Article by Simon Hill, photo by Mike Schlee

Okay, I’m officially confused. With the introduction earlier this year of its new 6 Series four-door Gran Coupe, BMW has joined the growing league of auto manufacturers who can’t understand the dictionary.

Because last time I checked, a coupe (which is from the French, “to cut”) was, and I quote: “a 2-door automobile often seating only two persons; also, one with a tight-spaced rear seat.” Two doors. Not one, not three, and definitely not four. That’s not so hard to comprehend, is it?

But like the stylish Audi A7, the Aston Martin Rapide and the Mercedes-Benz CLS, the 6 Series Gran Coupe just can’t grasp the concept, and lays claim to being (ahem) — a four-door coupe. Puh-leez!

What is it with auto marketers and their abuse of terminology?

Honestly, how long can it be now until we witness the first fixed-roof roadster? And hey, I bet people would buy station wagons again if the damn things had a trunk! [Wagons seem to sell well enough when you call them crossovers… –Ed.]

These days it seems that if you actually build a car that has a slippery shape and only two doors, you need to call it a motorcycle so that people will understand that it really is sporty transportation for two people, and not just another four-door. Perhaps that’s the route Lamborghini will take if it finally introduces its much-anticipated four-door Estoque: call the beast a coupe and refer to the Gallardo as a motorcycle.

Which leaves motorcycle manufacturers calling their machines jet fighters, and is liable to cause all sorts of confusion in the military. So don’t be surprised if, when the air force orders up a new squadron of aircraft, they end up with a fleet of Mitsubishi Delica vans instead. Oh wait, my bad – vans are now called sedans.

I guess on the bright side, my wife will be impressed to find out that I now own a jet fighter!

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