limousine

limousine

  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.

The famous Goodwood Festival of Speed started today and a very cool Ghost Extended Wheelbase will be used as the Race Director’s car for this year’s show. Next to it, a second Rolls-Royce press car, a Phantom Saloon Series II in beautiful blue velvet sparkle, will also take to the hill.

The Pace Car is finished in a very cool midnight sapphire combined with a silver satin bonnet. As usual the interior is hand-built and features sumptuous hand stitched leathers in creme light and navy blue.

The car is powered by a V12 direct-injection engine mated to an eight speed automatic transmission. To an impressive 563 HP, the Pace Car Ghost is ready to take the hill from 0 to 60 mph in just 5 seconds. Only when needed of course.

The model also comes with double-wishbone front suspension, a multi-link rear suspension and an intelligent, four cornered air-suspension system and electronic variable damping.

The Queen of England may not have the power that she once had, but she certainly remains a powerful figure in the hearts of all British folks. On June 2, 2012 the Queen celebrated her 60th year on the throne, which brought about a celebration dubbed the Diamond Jubilee – “Diamond” indicates 60 years, for those wondering.

In the festivities, the Queen was spotted riding around in a rather luxurious automobile that one of our readers keenly pointed out is either a Rolls-Royce or Bentley , and he turned to us for help identifying the car and telling him a little about it. Figuring he is not the only person interested in the topic, we felt that a full-on review was in order.

As it turns out, after a good amount of research, we have found out that the queen traveled around in the Jubilee in a 2002 Bentley State Limousine. This is no typical Bentley limo either, as it is fit for a… Well, Queen, of course!

Click past the jump to read our full review of the Queen’s ride.

The thing with people who love cars and have the money to splurge on them is that if they’re not impressed with the stock model, they can go crazy with aftermarket enhancements.

Take this particular Rolls-Royce Ghos t for example. Built by Polish interior specialist Carlex Design, this project called "Ghost Save the Queen" isn’t your typical interior enhancement because as Carlex Design puts it, "we are not afraid of challenges and seek original solutions, which produce stunning interior innovation and unique solutions."

With that in mind, Carlex Design backed it all up with an exterior that has been painted in a stunning Deep Green paint finish. The luxury limousine was also given a number of upgrades, including the use of luxury ostrich and kangaroo leather, the presence of a royal crown embroidered in the seats, plenty of chrome parts, and wool rugs that have a pile length of 2.5 cm.

The embroidered royal crown, in particular, is an ode to the Queen, something that you would’ve probably guessed considering that the name of the program is, after all, "Ghost Save The Queen."

All told, the entire build took two months to complete, and certainly, if a picture did paint a thousand words, it would be foolish to underestimate how far these guys do take the phrase "unique solutions" seriously.

Posted on by Brad Anderson 3

In the world of luxury automobile brands, few can come close to the history of Rolls Royce, and after the recent dinner party the British brand put on, we’d argue that few restaurants could ever come close to the service which Rolls Royce recently provided. The company invited over 100 of its most valued customers for a dinner party at the company’s assembly line.

It’s unclear just how Rolls Royce chose the 100-odd guests which appeared at the event, but we suspect customers either bought very expensive tickets to the gala evening, or Rolls Royce only invited customers who owned two or more of its incredibly-expensive sedans.

Rather than forcing guests to make their own way to the event, the company actually chauffeured them in Rolls Royce Phantom limousines or they either arrived by an even classier mode of transport: helicopter.

In order to transform part of the assembly line into a large dining hall, it’s likely that production was halted for the few hours which the event lasted.

In a statement released about the event, Rolls Royce stated: "The occasion provided the opportunity to introduce customers to the new Phantom Series II family, which were displayed in the dining area alongside beautiful heritage cars from the 1930’s."

So this is how the other half lives....

Now that Maybach is out of the picture, Daimler’s presence in one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals - the 2012 Cannes Film Festival - now hinges on Mercedes-Benz.

The German automaker is responding in golden fashion by bringing in a fleet of its vehicles covered in...gold. If the glitz of all these golden Mercs serving us certifiable shuttle vehicles, Mercedes is also dressing up one car, a 2013 Mercedes SL65 AMG, in gold where it was displayed in all its shining and shimmering glory at the Cinema Against AIDS Gala being organized by the amfAR foundation at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 24.

In addition to having their gold-covered fleet vehicles, Mercedes will also be hosting a plethora of events during the event, one of which is a test drive session of all its latest models. This session will be open to the public and will take place along the French Riviera. And lastly, Merc’s performance division, AMG, will be sponsoring a handful of events, particularly the "Le Club by Albane" at the J.W. Marriott hotel and the “IWC Filmmakers Dinner” at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc on May 21st.

So if any celebrity is looking for a ride to Cannes, it probably won’t be too difficult to spot any one of these golden Mercedes vehicles. Then again, you can skip all that and pull off a Kanye West and just drive to the event in a Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss .

Remember the days when vans were cool? You know, you would cruise down the strip in your mom’s minivan and pick up all of your friends to head out to the coolest hangout spots… Oh wait, vans were never cool, what were we thinking? Well, that is until Mercedes decided to get into the van-making business.

