While some limousines are owned by wealthy individuals, many are owned by governments to transport senior politicians, by large companies to transport executives, or by broadcasters to transport guests. Most limousines, however, operate as livery vehicles, providing upmarket competition to taxicabs.
The word limousine is derived from the name of the French region Limousin, where the inhabitants wore a hood perceived to be similar to the profile of the car.
By now all of the kiddos have ripped through all of the Christmas wrapping to unveil the toys that Saint Nick was kind enough to swing by in the middle of the night to all of the good boys and girls. And now we can see what may have been the vehicle used to lug around all of those presents in a speedy fashions.
This Ferrari 360 Modena limousine is just about the craziest and best limo we’ve ever seen. It was spotted a few days before Christmas by shoppers in upmarket Knightsbridge, London where it took up two parking spaces. It was created by cutting a regular 360 Modena in half and adding seats in the middle to provide interior room for eight people, or a bunch of presents.
Estimated at £250,000 ($390,000 at the current exchange rates), this is the fastest limousine in the world - it can hit a top speed of 166 mph. Of course, there’s only one in existence and we’re guessing the big jolly guy has dibs.
"’Every boy wants to get into a Ferrari, this was a way for people to be able to do that with seven mates. It’s the biggest and craziest vehicle you can get. We made it because we wanted to create the ultimate Ferrari experience," said Dan Cawley - the designer of the limo.
The Mercedes E-Class L certainly doesn’t lack in luxury. But when you look at it, you have to admit that it still needs a little sprucing up to really deliver home the point that it’s a luxury limousine that shouldn’t be messed with.
The boys at Prior Design pretty much think the same way, so they did something that we couldn’t do from the comforts of our couch: they actually developed an aerodynamic kit to give the E-Class L a little more attitude.
Among the modifications Prior Design gave to the E-Class L include a new front bumper, a pair of new side skirts, a new rear bumper, a new set of 20" alloy wheels, and a new suspension set-up that improves the luxury saloon’s handling and characteristics.
Meanwhile, performance numbers were left untouched, which is a little disappointing. Then again, the E-Class L still has a plethora of power train options you can choose from, highlighted by a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces just a shade under 400 horsepower.
With a price tag of more than $340K, the Maybach 57 is definitely a car that will only be driven by some of the richest people in the world. Then again, sometimes some of the richest people in the world shouldn’t be allowed to drive it.
In their latest video, "Otis," rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West have done the unthinkable and destroyed a perfectly good Maybach limousine. No, it wasn’t an accident; these guys did it on purpose. Why? Apparently, they wanted to customize the Maybach for their video. Next time, they should take Otis Redding’s word to heart and Try a Little Tenderness.
Nevertheless, this car is actually getting auctioned off to benefit the East African Drought Disaster, so we hope there are people out there that actually like what these guys have done.
Aspiring presidential candidates are already busy gearing up for the 2012 elections with hopes of becoming the most powerful man in the U.S. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it, and luckily they have a presidential limo that can withstand the job.
At first glance, the Cadillac One just looks like a modified Cadillac DTS, but General Motors did not actually assign the presidential state car a specific model name. This may be due to the fact that it carries many different components from many different GM models, including Cadillac Escalade headlights, side mirrors, and door handles; Cadillac STS sedan taillights and back up lights; and what looks to be the GMC Topkick commercial truck’s chassis and driveline. GM went through a lot of trouble building the perfect presidential vehicle, but what happens to the car after the base build is what makes it capable of keeping our president utterly and unbelievably safe.
For starters, the car’s chassis has a 5" reinforced steel plate that runs underneath the car in case a bomb finds its way there. Then the entire bodywork is a combination of dual hardness steel, aluminum, titanium, and ceramic which breaks up projectiles upon impact. The doors and gas tank are armour plated, but the gas tank also receives a specially designed foam that prevents it from exploding. The tires are Kevlar reinforced and are shred and puncture resistant. If anyone successfully tears them apart, the steel rims underneath the tires will allow them to get the Cadillac One to safety.
The Cadillac One also has a number of accessories that enable it to solve problems quicker than they come around, including night vision cameras, pump action shotguns, tear gas cannons, and blood. Yes, that’s right. The Cadillac One is equipped with bottles of the president’s blood just in case he gets hurt and needs a blood transfusion. Take that, suckers!
Check back with us soon to find more interesting tidbits as part of our Car Infographics series.
If you wanted an authority on luxury, you ought to be getting business cards from the people over at Strand Craft and Gray Design. You might remember these guys from their previous works, the 122 and 166 Super Yachts.
Today, they’ve revealed their latest masterpiece and while it’s not a yacht as were the previous two, the Limousine Beach Cruiser is still something else. Designed to be a shuttle service for the wealthy, the wealthier, and those that don’t know what to do with their money, the Limousine Beach Cruiser is the Rolls-Royce of resort transportation. As with the case with a lot of Gray Design’s works, the Limousine Beach Cruiser’s design is anything but traditional. It comes with a canvas roof, chromed hubcaps, and wooden inlays that combine luxury sophistication with invigorating feeling of summer freedom.
Likewise, the car’s interior has been luxed up to make the rich and fabulous feel right at home. It has an upholstery decked in Alcantara that’s set off with brushed aluminum and chrome accents on both the dashboard and center console. Further accents courtesy of Swarovski Crystal and watchmaker Breitling were added to take the lavishness up to another level. On top of that, the resort limo service vehicle also has a 15-speaker, 1,100-wait Naim audio system that’s powerful enough to keep the sound quality sharp and crisp even if the canvas roof was to be taken out of the equation.
