BMW enters the oxymoronic “four-door coupé” class
Seven years late to the party, Germany's BMW released a bunch of photos this week of its new 6 Series Gran Coupé, yet another knock-off of the original 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLS “four-door coupé”.
Whoa. “Four-door coupé”? What in the name of Chris Bangle, you may be asking, is that? In short, it’s a swoopy-roof version of an existing five-passenger sedan (or in the case of Porsche's Panamera, the Cayenne SUV). The formula was set by the first ‘Benz CLS. It used an existing E-Class four-door sedan chassis, but with a swooshier roofline and profile, took out the E's middle rear seat, and then charged a hefty premium (today, an E 550 costs $74,500, a CLS: $84,500)—ka-ching!
As you can imagine, the copycat "four-door coupés" started to arrive from rival German firms looking to cash in as well. First there was the Cayenne-based Porsche Panamera for 2010, then the Audi 6-based A7 Sportback just last year, and finally this year’s BMW 5 Series-based 6 Series Gran Coupe.
As I’ve whined in the past, calling these sedans “coupés” is a bit of a stretch. There’s the whole issue of four doors and B-pillars that don't start ringing any coupé bells in my head.
Targeted at “empty nesters”, which one of the four German “four-door coupes”, pictured above, most appeals to you?
Or is the idea of a calling anything on four wheels with four-doors a "coupé" simply oxymoronic?