Why is a sedan car called a sedan?

Why is a four-door three-box car referred to as a sedan? The term existed before the invention of the automobile.

Yes, the term sedan comes from Berlinthe current capital of Germany. To better understand, we must go back to mid 17th century. Some Philippe de La Chièze was then the architect of the Grand Elector Frederick William of Brandenburg. For his sovereign, he designed a new type of carriage pulled by two horses: the front and rear axles were connected by two pieces of wood – so-called stretchers – placed on the sides of the vehicle. Until now, a single beam connected the two wheel axles.

Benefit: greater stability on bumpy roads, where the carriages risked tipping over in the event of a broken wheel. Satisfied with the invention, the Grand Elector Frédéric-Guillaume offered a copy covered with gold leaf to the King of France Louis XIV during an official visit to Versailles. The Duke of Brandenburg governing Berlin, the court referred to the vehicle as a “sedan”.

In the following century, the arrival of the steel suspension no longer imposed the use of stretchers. The term sedan then designated a comfortable horse-drawn vehicle where passengers sat on two benches placed face to face. The arrival of the automobile transformed usage: the sedan became a three-box car with two rows of seats and a “hard” roof.

And the American Sedan?

Americans use the term sedan to designate these vehicles. Here, there is no wink to the city of Sedan (Ardennes). The term designated in the 17th century a sedan chair. The origin is more likely the Italian word sedere (sit). This is Studebaker – former truck manufacturer switched to automotive – which imported this designation for the motor vehicle at the beginning of the 20th century.

To read on auto-moto.com:

New Peugeot 408: will it save the sedan?

Future DS6: a raised sedan in sight?

Soon an Alpine sedan?

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