In past decades, cars have become higher. The trend started
with the so-called mini vans in the USA, followed by the SUV fashion
there. Even European compact cars grew in height. Besides the continuous
growth in size, offerings the likes of one Mercedes A-class and VW Golf Plus
define a niche popular not only at people who need space, but demand for
an easy entry.
Could a contrary trend follow soon? Four-door coupes are possibly the first
indicators. Mercedes launched one in the luxury class a couple of years ago
and Aston Martin and Porsche are going to follow with even bigger yet flat
models. The same for BMW. Audi is likely to rival Mercedes' CLS directly
whereas VW launched their Passat CC one segment below the Benz. However
Ingolstadt will join them there. Indeed, all this is, was and will be just
about trend and fashion.
People like the sportiness of that type of car and many accept a
lack of head room and trunk capacity for great looks. But, there is
a further trend that could promote a breakthrough of such models:
Environment friendliness! Lower cars have a lower front surface
and thus a reduced thirst for fuel, which is expected to be one of the most
decisive buying criteria of years to come.
Apart from the fact that green is hip nowadays, manufacturers have to meet
strict average fleet consumption standards, not only in Europe. So they
could be interested in establishing more aerodynamically optimized shapes,
also in segments of mass-produced units, beyond highy rewarding niches.
Finally tomorrows most efficient models will be sports car-shaped.
Two further innovative approaches demonstrate how this could look like:
Fisker's plug-in hybrid car Karma  and Honda's fuel cell vehicle Clarity . Latest
example is the Peugeot RC , exhibited at this year's Mos-
cow motor show. Even
though such concepts appear very exclusive today, the design could become
wide spread soon. Because, there is no expen-
sive developments, no research
efforts and no investments required.
Designers just have to create an according shape next time. Saving fuel could be
so easy when customers accept it. And, they will surely do this. Mazda once
launched coupe-like compact cars with the F-models of their 323 series. Both hit
big! Especially the second generation is still popular. So it's actually the
unrecognized archetype of the modern 4-door coupe, despite of the staggering
Mercedes CLS. ...Next >