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Can anybody include a photo of a coupe???. Regards.


"However, the Oxford English Dictionary lists only "kupe" as a pronunciation and only "coupé" as a spelling, so both the accentless spelling and the two-syllable pronunciation might be considered recent variant forms."

This is, I think, incorrect. My OED gives the word "coupe" (no accent) as meaning "shallow glass or dish; ice cream served in a glass". The pronunciation given using IPA is "koop". For "coupé" (accented), it gives the IPA pronuncation as "koo'pa", though also notes that in American English the accent isn't used and the pronunciation is "koop". Therefore think the only conclusion that can be drawn is what was originally written in this article - that UK and European speakers use the two syllable form and American speakers use the single syllable form - recent variations don't come into it. GRAHAMUK 23:19, 27 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Whatever the OED says, any American will tell you that "koop" is the universal pronounciation and "coupe" is the universal spelling in the US. The article takes a rather derogatory tone towards Americans for no good reason. Neither pronunciation is "correct" and claiming that Americans are incapable of "understanding" the accent is just flat-out offensive. The Washington Times uses "coupe" [1], as does Chevrolet [2]. 18:08, 22 May 2006 (UTC)

Technically speaking, it should be spelt coupé and pronounced with two syllables, as it's a French loanword and this follows the French. It just comes down to how close you want to stay to the word's French roots. Normally though, in the US words are anglicized more. Morrad 22:08, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
The French words coupe and coupé mean two completely different things, the first is indeed a shallow glass or bowl (as in 'cup'), the second is the past tense of the verb couper, to cut. Since the car body style refers to the 'cut' meaning as explained in fr:coupé, the right term for the body style is 'coupé'. Calling it "koop" is just ignorance. MH (talk) 21:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
Or a pronunciation difference, as is inevitable with loanwords from other languages. Chaparral2J (talk) 00:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
It's easily evitable here because 'coupé' is perfectly pronounceable for speakers of the English language. It does not contain any sound absent in English, so MH is right: it's just ignorance. The Seventh Taylor (talk) 19:19, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
That's your opinion. Can you name any European popular music with the word "coupé" in the title and continuously in the song? "Little Deuce Coupe" is classic, and I'd argue that the word "coupe" does have some originality and uniqueness in American English that wasn't loaned from French. For my part, I utilize "coupe" for American cars of this style and "coupé" for European cars of this style. Chaparral2J (talk) 04:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I think we have to agree with Chaparral2J. It's similar to the pronounciation of the word America in other languages, for example "united estates of amreeka" in Farsi. Iranians (Farsi speakers) are very capable of pronouncing it correctly, but there is no need to change it. Everyone understands what they are trying to say. That's basically what Chaparral2J is trying to say.
I know this discussion is old, but it is very immature and ignorant to say that pronouncing it coupe without an accent is wrong. While it may have been a French word, it's use in English may not always be pronounced the same way. To say the entire United States is ignorant because we pronounce something differently than in its original language is just plain idiotic; language is fluid and always changing. TrevorLSciAct (talk) 12:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
But a coupé pronounced American-English style is a place to keep a small flock of chickens and Sounds uneducated. Eddaido (talk) 21:04, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Except that nobody would think you were driving around in a chicken coop. One word can have different meanings. (Can, would/wood, red/read, etc.) Context makes the difference. Pronunciations you're unfamiliar with may sound odd but that doesn't make them uneducated. The pronunciation of "valet" and "ballet" in British English sounds strange to me but I certainly don't think it's due to ignorance of the original French pronunciation. MultK (talk) 02:30, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Guys - without wanting to be judgemental in any way about pronunciation (loan words change, in British English as well as American English), I think that current explanation in the article for the American pronunciation, that American English follows the French present tense of the verb "couper", seems fanciful. I don't see any evidence that anyone decided that the present tense was more appropriate than the past participle, i.e. it was a separate derivation from the French, and faithful to the present tense. It is overwhelmingly more likely that the pronunciation just changed over time, probably due to the word being read from written text - as frequently happens with loan words. I think that paragraph should be changed to reflect that likelihood, so I have done so. Westmorlandia (talk) 11:41, 4 April 2012 (UTC)
Ah, the Dialect Wars of Wikipedia. I remember those days. I gave sad witness to many grammarians' spirits all but snuffed out in the suffocating discussions of whose English is the superior one. Shiggity (talk) 07:11, 21 January 2015 (UTC) case no one's mentioned it, langauge is fluid and subjective, and trying to state that "koop" or "koo-pay" are definitively the right pronunciations of the word in question is an exercise in ignorance of how language works. Whatever the roots of a word are, the pronunciations and meanings change over time and especially when adopted into the lexicons of other civilizations. The name "John" might be a great example of this. It comes from the Middle English "Jon" or "Jan," which comes from the Old French "Jan" or "Jean" or "Jehan," which comes from the Medieval Latin "Johannes," which comes from the Late Latin "Joannes," which comes from the Greek "Ioannes," which in turn comes from the Hebrew "Yohanan" or "Y'hohanan."

