The limousine debuted in 1902 in the U.S., and while it has since spread to the rest of the world, it has always had a distinctly American heritage. Since the limo first came on the scene the design has been pretty constant, with few modifications along the way. The driver is in an open compartment and controls the car as he navigates various roads, while the passengers sit in the rear in an enclosed compartment. Later, in 1928, the stretch limo was built and for a while was a popular mode of transportation for music groups.
Today, the limo is more than just a mode of transportation for bands. It has come to be a symbol of both luxury and power, and as such is often characterized by excess. A variety of people rent limos, including presidents, business people, and prom dates. They’re the perfect way to make a statement.
Limos have further evolved with car designers taking the limo to the next stages. In the beginning, they were just extended versions of well-known luxury car models. Now they’re made of vans, sports utility vehicles, sedans, trucks, and even custom designs, like the Batmobile limousine.
You might think that for such a luxurious item the industry would be small, but you’d be mistaken. The limousine industry in the U.S. alone is worth well over $4 billion dollars and consists of thousands of companies with tens of thousands of employees.
Typically, a third party company will take an existing body and extend it to make a limousine, and then sell it to individuals and limousine companies that rent out limos. That said, there are all kinds of limos out there, and some of them are neither for sale or rent. Here’s a look at the most extravagant limos for rent.
Cadillac XTS Limousine
This limousine is basically the Cadillac XTS sedan on steroids. It came out in 2012 and has three doors per side, 4-wheel drive and a power 6-cylinder engine. It also has some luxurious features including door handles that are illuminated, onboard navigation, a console in the rear, and an inside roof lined with suede. The seats are heated, the rear comes with climate control, and offers surround sound with premium audio. As you might expect, the rear and side windows come with shades. You also get an onboard bar.
Porsche Cayenne Limousine
If you love the Porsche Cayenne SUV from luxury car manufacturer Porsche, then you’ll absolutely love the limo version. It comes with a powerful 8-cylinder engine and has one of the best onboard sound systems on the market. Listening to music in this limo has been compared to being at a concert. The onboard bar is also a nice bonus.
The Midnight Rider
This is basically a tractor-trailer that’s been turned into a limousine. Because of its sheer size, it happens to be the heaviest limousine in the world. The owner, Pamela Bartholomew, says the idea was to bring back the feel of being on a train during the days of luxury railroad travel. It comes with a full night club for 40 people and has a team of five, including a pair of drivers, an operations specialist, a bartender, and a hostess. It’s a nightclub on wheels.
Chrysler 300 Limousine
This stretch limousine is popular among limousine renters and is considered one of the best stretch limos available. It comes with a V8 engine and is nearly 16.5-feet long. In fact, the middle section alone is nearly as long as the Chrysler 300 sedan the design is borrowed from.
Mercedes Benz S Class
Mercedes is already renowned for its ability to make top-of-the-line luxury cars, so why not make a limo out of one of their most popular models? The S Class has three doors on both sides and moves on a powerful 12-cylinder engine. It’s also been numerously awarded by many car magazines and happens to be very popular among limousine renters.