At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz rolled into the show with its all-new customized Viano VISION DIAMOND. This ultra-luxury van, which is not yet available in the U.S., puts most modern-day limos to shame with its features. Add in the fact that it is large enough to move around in comfortably, unlike limos, which typically have standard headroom, and you have essentially a luxury home on the go.

Mercedes did not release too much information on this machine, but there is enough information obtainable just by looking at it to determine that this thing is flat out awesome. The Viano VISION DIAMOND would certainly eliminate any kids embarrassment of riding to school in a minivan, if this just so happened to be said minivan.

Click past the jump to check out our full review on the Viano VISION DIAMOND.

Very few people in this world are held in higher regard than Queen Elizabeth II. So when Bentley introduced a special edition Mulsanne at a gala event to open their new dealership in Beijing in honor of the Queen, none of us were really all that surprised.

The model is called the Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition and with the opening of the dealership coinciding with the Queen’s birthday, it only seemed appropriate for the British luxury maker to pay tribute to their beloved figurehead.

The Mulsanne Diamond Jubilee Edition will only be limited to 60 units with each vehicle presenting a year of the Queen’s reign. Likewise, each model distinguishes itself courtesy of a range of handcrafted features that include gold stitching embroidery on the headrests, veneered picnic tables in the rear cabin, and decorated with a gold overlay, a design that apparently pays tribute to the royal carriage. Lastly, the Mulsanne Jubilee Edition also comes with highly-polished, stainless steel treadplate plaques bearing a ‘Bentley Mulliner, England’ and ‘Diamond Jubilee Edition’ script as a way to distinguish the special edition model from the rest of the Mulsanne’s in the world.

“This series of special cars, hand-built by our Mulliner Division, is our way of reciprocating the appreciation for British institutions, creativity and services we have been shown in China," said Richard Charlesworth, Director of Royal and VIP Relations for Bentley Motors.

"And as proud holders of a Royal Warrant we also wanted to provide some memorable examples of British technology and craftsmanship.”

Posted on by Brad Anderson 3
Bentley EXP 9 F

The U.S. has long been Ferrari ’s, Lamborghini ’s, and Bentley ’s largest market partly due to its massive population, but mainly because Americans really love their exotic cars. However, just last year China overtook the U.S. as Lamborghini Lamborghini ’s biggest market, and became Ferrari Ferrari ’s second largest market. If you want further evidence of just how popular luxurious cars are becoming in China, then take a look at the title.

Yep, China has become Bentley’s largest market after a massive increase in sales in the first quarter of this year. An incredible 578 Bentley models have been sold in China thus far, while ‘only’ 450 units were sold in the U.S. However, sales in the U.S. did grow by 40% from this time last year, so that just goes to show how incredible the Chinese market currently is.

It’s literally come out of the shadows in the past few years to become the focal point of dozens of automotive manufacturers. However, with China’s economy beginning to slow, Bentley’s chief operating officer, Christophe Georges believes these figures won’t be maintained stating, “The Chinese and U.S. markets are both strong. I don’t see (China’s lead) as a permanent situation.”

One of the key reasons why Georges believes the U.S. will remain Bentley’s largest market in the long run is due to new showrooms being constructed in Nashville, Thousand Oaks, and Charlotte. Furthermore, Bentley is expected to launch a brand new SUV in the coming three years, and while the Chinese do indeed love their SUVs, they cannot match the love for them that Americans have.

Source: Wards Auto

The BMW 3-Series may be the German automaker’s resident mid-sized vehicle, but don’t tell that to the Chinese market.

In what can be attributed to the Chinese’s penchant for limousines, BMW has acquiesced that demand by unveiling the new 3-Series LWB that will be exclusively sold to the Chinese market.

The vehicle, which will make it’s debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, features a longer wheelbase than the standard 3-Series. The extra 4.3" in length should bode well for all those high-rolling Chinese that prefer to ride in style with a chauffeur in tow.

On top of that, the 3-Series LWB comes in a number of trim models, including the 320Li, the 328Li, and the top-of-the-line 335Li. Powertrain options for the respective models include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 320Li that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, the 328Li gets a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque, while the top-end 335Li gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that develops 302 horsepower.

More details are expected to be revealed regarding the 3-Series LWB when the 2012 Beijing Auto Show arrives. For now, digest these photos and wonder how you can get this ride into your garage.

Between proms, parties, guys’/girls’ nights out, and other things, we have been in a lot of limos in our day. We have also seen plenty of them in our time in all shapes, sizes, makes, and models. However, we have never ever seen a muscle car stretched into a luxury limo. This all changed when we came across LA Custom Coach Inc., who is famous for stretching unusual vehicles into limos. The oddest limo on their lot, which includes a stretched F-650 and a stretched Charger , is a roughly 28-foot-long Challenger SRT8 .

According to the video above, the entire stretching process took a total of four months from start to finish. It involved chopping this poor car in half, modifying its frame, then adding sheet metal and windows. On the inside, LA Custom Coach Inc. completely gutted the SRT8 and added in full black leather with slight touches of red, which are actually the signature SRT dual slashes.

Full story after the jump.


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