In every case we can likely see that the word's roots don't dictate how it ought to be pronounced. Saying "koop" or writing "coupe" instead of "coupé" (koo-pay) is hardly ignorance; it's a valid pronunciation of a word borrowed from French origins. This understanding is based on what we fundamentally know about language, that there is nothing definitive about it perhaps except the fact that there is nothing definitive about it. It's all subjective; there are rules, but those rules don't dictate all of how language evolves. And language does evolve. Just like the word "John" didn't exist in the language of the Henrews, the word "coupe" doesn't exist in the French language. Though one is based off of the other and they have the same meaning, they are not the same word.

I read earlier someone saying that in French the words "coupe" and "coupé" have very different meanings. Yes, but, incase you didn't know, we aren't speaking in French when we use the word "coupe." We are speaking English, and we are using an Enlgish word which was a French word but has been Anglicized. It is no longer that word, it is no longer a French word. It is now an American English word. If we were having this discussion about how to pronounce the word "coupé" in French, I might agree with you (though even then, what dictates how a word ought to be pronounced is pretty much just how it is used in the common vernacular, so... if people started saying it differently in French that usage would still be valid). But... we aren't speaking French, we are dealing with how to pronounce an English word taken from French. Honestly, the different meanings of the words "coupe" and "coupé" in French could hardly be less relevant to this discussion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 20 November 2016 (UTC)

Quad Coupe — 4-door coupe?[edit]

The 2004/5 Saturn ION Quad Coupe has two doors and two suicide doors. According to some sites, including some blue book directories, the Quad Coupe is defined as a 4-door coupe; however, according to Princeton University's WordNet 2.0, a coupe is "a car with two doors and front seats and a luggage compartment". What is the precise terminology for this body style? Thanks. Adraeus

Good point. Strictly speaking, "coupe" does NOT mean "2-door". Historically, there have been MANY 2-door sedans and four-door coupes. The Saturn is a great modern example of the latter. Most automotive journalists use coupe to mean a car which has very little or no back seat, while a sedan offers full-sized seats in the rear. I've also seen specific volume numbers to differentiate the two. Actually, the best differentiator is in the manufacturer's eyes. A Cadillac Coupe de Ville is a sedan, strictly speaking, but if Cadillac wants to call it a coupe, who's to tell them otherwise? We should ammend the description on the page. Thoughts? --SFoskett 01:49, Apr 17, 2005 (UTC)
Here's a newer example, the Mercedes-Benz 2006 CLS500 Coupe with a four-door design. The media [3] has trouble believing that coupes can actually have four-door designs, so they mention "four-door design" once and then persist in incorrectly describing the vehicle as a sedan. Adraeus 20:10, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

A BUICK???!!![edit]

Can we get a better example photo? I mean, really, there's not much cool about a Buick Rivera--coupe or not.

