Four Door Wonders
by: Brenda Williams

1967 Maserati Quattroporte
1967 Maserati Quattroporte image By Jeremy from Sydney, Australia (1967 Maserati Quattroporte AM107) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Coupes have always been a desirable body form for cars due to the general sporty look which almost all coupes have written all over their body panels as well as sex appeal for some exotic European two door wonders. Being sleeker than sedans and more streamlined than even the prettiest hatchbacks, this form of two door vehicles is chosen by basically all automotive companies with the objective to build something which is not only aerodynamically fast but also very appealing to the masses. However, there have been some variations in the coupe design language in recent years and it is now not unusual to see four door coupes hogging the spotlight from the traditional ones.

While the Maserati Quattroporte, a car with a name literally meaning four door coming into mind for most to be one of the most established four door vehicles in terms of both the looks and speed department, it was always more of a sedan than anything else. Hence, most would agree that Mercedes Benz built the first true four door coupe when they rolled out the CLS-Class back in 2004. Having the body of what many would easily believe to be a CL or SL Class at first sight, the extra two doors of this car, piled with the subtle design cues from executive sedans like the E-Class, the look of the CLS is truly a dynamic, sporty and yet luxurious one.

With the outlook of this vehicle already spot on in Mercedes’ objective to create what they market to be a four door coupe, a term unheard of before its launch, the inclusion of impressive engines ranging from a 3.2 litre V6 diesel being the smallest in capacity to a 6.2 liter V8, powering the top of the line AMG monster of this model, the package makes it simply impossible to deny Mercedes’ marketing claims of this four door wonder.

Since then, many car companies have tried to emulate this form of car-making and Nissan in particular, caused some level of uproar when it revealed the Intima, a car designed so similarly to what the CLS is that Nissan was constantly being accused of plagiarism. Lately though, the really big guns in Europe are in a battle to see which company can roll out the best specimen of this breed of car. Aston Martin was one of the first to preview their four-door Rapide, a concept back in 2006 which is bound to hit the streets by 2010 with the 6 liter V12 proven in the rest of Aston’s line-up being very likely the engine of choice.

In the past year, Lamborghini has wowed the entire automotive industry with their four door variation of an exotic four door sports machine in the form of the Estoque, a car teeming with Lamborghini characteristics from its extreme exterior lines to the massive 5.2 liter power plant despite its four door physique. The one to roll out the soonest though would be the Porsche Panamera, Porsche’s take on how a four door coupe should look and drive. This car is already scheduled for release with a 3.6 liter V6 and 4.8 liter V8 which includes a turbocharged variant, all set to feature in the production line up.

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