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Fastback autos are back in style

The fastback auto design, with headroom and aerodynamic advantages, is coming back in style.


Fastback automobiles are back in style. After being rejected by American car buyers for the past three decades, the needs of aerodynamics and bringing back the fastback automobile.


To some buyers the fastback look may seem new, but it actually has a long history. It was the rear sweep of glass and metal that made Cadillac sedanette coupes of the late 1940s so captivating and, two decades later, sold people on fastback Barracudas and Mustangs. In the past, fastbacks tended to be coupes, although General Motors has produced both two- and four-door versions.


The original fastback roofline was developed by two German aerodynamic researchers, Wunibald Kamm and Baron Reinard von Koenig-Fachsenfeld in the 1930s.


Today, the luxury German imports seem to be leading the way. There is the BMW X6 and the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. The Porsche Panamera, a “four-door sports car” that was designed to accommodate the company’s former chief executive, who is 6 foot 2, comes with a sweeping fastback roof.


So does its competitor, the new Aston Martin Rapide, which also has four doors and usable rear seating. There are also the Mercedes-Benz CLS and Volkswagen CC. Audi calls their sleek-roofed models sportbacks. Even Honda is getting into the fastback market with their new Crosstour model of the Accord.