The talk around the automotive industry water cooler seems to be the slow sales of sedans, but there are two vehicle types that we’ve noticed fewer and fewer of in recent years, coupes and convertibles. These two-door models seem to be fading faster than the ink on some old newsprint. With the popularity of crossovers and SUVs continuing to be at an all-time high, it seems that people have all but forgotten about these two sleek car body styles.
Why Coupes Could Disappear
It’s simple really, people don’t want two doors. In a time when people more often value practicality and ease of use over sleek looks, they would rather purchase a sedan or a crossover instead of a two-door car. This fact is driven home by the fact that many companies have started building what they call four-door coupes or gran coupes. This is a car that has a similarly sleek, low roofline as a coupe, but also has four doors. The result is a car with coupe-like proportions and styling without the need for the rear passengers to move the front seat forward when they get in and out.
Currently, there are few two-door coupes out there and most of them get around their two-door issue by being a performance car. The Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Nissan 370Z, Toyota 86, and Subaru BRZ are all examples of sports cars that endure even though they’re not as practical as a sedan or crossover. If you look at regular mainstream two-door cars, there isn’t a lot to choose from. Kia no longer has its Forte Koup, Nissan did away with its Altima coupe years ago, Scion and the tC are no more, and even the new Honda Accord has no coupe model.
The only two mainstream coupes are the Honda Civic and the VW Beetle, which isn’t really much of a typical coupe. The other cars out there come with premium badges. With so few mainstream cars, we wouldn’t be surprised if the
Why Convertibles Could Follow
As the coupe goes the way of the dodo bird, the convertible may follow. Why? Because a lot of convertibles are based on coupe designs. If you look around the market at most of the convertibles out there, excluding some of the roadsters, of course, you’ll find a coupe or four-door coupe version of the car as well.
Another thing that could drive the convertible to the brink of extinction is the fact that most people are used to a driving experience almost void of interference from the outside world. Everyone wants to be in their own smartphone connected universe. One where they can play the music they want, talk to whoever they want and not have to hear the squealing brakes from the truck next to them or the sound of the wind blowing by their head. People are so used to the serenity that comes with the modern car cabin that the open-air experience of a convertible feels alien and primitive. Why would they put up with the wind whooshing around them when they could thrive in their own digital wonderland inside their car?
Those points are just conjecture. We’re sure there are plenty of people out there who want to feel the sun on their face and experience the wind in their hair, it’s just that after seeing everyone driving around with their windows up and their automatic climate control systems blasting we begin to wonder if, given the opportunity, they would even want to buy a convertible.
Automotive News states the convertible won’t disappear altogether. Instead, the vehicle style will simply become the kind of car that is used as a toy on a bright sunny day. The days of people having a convertible as their main vehicle are over. This isn’t really much of a shift. People have often considered convertibles to be more of a three-season vehicle than a year-round car. Also, roadsters and fun little cars will continue on as toys for the folks who have some additional coin.
According to Automotive News, SUVs and crossovers could actually save the convertible. While the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet was an utter failure, the Jeep Wrangler has been a long-time success. Also, Land Rover has a convertible Evoque, which could convince other automakers to make more convertible or removable top vehicles. We’d love to see a soft top Bronco available when that model hits showroom floors. Also, Automotive News points out that Porsche and Jaguar could follow Land Rover’s example and chop the top off the Macan and F-Pace. While the convertible may live on, it likely won’t be the same vehicle type in twenty years that we know today.