Sedan (automobile) | Wikipedia audio article

A sedan , or saloon, is a passenger car in
a three-box configuration with separate compartments for engine, passenger, and cargo.Sedan’s first
recorded use as a name for a car body was in 1912. The name comes from a 17th-century development
of a litter, the sedan chair, a one-person enclosed box with windows and carried by porters. Variations of the sedan style of body include:
close-coupled sedan, club sedan, convertible sedan, fastback sedan, hardtop sedan, notchback
sedan and sedanet/sedanette.==Definition==The current definition of a sedan is a car
with a closed body (i.e. a fixed metal roof) with the engine, passengers, and cargo in
separate compartments. This broad definition does not differentiate
sedans from various other car body styles, but in practice the typical characteristics
of sedans are: a B-pillar (between the front and rear windows)
that supports the roof two rows of seats
a three-box design with the engine at the front and the cargo area at the rear
a less steeply sloping roofline than a coupé, which results in increased headroom for rear
passenger and a less sporting appearance. a rear interior volume of at least 33 cu ft
(0.93 m3)It is sometimes suggested that sedans must have four doors (to provide a simple
distinction between sedans and two-door coupés). However, several sources state that a sedan
can have two or four doors. In addition, terms such as sedan and coupé
have been more loosely interpreted by car manufacturers since 2010.When a manufacturer
produces two-door sedan and four-door sedan versions of the same model, the shape and
position of the greenhouse on both versions may be identical, with only the B-pillar positioned
further back to accommodate the longer doors on the two-door versions.==Etymology==A sedan chair, a sophisticated litter, was
an enclosed box with windows used to transport one seated person. Porters at the front and rear carried the
chair with horizontal poles. Litters date back to long before ancient Egypt,
India and China. Sedan chairs were developed in the 1630s. Etymologists suggest the name of the chair
very probably came through Italian dialects from the Latin sedere meaning to sit. The first recorded use of sedan for an automobile
body occurred in 1912 when the Studebaker Four and Studebaker Six models were marketed
as sedans. There were fully enclosed automobile bodies
before 1912. Long before that time the same fully enclosed
but horse-drawn carriages were known as a “brougham” in the United Kingdom, “berline”
in France and “berlina” Italy (the latter two have become the terms for sedans in these
countries). It is sometimes stated that the 1899 Renault
Voiturette Type B (a 2-seat car with an extra external seat for a footman/mechanic) was
the first sedan, since it is the first known car to be produced with a roof.However, a
sedan is typically considered to be a fixed roof car with at least 4 seats. Based on this definition, the earliest sedan
was the 1911 Speedwell, which was manufactured in the United States.==International terminology==
In American English and Latin American Spanish, the term sedan is used (accented as sedán
in Spanish).In British English, a car of this configuration is called a saloon. Hatchback sedans are known simply as hatchbacks
(not hatchback saloons); long-wheelbase luxury saloons with a division between the driver
and passengers are limousines. An equivalent term for Sports sedan in the
United Kingdom is “super saloon”. In Australia and New Zealand sedan is now
predominantly used, they were previously simply cars. In the 21st century saloon is still found
in the long-established names of particular motor races.In other languages, sedans are
known as berline (French), berlina (European Spanish, European Portuguese, Romanian, and
Italian) though they may include hatchbacks. These names, like sedan, all come from forms
of passenger transport used before the advent of automobiles. In German, a sedan is called Limousine and
a limousine is a Stretch-Limousine.In the United States two-door sedan models were punningly
called “Tudor”; by extension, Ford used “Fordor” for four-door sedans.==Standard styles=====Notchback sedans===In the United States notchback sedan distinguishes
models with a horizontal trunklid. The term is generally only referred to in
the marketing when it is necessary to distinguish between two sedan body styles (e.g. notchback
and fastback) of the same model range.===Hatchback/liftback sedans===Several sedans have a fastback profile, but
instead of a trunk lid, the entire back of the vehicle lifts up (using a liftgate or
hatch). Examples include the Chevrolet Malibu Maxx,
Audi A5 Sportback and Tesla Model S. The names “hatchback” and “sedan” are often
used to differentiate between body styles of the same model. Therefore the term “hatchback sedan” is not
often used, to avoid confusion.===Fastback sedans===There have been many sedans with a fastback
style.===Hardtop sedans===Hardtop sedans were a popular body style in
the United States from the 1950s to the 1970s. Hardtops are manufactured without a B-pillar
leaving uninterrupted open space or, when closed, glass along the side of the car. The top was intended to look like a convertible’s
top but it was fixed and made of hard material that did not fold.All manufacturers in the
United States from the early 1950s into the 1970s provided at least a 2-door hardtop model
in their range and, if their engineers could manage it, a 4-door hardtop as well. The lack of side-bracing demanded a particularly
strong and heavy chassis frame to combat unavoidable flexing. The pillarless design was also available in
four-door models using unibody construction. For example, Chrysler moved to unibody designs
for most of its models in 1960 and American Motors offered four-door sedans, as well a
four-door station wagon from 1958 to 1960 Ambassador.In 1973 the US government passed
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 creating a standard roof strength test to
measure the integrity of roof structure in motor vehicles to come into effect some years
later. Production of hardtop sedan body style ended
with the 1978 Chrysler Newport. For a time roofs were covered with vinyl and
B-pillars were minimised by using styling tricks like matt black finishes. Stylists and engineers soon developed more
subtle solutions.==Mid-20th century variations=====
Close-coupled sedans===A close-coupled sedan is a body style produced
in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. Like other close-coupled body styles, the
rear seats are located further forward than a regular sedan. This reduced the length of the body, so close-coupled
sedans (also known as town sedans) were the smallest of the sedan models offered.Models
of close-coupled sedans include the Chrysler Imperial, Duesenberg Model A and Packard 745===Coach sedans===A two-door sedan for four or five passengers
but with less room for passengers than a standard sedan. A Coach body has no external trunk for luggage. Haajanen notes it can be difficult to tell
the difference between a Club and a Brougham and a Coach body as if manufacturers were
more concerned with marketing their product than adhering to strict body style definitions.===Close-coupled saloons===
Close-coupled saloons originated as four-door thoroughbred sporting horse-drawn carriages
with little room for the feet of rear passengers. In automotive use, manufacturers in the United
Kingdom used the term for a development of the chummy body where passengers were forced
to be friendly because they were tightly packed. They provided weather protection for extra
passengers in what would otherwise be a two-seater car. Two-door versions would be described in the
US and France as coach bodies. A postwar example is the Rover 3 Litre Coupé.===Club sedans===Produced in the United States from the mid-1920s
to the mid-1950s, the name club sedan was used for highly appointed models using the
sedan chassis. Some people describe a club sedan as a two-door
vehicle with a body style otherwise identical to the sedan models in the range. Others describe a club sedan as having either
two or four doors and a shorter roof (and therefore less interior space) than the other
sedan models in the range.The term “club sedan” originates from the club carriage (e.g. the
lounge or parlour carriage) in a railroad train.===Sedanets===
From the 1910s to the 1950s, several United States manufacturers have named models either
Sedanet or Sedanette. The term originated as a smaller version of
the sedan, however it has also been used for convertibles and fastback coupes. Models which have been called Sedanet or Sedanette
include: 1917 Dort Sedanet, King, 1919 Lexington, 1930s Cadillac Fleetwood Sedanette, 1949 Cadillac
Series 62 Sedanette, 1942-1951 Buick Super Sedanet and 1956 Studebaker.==See also==
Car classification Limousine
Sports sedan