When was the term limousine first used?

The term “limousine”, which refers to a vehicle in which the driver is in a separate passenger compartment, first emerged in the 18th century for wagons that carried mostly wealthy elites. Vehicles converted into innovative elastic limousines include the East German Trabant, the Volkswagen Beetle, the Fiat Panda and the Citroën 2CV. The distinctive feature of limousines was that passengers enjoyed their privacy in a separate enclosure from the driver they employed. In the United States, the subcategories of limousines in 1916 were the sedan, defined as a limousine with the driver's seat completely closed, and the brougham, defined as a limousine without a roof over the driver's seat.

In particular, airport shuttle services are often referred to as limousine services, although they often use minibuses. A bus company called Armbruster created an elastic limousine in Fort Smith, Arkansas, around 1928. Limousines are one of the most classic car designs and their history is older than you probably think. The first limousines for cars originated in 1902, less than two decades after the invention of the first practical car. Nowadays, going somewhere in a limousine is much more accessible to the general public than in previous decades.

Over time, limousines began to gain a greater reputation for transporting the rich and famous, such as Hollywood stars and politicians. The separate, covered compartment of these first motor-powered limousines in which the driver was seated was said to resemble a cape worn by the inhabitants of the Limousin region of France, leading to the word “limousine”. A luxury sedan with a very long wheelbase (with more than four doors) driven by a professional driver is called an elastic limousine. The limousine body style generally has a partition that separates the driver from the rear passenger compartment.

In Great Britain, the de-ville limousine was a version of the limousine city car in which the driver's cabin was outside and had no weather protection. At this point, limousines weren't necessarily longer than regular cars, accommodating 3 to 5 people. In 1902, the first motorized limousine was manufactured, but the driver of the vehicle was forced to sit outside while passengers enjoyed a locked compartment.