As far as what’s under its hood, the Limousine Beach Cruiser comes with a 6.0-liter Chevrolet V8 engine that produces 400 horsepower, enough ponies to get its passengers to their destinations in as little time as possible.
We’re not exactly having aspirations of riding in one of these babies in the near future. We’re going to need to add a few more ‘zeroes’ to our bank accounts for that to happen, which in today’s world, is easier said than done.
A lot of people might not feel the need to own a luxury car that effectively has the skeleton of a high-grade military car, but for those few that depend on these cars to help protect them from outside threats, then we present to you Audi’s new high-powered, armored-to-the-hilt, luxury car, the 2011 A8 L Security.
At first glance, the A8 L Security looks exactly like the standard A8, but nothing about this car can be described as ’standard’. It’s got enough safety and security features to make anyone think it’s a fortress on wheels. According to Audi, the A8 L Security complies with the strictest standards of ballistic protection, capable of withstanding some pretty hellacious explosions.
Naturally speaking, Audi takes great lengths to ensure that the building of this car remains as low-key and secretive as possible. The armored car is built in Audi’s plant in Neckarsulm, Germany which is so private that even cell phones are prohibited inside to ensure that all of Audi’s trade secrets remain in-house.
China is a very important market among automakers, so you’re going to have to excuse them if they get vehicles built exclusively for their country. Other nations can’t claim to have that importance, but they probably would get it if they were home to arguably the biggest market in the world.
One automaker jumping into the China bandwagon is BMW, which presented plans for a China-only New Energy Vehicle at the company’s annual press conference last week.
Details on the car are still limited, although from what we took during the press conference, the car is expected to be the 2011 BMW 5-Series New Energy Vehicle. Based on the long-wheelbase version of the 5er, the BMW 5-Series NEV is being rumored to carry the company’s new ActiveHybrid 5 technology, which if true, would fit in nicely with China’s policy of having more fuel-efficient cars on the road.
For now, there are no plans of the car being sold in any other country except China so if you were angling to get a piece of this car when it hits production, you’re going to have a tough time scooping one up unless you live there.
What you can do, though, is head over to the Shanghai Motor Show, the place where BMW will be officially introducing the car to the Chinese market.
*Photo is of the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid
The Cadillac Escalade serves many purposes for the brand. For starters, it is their largest offering in the SUV segment and has become a best seller. Ever since it was first introduced as a meagerly disguised GMC Yukon the car has been a hit. It effectively saved the Cadillac brand in association with their razor edge styling that is now seen on all the models in the lineup. A favorite choice of celebrities, musicians, and athletes alike, the Escalade has become a status symbol and was immediately accepted by the “in crowd.”
As time has gone on the Escalade lineup has come to include three models with a pickup and extended wheelbase version being added. As the SUV market has been hit hard by the recession, the Escalade too suffered, but has remained alive. Its closest competition in nearly every aspect, the Lincoln Navigator, has struggled much more than the Cadillac and will cease production sooner rather than later.
Cadillac has been able to keep this vehicle moving forward, but some VIP clients still expect more. When a Range Rover is too small and a large scale van is not classy enough, Becker Automotive Design is there to take your Escalade to the next level. After this company gets done with their conversion, the Escalade has been transformed into a Gulfstream 5 for the road.
Hit the jump for more details on the Becker Escalade Conversion.
Maybach is all about luxury, but now the company has unveiled an armored version for those who want to combine hardcore safety with that same luxury. Called the Maybach Guard, this new vehicle is based on the 62 model and features an integrated safety system by the German engineers in Sindelfingen.
The Maybach Guard has received a special armor made of highly specialized steel and high-tech Kevlar integrated in the body shell. Sounds pretty hefty, but in reality, the armor only adds 460 kilos to the car’s total weight, so no changes had to be made to the drive train, suspension, or braking-system.
The new Guard system will not only offer high protection, but it will also be the only armored car in the world to be able to reach a top speed of 155 mph and get from 0 to 60 in just 5.7 seconds.
After the integration of the other special protective features, the vehicle moves onto the standard assembly room in the Sindelfingen production plant, where masters of craftsmanship dedicate all their skills to ensure the highest standard in the individualization process.
Long wheelbase vehicles are meant to give extra room for people who can’t seem to get enough of it on their cars. So you would think that having that additional space would be enough for these guys, right?
Well, guess again.
To accommodate those people that want their vehicles to redefine the word ‘spacious’, tuning ‘extentionaires’ Binz has released their latest line of Mercedes E-Class XTEND vehicles meant to give the space needy their due medicine. Measuring a ridiculous 19 feet in length with a wheelbase of over 12 feet, and weighing an eye-popping 4,629 lbs, Binz’s new XTEND line-up will give you all the space you need to have your own party inside the car. The tuning firm’s list of E-Class Estate vehicles eligible to be “extended” – no pun intended – include the E250 CDI, E350 CGI and E500. These three models have their own engine specifications - you’ll see them in one of the photos – so the price tag for all that extending begins at €121,950, or about $163,400 based on current exchange rates, going all the way to possibly around €160,000, or $214,000.
Guess there’s a pretty big price to pay to have all that space in your car, huh?
If for nothing else, at least you can get to roll around town in a car that writes wealth and luxury all by itself.