Let's have a Rover P5B Coupé. The most evil looking four door coupe ever..

In your opinion. The Riviera pic is fine where it is. --ApolloBoy 02:24, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

Mazda RX8[edit]

This car is a coupe too. The most unusual thing about it is the rear doors you can open in the 'opposite' usual way....

correct you are right....

Article unclear[edit]

Maybe I'm just dumb, but I can't figure out by reading this article and the sedan article what the difference is between one and the other (interior rear volume is mentioned). IS there a difference? Coupés look like Sedans to me... at least the photos look alike. I imagine the lines must be blurred, but is there any intuitive distinction? Maybe a coupé is a SMALL closed car with a trunk and a sedan is a LARGE closed car with a trunk? (I insist: I don't know what either is right now).

The above mention that coupés are not HATCHBACKS would also help... I assume those are what in my national market are called "monovolumes"...

BTW, maybe some mention of international marketing terminology, or reference to an article with that information, would be of help. I just read below that hatchbacks are called squarebacks in Germany, for example. It's all a bit confusing.

You are not the only one. Sedan specifically relates to a "saloon" in British English (the article says so), which is a car with a trunk/bootlid that does not raise the rear window (ie you couldn't touch the person's head sitting on the back seat if you lifted a saloon's bootlid). Many coupes (including my own Hyundai Coupe/Tiburon) lift the glass like a hatchback. It does have frameless front windows, but I the B-pillar is structural (the seat belts are mounted from it) although the glass is styled to disguise this from the outside. But how would that make it a "sedan / saloon" as it doesn't affect the boot! So is a Hyundai "Coupe" a coupe, sedan, 2-door hatchback or something else?! (It's certainly NOT a "saloon" in British English terms.) I think the primary distinction at the start based on rear seating being non-existent or for occasional passengers only is also a bit unclear, as there are "coupes" from BMW and others where the seats are full size (the Hyundai is really a 2+2 though). Halsteadk (talk) 11:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I think we have to accept that the term is abused by manufacturers in order to market their cars as more sporty. Also, there is overlap in many car body style terms; 2+2, liftback, hatchback, saloon, and coupé are not mutually exclusive in my understanding. (Although "hatchback" and "saloon" used to be, before notchbacks were so common as they are now.) Strictly, they describe a bunch of different things (seats, rear doors, etc.) and are applied to cars to give a bit more information than the conventional "car class" names which just describe size really (supermini, compact, small family car, etc.) My first car, for example, was based on the estate-version chassis of a "medium family saloon" design but was described as a "fastback coupé" — and was a 2+2 into the bargain! ;-)
I believe the article shouldn't try to define the term, merely to describe this ambiguity. – Kieran T (talk) 12:02, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Excessive Euroiron?[edit]

Do all the the pictures need to be of European coupes? How about a little more diversity? RivGuySC 02:57, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

There are two DaimlerChryslers (the Mercs) and a Ford (the Volvo)... ;-) – Kieran T (talk) 08:50, 13 January 2007 (UTC)


