Stretched imagination: the world's best and worst limousines, ranked
Search Driven for vehicles for sale
A stretched limousine is the ultimate status symbol.
Freudian implications aside, the desire to show the world that your lifestyle and wallet merits an extra long car is clearly a commonly held one.
It's probably the only vehicle that still turns a head in central Auckland, even against the occasional backdrop of supercars and ultra-luxury SUVs.
Most of us here reckon that all stretched limos are fairly ghastly, but we've picked out the best and worst of a bad bunch.
The prize for the ugliest stretched limo of all must surely go to this lump of horror.
The B9 Tribeca isn't the prettiest car even in standard form, so quite why you'd want to make an ill-proportioned stretch out of one is anyone's guess.
Awful on every level, this is the epitome of 'because we can' limo engineering.
We wish they hadn't.
Take a small car. Make it really long. Add a couple of wheels. Paint it pink. Surely the thought process of any right-thinking individual, eh?
Whatever you may think of it, this faintly ridiculous stretched Mini certainly garners attention.
Even Korean dignitaries need something to waft around in, and that's where the Hyundai Equus comes in.
Hardly the most handsome car in standard form, the stretched version becomes all kinds of wrong, with a vast, ungainly black section added to the B-pilar.
Carried out by Slovenian converters EME, this XM stretch was one of several producted for Citroen's big saloon.
It was, as you can imagine, not a roaring success outside of France. But, no doubt provided the best ride of any stretched limo anywhere.
Today, EME sells used fork-lift trucks.
Nothing unusual about an American limousine, of course. Except this one is based on ... a compact car.
It seems Chrysler's execs decided in the midst of the oil crisis that there was still an appetite for a stretched limo, albiet a more fuel-efficient one. Enter, then, the Executive Limousine.
Based on Chrysler's compact Executive saloon and barely big enough to squeeze in the seven — yes, seven — people it was rated to carry, suffice to say it did not sell well.
Rover 75 Limousine
Stretching the term 'limousine' somewhat was the Rover 75 Limousine.
Really, this was just a long-wheelbase version designed to appeal to Asian markets. But, of course, Rover couldn't help but be grandiloquent about it. So, the 'Limousine' it was.
Some are, of course, more equal than others, which is why communist Russia created limousines.
And indeed, the ZiL-114 was more 'equal' than any other ZiL limo that had come before it, lavishly equipped with air conditioning, electric windows, central locking, and disc brakes.
Mind you, for all its communist hypocrisy, it's arguably one of the more attractive and impressive-looking cars ever to come out of the Soviet Union.
Pontiac Grand Prix
OK, so you probably haven't heard of the Pontiac Grand Prix.
To put this car into context, imagine someone adding three metres to the centre of a Peugeot 607, and you're about there.
Dream car it ain't — despite what it may say on the bumper
Volvo 264 Top Executive
What's surprising about a stretched Volvo?
Not much, you might thing, but in actual fact the vast majority of these 264 Top Executives found their home in East Germany, where President Honecker's government wouldn't be seen dead in a Trabant or Wartburg, but were too proud to import BMWs or Mercs from West Germany.
So, the 264 Top Executive became the vehicle of choice, leading the town of Waldsiedlung housing area where officials had their homes being nicknamed 'Volvograd'.
Buick Electra Limousine
You might not think of Buick as a limousine manufacturer, but back in the '70s its Electra was almost as upmarket as Cadillac's Fleetwood.
Still, finished in this particular colour, it doesn't quite have the air of elegance one would expect of a stretched limo, does it?
- Telegraph UK