All known car bodytypes with examples and description

Here you’ll find all iconic body types and shapes of metal horses. From rooftop to roofless. ALL! PS: The interesting part from below )))


Coupé – is a car with 2 doors. Has a fixed-roof body style. Coupés in general are seen as more streamlined and sportier overall lines than those of comparable four-door sedans.


Sedan – is a passenger car with 4 doors in a three-box configuration with separated compartments for engine, passenger and cargo. Has two raws of seats – four-seater.

Station wagon

Station wagon/estate – roof extended rearward over a shared passenger/cargo volume with access at the back via a third or fifth door, instead of a trunk/boot lid. Shooting brake (read below) is a sport variation of wagon (Porsche 944 DP Cargo on the picture).


Offroad – suburbian utility vehicle with high ground clearance. “Straight” off-roaders have All-wheel-drive (4X4). Can be 3 or 5 doors.


Pick-up – is a light duty truck having an enclosed cab and an open cargo area with low sides and tailgate


Ute – is a term used originally in Australia and New Zealand to describe passenger vehicles with a cargo tray in the rear integrated with the passenger body; as opposed to a pickup truck whose cargo tray is not integrated with the passenger body. In simple words: Ute – is an Australian version of pick-up.

Other hardroof body types


Berlinetta – it is Italian for sport Coupé. Typically a two-seater, the type may include 2+2s. The original meaning for berlinetta in Italian is “little saloon”.


Hatchback – body configuration with a rear door which is more vertical.


Hot-hatch – is a high performance Hatchback.



Shooting-brake – a sleek wagon with two doors and sports-car panache or “a cross between an estate and a coupé” (Top Gear). So, Shooting-brake – is a sporty type of Station wagon/estate.


Hardtop – rigid form of automobile roof and another meaning for rather rare bodytype. It’s a coupe/sedan/wagon…without metal pillars searating side winwods. So the car can be called as hardtop coupe, hardtop sedan etc.

What is the difference between Liftback and Fastback bodies?


Liftback – is a broad marketing term for a hatchback where the rear cargo door is more horizontal than vertical. The trunk opens with the rear window.


Fastback – is a car body style whose roofline slopes continuously down at the back. Has fixed rear windows or solid sheet metal.

How to distinguish open-roof cars? All types of open-roof bodies.

Convertible – The phrase simply means ‘to-convert’ referring to the fact that the car can be converted from a vehicle with a roof to one without. Some of them are absolutely roofless.


Cabriolet – is a French word first used in the 18th century originally referring to a light horse-drawn two wheel carriage. The name is thought to derive from cabriole (a French term for a dance-like high kicking classical horse movement) because of the vehicle’s light, bouncing motion. Before the automobile was invented, Cabriolet’s were often used as taxis for hire and the word was was often shortened to ‘Cab’ thus being the source of the phrase ‘taxi cab’ or ‘hackney cab’.

Cabriolet has complete protection from the weather


Targa – is a semi-convertible car body style with a removable roof section and a full width roll bar behind the seats. Targa means “plate” in Italian.

The system first appeared in 1957 on the limited-production Fiat 1200 “Wonderful” by Vignale, designed by Giovanni Michelotti. The later Triumph TR4 from 1961, another Michelotti design, also featured a similar system, defined by Triumph as a surrey top. The 1964 SAAB Catherina prototype and the 1965 Toyota Sports 800 both used similar systems before the 1966 Porsche 911 Targa. It remains a registered trademark of Porsche AG.

Porsche got the name “Targa” from the Targa Florio, the famous road race in Sicily where Porsche was very successful.


T-top – don’t be confused with Targa. T-top – has a solid, non-removable bar running between the top of the windscreen and the rear roll-bar, and generally have two separate roof panels above the seats that fit between the window and central t-bar.

Coupé convertible

Coupé convertible – is a car that has a Hard retractable roof, such as a Mercedes SLK, Volkswagen Eos, Volvo C70, etc. It seems that such a bodytipe appeared not long ago, but people are mistaken. For the first time such a roof was presented by Peugeot 402 in 1935.

