The Four Door Coupe?                                                                                         Vol. 1 - Feb 22, 05 


Mercedes claims that its new CLS is the worlds first four door coupe. The first? Really? Now the history of Mercedes is certainly rich and the company has had its share of firsts, but this is just silly. Automotive designers have long attempted to merge the sculpted body of a coupe with the practicality of a sedan. But just because your marketing department says so doesn't make the CLS a coupe. As any Thunderbird aficionado would know, the 4 door Thunderbirds were no coupes. They were sportier than the average sedan and resembled their coupe cousins, but mere styling doesn't necessarily make a car a coupe. The Alfa 156 was as much of a coupe as the CLS. Its rear door handle was hidden to accentuate the coupe-like appearance in a far more successful manor than the CLS. Moreover, the front aluminum door handle made a massive statement, it screamed 'I am the only door handle on this car.' Truth be told, these cars are sedans. Sexy, curvy sedans, but sedans none the less. But is it proper to call the Mazda RX-8 or Saturn Ion Quad Coupe sedans? Now both do have small rear doors that open from the c pillar. These doors are quite distinct from the full size pair of rear doors on the CLS. They aren't practical, more whimsical, and neither can be opened without opening the front doors first. So there is your distinction if you were looking for one. The CLS is a beautiful vibrant design, but it is no coupe. - M.H.


1. Ford Thunderbird
2. Mercedes CLS
3. Alfa Romeo 156
4. Saturn Ion Coupe
5. Mazda RX-8

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