During the 70’s, 80’s and even the early 90’s it seemed that everyone had a coupe within their product range. Of course, back in those days’ safety wasn’t as big of a concern as it is today and most people had at least two (2) vehicles. Back then it wasn’t uncommon to see most houses within your neighborhood with three (3) vehicles in the driveway. Two (2) were usually your daily drivers and the other one was either a project or your weekend warrior ride. Now as the times change and more and more people are moving down to only two (2) or in some cases one (1) household vehicle, we have seen a slow decay of the coupe marketplace. But have our needs changed all that much. The new onslaught of coupe profile vehicles seems to differ on this discussion as most consumers are still willing to drive a coupe, but they want to be able to take everyone with them.
Coupe models are usually defined by a low roofline, short trunk and two (2) doors. But really can a coupe only be defined by those three (3) things, as sedans and CUV’s are now picking up on at least two (2) of those traits. Sure, the Volkswagen CC didn’t have two (2) doors, but it did have a low sleek roofline and a short-notched trunk lid. So, shouldn’t that be enough to warrant a resurgence within the coupe marketplace. You might think so, but really, can you call these abominations coupes. Yes, you can, but only to a certain degree.
The sleek lines of the coupe profile are found within the sedan and CUV marketplace and along with their short trunks and sweeping lines they do stay true the basic form behind a coupe. And really doesn’t a coupe just embody the soul of a sedan stablemate, just with only two (2) doors. With this theory you can start to see how the CUV and sedan coupe profiles are a bit more coupe than their previous coupe brothers. But again, have we gone too far with this segment?
CUV coupes are now all the rage as the sedan market is taking a step back. And as the sedan market shrinks other markets will have to expand and due to the fact that we don’t have sedans to give us the coupe models that we require, we have to find a new market to take over. That is where the CUV marketplace comes in as it is the biggest market in the world right now. And as we move back into high riding vehicles, just like we did in the early days of the automobile, we start to see a need for the coupe profile again. Sure, people don’t have three (3) vehicles anymore, but they still want something of a weekend warrior within their selection.
And with that thought you finally get to why there are CUV coupes in the market. Due to our desire to somewhat go everywhere, we still have that need to look good going there. So, to handle this thought we have to make our main marketplace fit the bill. That is where you get the desire to have a coupe profile CUV, as consumers still want a coupe, but they don’t want to have to pay for a third vehicle. So why not just merge the coupe profile into the CUV marketplace. That is BMW did way back in 2008 when they unleashed the X6 onto the world.
Back in 2008 a coupe profile CUV didn’t make much sense as we still had the likes of the Accord and Altima coupe. But as the sedan market shrunk, so did the variations of its models. So, with the decrease in sedan models, we saw the slow demise of the coupe and convertible models which were spawned from them. Honda later dropped the Accord coupe and the Altima coupe only lived one generation. But from their demise came the rise of the CUV coupe market. What, you thought that sedans kept this market alive?
The rise of the CUV coupe market came as the market demanded it. Just as the minivan craze of the 90’s brought us a new kind of wagon, the CUV coupe market is bringing us a new kind of coupe. The only downside to it is that there are no two (2) versions, but that could change before long. Two (2) coupes could be made from their four (4) door stablemates, but only if the market demands it. And for now, there really is no demand for it. So, we will just have to wait and see if the world will ever give us a two (2) door coupe profile CUV.
Coupes are something that have existed since the dawn of the covered automobile era and it seems that their profile will be sticking around. Of course, they may not be as we remember them, due to the existence of two (2) extra doors and higher ground clearance. But that is the way of the market now and it doesn’t look like it will be changing anytime soon.