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Car Body Style
Types of body styles for vehicles
There are many types of car body styles. They vary depending on intended use, market position, location, and the era they were made in.
Lightweight off-road vehicle with sparse bodywork. Originally two- or four-wheeled carriages in the 19th and early 20th centuries pulled by one horse, the motorized buggies were developed in the 1960s and grew in popularity and diversity.
Has a retractable or removable roof. A convertible allows an open-air driving experience, with the ability to provide a roof when required. Most convertible roofs are either a folding textile soft-top or a retractable metal roof. Convertibles with a metal roof are sometimes called 'retractable hardtop', 'coupé convertible', or 'coupé cabriolet'.
Car with a hatch-type rear door that is hinged at the roof and opens upwards. The term "hatchback" can also refer to that type of rear door, which is also used on several sports cars, SUVs, and large luxury cars.
A luxury-type vehicle that is typically driven by a chauffeur with a partition between the driver's compartment and the passenger's compartment. Limousines may also be stretched to provide more room in the rear passenger compartment. In some European usage, the word describes a regular four-door sedan body style.
Minivan / multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) / people carrier / people mover
Vehicle designed to transport passengers in the rear seating row(s) with reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. Typically has a combined passenger and cargo area, a high roof, a flat floor, a sliding door for rear passengers, and high H-point seating. In Europe, some small minivans have been marketed as 'leisure activity vehicles'.
A cargo vehicle based upon passenger car chassis and typically has one row of seats with no side windows at the rear. Panel vans are smaller than panel trucks and cargo vans, both of which are built on a truck chassis.
An open two-seat car with emphasis on sporting appearance or character. Initially, an American term for a two-seat car with no weather protection, usage has spread internationally and has evolved to include two-seat convertibles.
A fixed-roof car in a three-box design. These form separate compartments for engine, passenger, and cargo. Sedans can have two- or four-doors. A sedan is called a "berlina" in Spanish and Italian, or a "berline" in French.
Initially, a vehicle used to carry shooting parties with their equipment and game; later used to describe custom-built wagons by high-end coachbuilders, subsequently synonymous with station wagon / estate car; and in contemporary usage a three or five-door wagons combining features of a station wagon and a coupé.
Has a two-box design, a large cargo area, and a rear tailgate that is hinged to open for access to the cargo area. The body style is similar to a hatchback car; however, station wagons are longer and are more likely to have the roofline extended to the rear of the car (resulting in a vertical rear surface to the car) to maximize the cargo space. In French, a station wagon is called a "break".
Based on a passenger sedan chassis and has a cargo tray in the rear integrated with the passenger body (as opposed to a pickup truck, which has a separate cargo tray). In Australia, the term "ute" was originally used solely for coupe utility cars; however, in recent years, it has also been used for pickup trucks.
Italian two-seat sports car with either an open-top or convertible roof. The term was originally used for lightweight open-top racing cars from the late 1940s through the 1950s. Since the 1950s, the name barchetta ("little boat" in Italian) has been revived on several occasions, mostly for cars with convertible roofs that are not specifically intended for racing.
A retractable textile roof, similar to a convertible/cabriolet. The difference is that where a convertible often has the B-pillar, C-pillar and other bodywork removed, the cabrio-coach retains all bodywork to the top of the door frames and just replaces the roof skin with a retractable fabric panel.
An external or open-topped driver's position and an enclosed compartment for passengers. Produced from 1908 until 1939. Although the different terms may have once had specific meanings for certain car manufacturers or countries, the terms are often used interchangeably.
Some coupé de villes have the passengers separated from the driver in a fully enclosed compartment, while others have a canopy for the passengers and no partition between the driver and the passengers (therefore passengers enter the compartment via the driver's area).
Body style was a type of automobile body used from 1908 until the mid-1930s, which had a streamlined profile and a folding or detachable soft top. The design consists of a hood or bonnet line raised to be level with the car's waistline, resulting in a straight beltline from front to back.
^ abHillier, Victor; Coombes, Peter (2004). Hillier's Fundamentals of Motor Vehicle Technology: Volume 1 (5th ed.). Nelson Thornes. p. 11. ISBN9780748780822. Retrieved 2013. The estate body, also known as station wagons in some countries, has the roofline extended to the rear of the body to enlarge its internal capacity. Folding the rear seats down gives a large floor area for the carriage of luggage or goods. Stronger suspension springs are fitted at the rear to support the extra load. Hatchback: Although some hatchbacks are in fact saloon bodies with the boot or trunk effectively removed (usually the smaller cars) many hatchbacks retain the full length of the saloon, but the roofline extends down to the end of the vehicle...as with the estate, the rear seats fold down to give a flat floor for the transportation of luggage or other objects. When the tailgate is closed, the luggage compartment is usually covered with a parcel shelf.
^Roberts, Peter (1974). "Carriage to Car". Veteran and Vintage Cars. London, UK: Octopus Books. p. 111. ISBN0706403312. Torpedo - Continental term for an open four-seat car with soft hood and sporting tendencies and in which the line of the bonnet was continued back to the rear of the car.