There’s a war ever raging between esteemed luxury automakers. Every few years, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, or Porsche introduces a revolutionary design, engine, or platform to put rivals in an orderly line behind it. In 2005, Mercedes-Benz effectively created the 4-door coupe segment with the introduction of its CLS-Class. Four years later, Porsche countered with its hunchbacked Panamera. Then came Audi’s A7 Sportback, and finally, BMW entered with the 6 Series Gran Coupe.
While the Merc was first to market, like many industries, the best product bubble to the top of the sales charts. In the case of the 4-door coupe segment, Audi’s A7 drove design circles around its competition. The Sportback’s elegant shape never felt like a response to the new segment, but rather a redefinition.
With 2017 model year vehicles on the way, each of these 4-door coupes are preparing for new generations. But instead of waning competition between aging body styles, the fighting has intensified; no longer is this a clash of curves, it’s a showdown of strength.
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