Land Rover announced yesterday that it’s going to be releasing a new, long-wheelbase version of its latest Range Rover.
It’s a clear sign of the importance to the company of the Chinese market, where long-wheelbase versions of existing cars are considered extremely desirable.
But if you’re going to go for a bit of wheelbase stretch, why not go the whole hog?
The stretched limo has long been considered the ultimate statement of wealth over in the USA, and in recent years it’s become a favourite of party-goers and lovers of the VIP treatment alike over here.
Here are five of our favourite stretches that offer VIP transport in style, and stand out from the crowd too.
We’ve all seen it – white or pink, laden with lights and taking up the entire stretch of pavement outside a nightclub on a Saturday night. The stretched Hummer has become the vehicle of choice for stag and hen nights. And with good reason – if you’re looking for extravagant transport of the brashest possible sort, there’s nothing better. This example’s gone a step further than the usual, though, with dramatic flame-effect paintwork and an aircraft-style door. Not to mention, of course, the whopping chrome wheels.
Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG 6×6
Of course, the thinking man’s stretched SUV comes with a three-pointed star on the bonnet – and while this behemoth from Mercedes won’t offer all that much more space, its bonkers six-wheeled drivetrain means it’ll have more presence than pretty much anything else on the road. Short of a dump truck, that is. And yet, with a 544bhp 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 up front, it’ll hit 62mph in under six seconds.
Perhaps you prefer your stretch of choice to be a little smaller, though. In which case we’ve got just the thing. This Smart was designed as a promotional vehicle for a certain soft drinks company, and features a 20:1 scale fibre-glass replica of a soft drinks can, complete with ring pull. Its lightweight alloy chassis and carbon fibre shell mean it can do 80mph, despite still being powered by the original 600cc engine. It isn’t the most comfortable way to travel, though – the space that’s been added doesn’t feature windows or seats, serving instead as a storage area!
If you want a dinky stretched limo that you can actually sit in, you’d be best off with this Mini XXL. Commissioned by Mini and built by a specialist coachbuilder in Los Angeles to celebrate the 2004 Athens Olympics, it featured all the creature comforts you might expect to find in a bigger limo – including a flat-screen TV, a DVD player, full black leather, a sunroof, air conditioning, and even a phone link through to the driver’s compartment. Better than all that, though, was the whirlpool bath that had been installed in the special rear deck.
Frankly, though, if turning up with as much panache as possible was the number one priority, this stretched Lamborghini Aventador would be the only thing for it. You’d struggle to do so, though, as the car is only a concept at the moment. Devised by UK-based stretched limo hire company Cars For Stars, the Aventador concept features four scissor doors and retains the 690bhp engine. The company says that it hopes the “investment of a willing and passionate sponsor” might make the idea a reality.