on earth will you fit your aunt Linda thats 6 Foot 5 when you take her to the local dinner for her birthday? There is the front seat. Probably every passenger you are taking is huge, what then? Just go in another car, honestly, owning something you enjoy can sometimes have its drawbacks. Miata is also a valid answer here. But, what if these cars could offer more practicality than even their sedan counterparts. Impossible right? Well no, Europe has done it so much times its almost comical it hasn’t been adopted.
Let me start by saying that headroom may be limited compared to sedans, but if done right, the trunk space can be much better:
Audi A5 Trunk Space- 480 Litres
Audi A4 Trunk Space- 351 Litres
Trunk opening is obviously larger due to the A5s hatchback design.
What about something offered in the US?
BMW 4 Series GrandCoupe- 396 Litres
BMW 3 Series- 368 Litres
Wagons are more practical, yes, but if im sadly honest these 4 door coupes are going to be much more popular. Looking at the bright side is the best we can do.
Now lets get to what we care about. Driving Dynamics. This is were we appreciate a lower ride height that SUVs don’t offer, and a more agile chassis. Also why wagons make so much more sense than CUV’s, but thats another argument we could all be hours pondering non-sop. Driving dynamics of a 4 door coupe is not only better than pseudo-SUVs but they evenly match if not better the sedans’. Its a case of, less height=lower center of gravity, and a more coupe-like roof to help with agility. Some might argue that you get neither of those things, and end up with a gooey mess of a bad compromise stuck in the middle. But in the end, most things trying to fulfil 2 roles end up like that. Just look at the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8. Its not the most practical SUV, nor is it the best vehicle to fling around the track, but we adore that it does both those things perfectly well for most of us. Its the attitude it brings what makes it special, and what makes 4 door coupes a bit more special as well.
And finally the last little detail that 4 door coupes need in order to be much more appreciated. What will make them infinitely cool against their sedan counterparts. Something as simple yet as sophisticated as a well crafted hardcore engineered ballpoint Montblanc. The Rear Windshield Wiper.
See European hatchbacks, wagons, or even shooting breaks and they all share this wondrous feature. Its brilliant. Its functional without being uncool, and it gives the car character in a sort of way that properly developed hood vents do, or a shark finned roof antenna. Its a small minimal detail that just sums the cars up perfectly. I have to admit that a good number of cars with this feature look a lot better, not prettier, but more delightful in some way. This is the final detail that 4 door coupes need in order to be accepted by even more people and what has been missing since their beginning.
We will keep beating the already dead horse and his moribund little pony offspring about all these new niches we dislike. But in the end, its the money that impulses the ideas, and unfortunately the path of any company. We can’t forget car brans are a business someone is trying to make money form. 4 door coupes are part of a new strategy that will keep growing, but it can mean good news if properly done. Sexiness in the design, a bit of zest in the drive, the added practicality and the essential rear windshield wiper is all companies need to do to make Grand Coupes Awesome.
Or Just bring the damn wagons.