AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
One Fast Limo
The Panamera has undergone a lot of changes for 2014; enough for Porsche to claim this is the second generation of the four-door model. The big news this year is that for the first time ever, the Panamera will be available in two body styles: regular and long-wheelbase “Executive.”
Dead on from the front or the back, it looks like just any other new Mercedes-Benz E-class, but take a look at its profile shot and you will no doubt rub your eyes and have a double-take.
It’s an E-class alright, but it doesn’t have two-doors, or even four. No, this one has six-doors and that is what will give you a leg up on all your friends who have E-class Merc’s.
This steel blue limo, which is a 2011 model and has covered just 3105-miles, is based on the E350 model, and retains the factory spec 3.5-liter, V6 engine and its seven-speed automatic gearbox. According to the advert, it can do 149-mph flat-out, so this might just be among the fastest limousines on the planet.
And where will you find this rather special E-class? Dubai of course.
GALLERY: Mercedes-Benz Six Door E-Class
[Source: Alain Class]
Tenacious Hyundai — the company that refuses to quit edging into niches, entering new segments and surprising consumers.
If you hadn’t guessed, they’re at it again. This time, trying to pitch the Genesis and Equus luxury sedans as fleet limousines at the International LCT Show in Las Vegas. Don’t feel bad if you’re unfamiliar with that too. As previously stated, this is niche stuff.
LCT stands for limousine, charter and tour operators. The International LCT Show is the largest gathering of people who build and use limos, so naturally Hyundai made an appearance there to push the goods according to the LCT website.
While limo services have traditionally relied almost exclusively on Lincoln Town Cars and Cadillac Escalades, Hyundai is hoping to break in by offering purchase incentives. The Genesis will come with a $3,500 discount, while the larger Equus’ price sheds $4,500.
Who knows, the next time you call for an airport limo a Hyundai could appear in the driveway.
GALLERY: Hyundai Equus Stretch Edition
[Source: Automotive News]
Cadillac is hoping to use an unconventional marketing strategy to lure buyers to its upcoming XTS sedan, with plans to market it to limo services as a livery vehicle or “black car”.
While the livery car market is a small niche segment, it naturally attracts a fair number of high-end clients who use the vehicles as executive transport. In New York City, livery cars are ubiquitous among the affluent set, who ride in the back of Town Cars and Suburbans rather than their own vehicle.
Cadillac is hoping to get the XTS into the hands of livery car operators, since the Lincoln Town Car, the king of the livery car segment, has ended, and Lincoln’s replacement, based on the MKT, has been a sales flop. The XTS models sold to livery operators will be identical to the consumer version in terms of content, though livery drivers will be able to have the wheelbase stretched by approved coachbuilders.
From there, Cadillac is hoping that buyers of import brands will come away impressed with the Cadillac, and this will ostensibly translate into conquest sales for the brand.
[Source: Automotive News]
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, wants the U.S. embassy to cover the costs the president’s motorcade has racked up driving through the city’s downtown core. The U.K. capital has special traffic congestion fines for vehicles caught on the roads without the proper permission, and Obama’s limo (aka “The Beast”) falls in the group, as do the rest of the vehicles in his motorcade.
In addition to these fines, Johnson wants the U.S. embassy to pay up on past fines of this sort, which now total the astronomical sum of $8.7 million.
The U.S embassy claims it is immune to paying the charge because it is technically a tax, which should be reserved for UK residents alone. The mayor spoke to the President during a state banquet at Buckingham Palace explaining that the Presidential fleet would not be receiving special treatment.
“The presidential motorcade is subject to the congestion charge,” said a London transport official in a statement. “Any vehicle, regardless of where it is registered, which is identified within the congestion charging zone during the hours of operation without a valid charge, discount or exemption may be subject to a penalty.”
The U.S. Embassy remains insistent it will not pay the fines, including the fee for ‘The Beast’ and the rest of the President’s motorcade.
[Source: Daily Mail]
The Beijing Auto Show has brought a slate of new releases from companies like Ferrari, Lamborghini and Bentley, but the most opulent and outrageous vehicle is a homegrown Chinese product.
The Hongqi may look like a poor imitation of a Rolls Royce, but the Hongqi Limo is a serious car in its own right. At 21 feet long, the Hongqi is a whale of a car, requiring a V12 engine producing 405 horsepower to help the vehicle move. Soundproofing is said to be so good that the cabin is dead silent. One can only assume that armor plating and other security measures befitting of the Chinese Head of State add further mass to an already portly vehicle.
It’s unlikely that the Hongqi will ever reach our shores, but you can buy one in China for a cool $1.1 million, a significant sum by North American standards, but all the more astonishing when you factor in that the average income for a city-dwelling Chinese citizen is closer to $5,000 per year.
GALLERY: Hongqi Limo