Limousine is a word that has its roots in the French language, originating from the Limousin region. It was derived from the Latin Lemovices, which was the name of a Gallic tribe in central France. In German-speaking countries, a limousine is simply referred to as a sedan, while a car with a longer wheelbase is called a Pullman Limousine. In 1928, Armbruster created an elastic limousine in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
According to the Society of Automotive Engineers of the United States, a limousine is an enclosed car with three to five seats inside and the driver's seat outside. Hackney carriages are also considered to be a type of limousine, although they are not usually identified as such in Great Britain. A luxury sedan with an extended wheelbase (with more than four doors) driven by a professional driver is known as an elastic limousine. An alternative etymology suggests that some of the first drivers wore a limousine-style cape in the driver's open compartment to protect themselves from inclement weather.
In some countries, such as the United States, Germany, Canada and Australia, a limousine service can refer to any pre-booked rental vehicle with driver, usually but not always a luxury car. Airport shuttle services are often referred to as limousine services, although they usually use minibuses. The city limousine was a version of the city limousine car in which the driver's compartment was outside and had no weather protection. Limousines are usually vehicles with a long wheelbase, providing additional legroom in the passenger compartment.
Elastic limousines are longer than regular limousines, typically to accommodate more passengers. The limousine body style usually has a partition that separates the driver from the rear passenger compartment. The last production limousine from Cadillac with forward-facing folding seats was in 1987 (with its Fleetwood Series 75 model), while Packard and Lincoln produced their last models in 1954 and 1939 respectively. However, Lincoln has offered limousines through its dealers as special-order vehicles on occasion. Vehicles that have been converted into innovative elastic limousines include the East German Trabant, Volkswagen Beetle, Fiat Panda and Citroën 2CV.