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4 door coupe – A modernised retro design

By SYF77 on 12 Jul 2011

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When Mercedes Benz launched the CLS model in 2004, it was said to spawn a new styling element that inspired the design of models such as the Passat CC, Audi A7, Porsche Panamera or even cheaper models such as the Hyundai I45. In other words, is the CLS the creator of a new segment of automobile?

I have seen the Audi A7 on our road a few times. It was pretty sight to behold. During these encounters, the C pillar of the vehicle reminds me of a much more humble car – The 1992 Toyota Corolla liftback. Not only that, both have a ducktail-like boot. When I was young, I always find the Corolla liftback an attractive design among the commonly found notchbacks. The similarities between the 2 cars sparked a question in my mind on the originality of coupe-like sedans.

My curiosity inspired me to do some research on the internet. My research leads me to the term ‘fastback’, which is defined as a car body style whose roofline slopes continuously down at the back. 'Fastback' was first recognized as a definition by Merriam-Webster in 1954. Some of the early days 4-door fastback include the Tatra T87 (1936-1950) and the Citroen CX (1974-1990).

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Tatra T187

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Citroen CX

And there you got it, the term “4 door coupe” is merely a modern day term for a 4 door fastback. Therefore, a 4 door coupe design is nothing groundbreaking but is brought back to popularity by the first generation Mercedes CLS. It goes to show that old school rocks!

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2004 CLS - a modern day fastback

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Written by SYF77
I have been a car fanatic since 1989, when my father was changing our family car then to a Toyota Corolla 1.6 GL fitted with a Twin Cam 16 valve engine that was carburetor-fed, a big deal back in those days. The automobile technology and industry fascinates me and I hope to broadcast these interesting developments to everyone out there through this blog.

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