Photo: Mercedes

Mercedes is not content with stretching the definition of what a coupe or a sedan is, and is now stretching the definition of what a car is itself. The Mercedes-AMG GT four-door is not, in fact, an AMG GT stretched to fit four-doors.

Mercedes’ head of exterior design gave up this little nugget of information in an interview with Autoblog at the Geneva Motor show:

But the vehicle is not built on a stretched version of that sports car’s dedicated underpinnings. Rather, it joins a coupe, cabriolet, wagon and another four-door coupe in riding atop the platform of the Mercedes’ lovely, if somewhat quotidian, midsize E-Class executive sedan. This required some rejiggering.

“We wanted to keep the the GT family feeling, but the midsize rear-drive platform is totally different from the transaxle GT car, which is based on the SLS,” says Robert Lesnick, Mercedes’ head of exterior design.

Let’s look at these vehicles next to each other.

Here’s the original sports car:

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Here’s the four-door:

You can very much see that one is a genuine performance machine and the other is a midsize sedan trying to look like one.

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Is the AMG GT four-door an AMG GT if Mercedes says it is, even if the two cars do not share the same mechanical platform? Are there deeper rules about what is or is not a car that stretch over the authority of the carmaker that makes the car itself? What is a car?