Drophead Coupé

Drophead Coupé – related to Coupé De Ville – initially, convertibles with 2 doors and 2 seats, , but his awning fell down, but there was reinforced side protection, in the form of frames of doors and rear windows. One of the last who had such a body was rare Jaguar XJ-SC. After the WWII some Coupé DE Villes began to be called as Drophead Coupé .


Cabrio coach/Semi-convertible – this body was very popular in the 30s, especially in Germany, where they were called Webasto (firm that produced the mechanism). So, unlike the cabriolet -it has fixed door racks and windows racks, the awning moved along the runners down. Today a vivid example of such a body is the Fiat 500 Cabrio, at 40-50s in the USSR there were also such cars, it’s Moskvich 400-420 and GAZ 20 Victory with a soft roof.


Roadster – also dates back to the early days of motoring when it was used to describe a stripped-down two-seater style of coachwork mostly used for racing. Without or with low windshelf. The phrase became commonly used for simple lightweight sports cars without a fixed roof. Some roadsters have convertible tops while others have no weather protection at all.


Speedster – mainly is just a more sporty roadster with low windshield or absent of it. Can be absolutely without rooftop. Originally, a double sports car with an open top, without side windows. From the roadster differed exclusively sports orientation, the absence of a rear folding place, and sometimes – the fabric top and trunk.

A speedster is often called a car in the body type of a roadster, convertible or targa to emphasize its sporting focus – such as Porsche 356 Speedster.


Landaulet/Landaulette – the nearest relative of the Semi-convertible, the main difference was that the tent was only over the rear passengers, but the sides were glazed body, the driver was driving under a hard roof. This type of body came to the car industry from the coach business. Of modern machines, such a body has Maybach 62.


Landau – is NOT a Landaulet. Actually Landlau not an opeт-roof car at all. It is a poser. The roof of Landau is trimmed with fabric or vinyl, to simulate a cabriolet or landolet

Roadster Utility

Roadster Utility – the term appeared in the 1920s, and meant an open roof pick-up, such cars were produced until the mid-50s, mostly in the US and Australia.


Spider – is a name with Italian roots (shortened from spider phaeton – a light open carridge) and is again used for a two seat sports car with a removable roof. See Cizeta TTJ Spider


Barchetta – from the Italian means – a boat. The Barchettas appeared after the Second World War, they were minimalist sports cars that did not have bumpers, awnings, sometimes even a windshield, all this was done to reduce weight and achieve greater speed.


Phaeton – was applied to a light two-seater with minimal coachwork. Originally it was cars with one raw of seats that did not have doors, windows. Later Phaetons came with 2 and even 3 raw of seats.


Double-phaeton – lightroof Phaeton with two rows of seats. Dual cowl phaeton – a body style in which the rear passengers were separated from the driver and the front passengers by a cowl or bulkhead, often with its own folding windshield.


Brougham – came from the coach business. They were lux bodies, the gentlemen were sitting in covered bodies, and the driver under the open sky with glass partition from passangers seeats.

Sedanca De Ville

Sedanca De Ville/Town Car – in fact, this is the same Brougham, only for humane bosses. The name “DeVille” is derived from the French de la ville or de ville meaning “of the town”. The driver also sat separately from the gentlemen, but above him it was possible to pull the awning from the bad weather. Today such machines are no longer produced. Sedanca De Ville name was used in Europe, Town Car in USA

Coupé De Ville

Coupé De Ville – two-door version of Sedanca De Ville. This body was used for transporting ladies with a personal driver. The hostess sat in seclusion in the back seat, because often the rear of the body did not have side windows, or very rarely small windows, the driver was sitting under the open sky, if necessary, could pull the tent. However, this did not prevent Ettori Bugatti from calling one of his Royal 41 Coupe de Ville which was Sedanca in fact (see above).

Hope you have enjoyed reading this article and knew lot of new information

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