Huh, and I was just going to give my old car as a good example of how you can see all three common terms in one model range, at the same time being twisted a good deal to suit the manufacturer's marketing intents :) The old (80s/early 90s) VW Polo... mine was a 'hatchback' (or squareback, to make a direct translation from German 'steilheck' as in the user handbook), essentially a small-volume (but still surprisingly capacious) 3 door estate/station wagon with the steepest tailgate you ever saw outside of a Smart or a Fiat Cinq (but still with what appears to be a nod towards the Kamm method of aerodynamics improvement - a knee halfway down where it becomes completely vertical til it meets the bumper); also available were the 'saloon' (notchback sedan) and the 'coupe' - actually a more generic type of hatchback with about a 45-degree tailgate that hinged much further forwards on the body - though you could well argue that this reduced the interior volume significantly enough to qualify. All three sharing the same main floorpan and forward body panels, but different bodywork rear of the doors (especially the notch having the sealed window and luggage box seemingly cut-and-shut welded to the rear of a perfectly good supermini hatchback), and different engines/transmissions/trim levels available as fitting to their perceived market segments - meek engines with short gearboxes and ghetto trim for the hatch, to make it an efficient shopping cart but still able to squirt into gaps in city traffic, barely more powerful ones with long gears and plush interiors for the saloon (a comfortable but economic long-range cruiser), and a full range from underpowered poverty spec through comfortable GT to supercharged hot hatch setups for the coupe (cool kids' cheap first cars to boy racers). As well as just a(n often terminologically abused) physical shape distinction, it seems also to often be a marketing ploy or a metaphor for a driver's state of mind and attitude.
PS I didn't really notice much bias to the article, it seemed fairly well balanced, or at least, gave the information that was needed and any imbalance would really be quite irrelevant. I even feel a bit amused at the american backlash - consider the deluge of content the average euro puts up with that is strongly or completely US-oriented/biased in the course of researching and learning things... and i'm sorry to say our perception of many of your countrymen can be of someone who is... aheh... a bit simple. Probably the effect of the last few presidents (however intelligent they may actually be, their media presence suggests otherwise) and the swathe of fuddle-headed tourists who have nothing better to do with their money than go on a cliched european tour. But I digress... :) - Tahrey, 13/1/07
Yeah, I always thought that Polo was a fascinating bit of marketing. Complicated further by the way the "coupé" was the same shape as the original "standard" hatchback, before they brought out the "squareback" one and made it seem like the standard model. Curious that you mention the term "squareback" being in the owner's manual. With the older VW Type 3, the official name for the estate shape was "Variant", but lots of people call it squareback. Presumably something is getting lost a bit in translation and steilheck is a common(ish) term in German?
As for the bias, I agree, I don't think it should have cars from every continent just for the sake of it - the current examples are a good mix, and crucially, most of them (if not all) are sold in the Americas so the readership there will recognise them. Let's for heaven's sake not let political correctness stretch so far as cars! (I feel the need for another ;-) here!) – Kieran T (talk) 23:03, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

More 4-door coupés[edit]

Wouldn't the following cars qualify for a mention in the section about four-door coupés?

The Seventh Taylor (talk) 21:44, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Including ever more "examples" of 4-door cars would be promoting the manufactures' marketing efforts to make their sedans seem more "sexy" and appealing to customers! After all, the "traditional" coupé automobile has 2-doors with either two seats or perhaps as a 2+2 arrangement for an occasional passenger in the rear seat. All of the examples provided above are regular sedans featuring very steeply raked rear windows and high trunk lids to increase cargo space capacity. The problem is that new aerodynamic vehicle designs are helping automakers blur the traditional design distinctions and marketer's try to exploit the definitions of design names, such as coupé and fastback help to make their models more "sporty" than simply the 4-door sedans that they are! — CZmarlin (talk) 02:56, 6 April 2008 (UTC)
Besides, Maserati markets the Quattroporte as a sedan. Porsche intimates from their own Panamera sales brochure/pdf that the Panamera is considered a sedan, not a coupé. As for the VW CC, places the CC in the Sedan category of their site. And Aston Martin seems to dispense with the coupé vs sedan nonsense altogether, their marketing mavens simply referring to the Rapide as the 'world's most elegant four-door sports car'. I'm sure that'll raise a few hairs over at Nissan, since I believe they were the first to start calling one of their products (Nissan Maxima) a 'four-door sports car'.
The term 'coupé' is just a mindset, spindled and manipulated by sales staff and marketing departments to convey a romanticized image in order to sell cars. There's no hard and fast definition that fits all, if there ever had been even before the advent of the internal combustion engine. Look at what the American domestics did back in the 1950s and 1960s with the blurring of 'hardtop', 'fastback' and 'coupe' terminology. Even the descriptions on the origins of the term are confusing enough to make one throw up one's hands and scream 'Madison Avenue'. Monoblocks (talk) 17:46, 2 November 2009 (UTC)


