The term coupé was first applied to horse-drawn carriages for two passengers without rear-facing seats. The early coupé automobile's passenger compartment followed in general conception the design of horse-drawn coupés. The French variant for this word thus denoted a car with a small passenger compartment.
Hemmings Classic Car describes a coupe as "any two-door other than a two-door sedan, smaller than a related four-door in the same model line" and that "all two-door two-seaters with a solid roof are coupes."
Automobile manufacturers have begun to use the term loosely and include sporty variants of their sedan lineup that feature sloping rooflines.
There are two common pronunciations in English:
The origin of the coupé body style come from the berline horse-drawn carriage. In the 18th century, the coupé version of the berline was introduced, which was a shortened ("cut") version with no rear-facing seat. Normally, a coupé had a fixed glass window in the front of the passenger compartment.