Why is this article not at Coupe? Is this word not spelled without the accent more often than with, in English at least?? (talk) 07:41, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
It's only spelled coupe in America because we like to change words from their orignial form. Rosskey711 (talk) 15:42, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


Coupé does come from couper in French, but that misses the point. Coupé is the past participle of couper so that means it's the past tense of cut, but in English cut is the past participle of cut. I think it should be changed to (from the past participle of the French verb couper). I think that would be clearer and it still isn't that wordy. Rosskey711 (talk) 15:52, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Sunbeam Rapier[edit]

The picture in the article titled Sunbeam Alpine is actually a Sunbeam Rapier, my uncle used to have one. The Sunbeam Alpine was a low slung two door sports car.Rngrng1 (talk) 14:56, 19 May 2010 (UTC) Sorry I just read the article in Wiki on Sunbeam Rapier and there was a cheaper version of the Rapier introduced in 1970 called the Sunbeam Alpine Fastback coupe, which lasted only a few years.Rngrng1 (talk) 15:10, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

October 2012[edit]

Hi, here is the explanation behind the tags I added: Globalize: I believe the (technical and common usage) definitions vary by country. The article relies heavily on American definitions, and implies that these are accepted worldwide.
Four-door coupes: Most people understand that a coupe has 2 doors and a sedan has 4 doors. If Mercedes want to call their CLS a "coupe" that is their choice, however I believe the article should reflect the commonly accepted definition.
Classic coupes: In my opinion, the claim that this is a commonly accepted term for 2-door coupes needs to be supported by WP:verifiable references. Cheers, 1292simon (talk) 10:45, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

To explain why the word "claimed is used in the intro. If a company produced a blue coloured gizmo and said "it is red", then it could be said that they are "claiming it is red". Since coupe is defined as having 2 doors, I believe use of the word "claimed" is justified. PS Sorry for the blog link, I've fixed this now. 1292simon (talk) 23:11, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

SAE vs. ISO naming convention[edit]

I removed the portion of the entry which falsely claimed that the SAE defined coupe by interior volume. In fact, SAE J1100 only mentions station wagons and hatchbacks as passenger car variants. The word "coupe" is not mentioned at all in the paper, nor is the claimed "33 sqft". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 19 July 2013 (UTC)

1980's Audi Coupe.[edit]

One of the most ridiculous misapplications of the term of coupe to a vehicle was done by Audi in the 1980's when they called a three door fastback/hatchback the Coupe. That was the model name, even had COUPE embedded into a giant reflective panel between the tail lights. You can brand HORSE onto a sheep but it's still a sheep. ;-) Coupe has become a marketing term while cars with body styles that actually are coupes have become rare. Bizzybody (talk) 22:51, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

FYI, that wasn't a hatchback... (talk) 18:48, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
Is this the Audi Coupe in question?  Unician   06:02, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Mercedes CLS/CLA, Vauxhall Astra GTC, BMW 6 series GC... The list of 'coupes' goes on. For me a coupe is a two door car with a notchback or fastback rear, but the term was originally used to define types of carriage and, of course, transportation has changed a lost since then, leaving the word pretty much devoid of all meaning. (talk) 08:34, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

Irony as she is spoke[edit]

Does anyone else find it bewildering that an article whose title is in British English has been tagged "Use American English"? On what basis has it been decided to use American English in this article? Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 08:24, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Possible illustration of coupé vs. 2-door sedan[edit]

2-door sedan

Could the difference between a coupé and a 2-door sedan be illustrated by the BMW New Class coupé and the BMW 02 Series of the same period? Sincerely, SamBlob (talk) 01:42, 6 July 2014 (UTC)